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2020 Fundraising Reports - What You Need to Know

Updated: a day ago


As much remains unchanged from 2020, many nonprofits are left wondering what to anticipate for fundraising in 2021. One of the most underutilized and effective strategies for strengthening annual fundraising plans is studying national research. This information can be incredibly useful, and more often than not, it is free to access!


Let’s take a look at the top three 2020 fundraising reports available today, and what you need to know.

#1: Fundraising Effectiveness Survey: 2020

Key takeaways:

  • Leading the charge, general donors giving less than $250 have come out in a huge way during the pandemic.

  • Fewer donors gave to the same organization.

  • Donations remain the highest in 5 years.


Questions to ask yourself to take advantage of these trends:

  • Does our nonprofit have a plan to optimize small donations and donors ($250/less) in 2021?

  • Are we building fundraising programs with tools like Text-to-Engage that retain donors so that we don’t lose as many in 2021?

  • Are we shying away from asking for big gifts during the pandemic, even though reports show that donations remain the highest in 5 years?

#2: Giving USA’s 2020 Giving Report

Key takeaways:

  • Corporate giving increased by 13.4%, largely in response to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

  • Giving to education, to arts, culture, and humanities organizations, to public-society benefit organizations, and environment and animal organizations all saw double-digit growth.

  • Donors’ giving patterns evolve in response to changes in economic and social forces.


Questions to ask yourself to take advantage of these trends:

  • Are we intentionally seeking out corporate matching and giving opportunities on the rise?

  • How is our organization steeping DEI efforts into various fundraising initiatives?

  • Are we partnering with organizations seeing double-digit growth, particularly those who could use our help throughout the pandemic?

  • Do we meet our supporters where they are, relevant to uncharted territories of change through the COVID-19 pandemic? What’s evidence of that?

#3: The Give.org 2020 Donor Trust Report

Key takeaways:

  • Direct mail appeals took a steep decline, compared to the effectiveness of digital fundraising efforts.

  • Donors trust in nonprofits are eroding - only 16.8% of supporters highly trust nonprofits.

  • Younger donors are more likely to give generously in the pandemic (particularly through crowdfunding), whereas older donors are more likely to be conservative in giving and seek to support hurting local businesses.


Questions to ask yourself to take advantage of these trends:

  • Are we investing in the future of digital fundraising, or are we stuck in past print and in-person models?

  • Do our donors trust us? What’s our retention data telling us about our donor’s level of trust in our nonprofit?

  • Does our nonprofit have various strategies to build rapport with the different generations of donors we have?


Fundraising continues trending toward the online space. These 2020 fundraising reports only reinforce that. Nonprofit organizations that will get ahead in fundraising this year will remain agile in their strategies and plans, relevant to the unpredictable changes in our world.


Learn more about how ZGIVE can make your online fundraising strategies faster, easier, and better.



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