Does your organization’s fundraising plan take into account politics and major events like the 2020 United States presidential election? If not, you may want to review your plan and anticipate how the election might impact your fundraising efforts.
Classy* recently put together a report called Why America Gives 2019: How current events, technology, and seasonality impact donor plans. According to the report, 46% of respondents said their political beliefs dictate the organizations or causes that will receive their donations. Classy also found that “election effect” can drive an “unprecedented increase” in recurring donations. After the 2016 presidential election, nonprofits directly opposed to President Trump’s policies, actions, or ideology saw a “surge in donations.”
This supports what another report, Change Agents: The Goals and Impact of Women’s Foundations and Funds, saw during the week after the 2016 election. During that week, donations increased significantly for “charities associated with progressive or liberal causes mentioned during the election.”
So what does this mean for you and your organization? As the team at Classy notes in their report, this presents an opportunity for some nonprofits, and not just when it comes to recurring giving:
“Nonprofits involved in politically-charged causes have the opportunity to gain new donors as the nation approaches the elections in 2020. Keeping a pulse on the news, as well as referring to popular candidates’ platforms, can help these types of organizations determine when to adjust or amplify their marketing efforts for optimal impact.”
Now that you know how politics can affect your donors and their inclination to give, here’s what we recommend:
- Pull some reports. If you can, go back through your 2016 donor data and see if the 2016 presidential election affected donations leading up to and after election day. You may want to look at other spikes in donations over the years. Did that correspond to current events or a political rally? Did donors from one political party donate more than donors from another? By answering these questions, you’ll be more informed and able to make more strategic decisions regarding this year’s plans.
- Pay attention to the news. Are you aware of what the leading candidates are talking about and how that might relate to your cause? When you’re tuned in to what’s going on in the news, you’re better positioned to take advantage of opportunities linked to what’s going on in the political arena.
- Talk to your donors. You can also directly reach out to your donors and ask if the 2020 election is impacting their plans to donate. This could provide valuable information and help you figure out how and when to ask them to make a donation to your organization.
- Be ready to shift your marketing strategy. Even the best laid plans go astray. That’s why it’s important to remain flexible and leave room to adjust your efforts based on the national conversation. The last thing you want is to miss an opportunity to ramp up your efforts or miss the cues that would tell you to hold off for a bit.
To learn more, download Classy’s report to see additional giving trends.
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