The Tendencies of Major Gift Donors

* Editor’s note: The NPT obtained some of the planned session presentations and selected several to be highlighted.

One of the major gift sessions planned was showcasing the five trends with the power to change major gifts fundraising. The presentation was put together by Joshua Else, associate vice president for development at Johns Hopkins University, Margie Kim, chief advancement officer at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Christina Yoon, vice president and director, east region, for Campbell & Co.

The presentation pointed out in Trend #1 that as broad-based giving declines, organizations depend more on a small group of wealthy donors. There has been a big increase in what they refer to as “mega-gifting.”

Trend #2 is that demographics are changing, and fundraisers must respond to it. Women’s role in philanthropy is growing. Millennials are generous and will be inheriting the estate of their parents and others. The numbers of Hispanic and non-white donors is a segment that is growing.

Trend #3 is that data and qualifications techniques are increasing in importance. There are more ways and options for giving. Donor-advised funds hold billions of dollars, as do private foundations.

Trend #4 is that there is a growing need to communicate organizational impact to a sophisticated donor base. Data and research show that 75% of Millennials will stop giving without information on impact and 85% of donors want to give with better impact. Nearly one-third (32%) of donors spend at least two hours to research before giving.

Trend #5 is that fundraisers need to embrace innovative cultivation and stewardship tactics. Data shows that half of volunteers give more because they volunteer. And, Hispanic, non-white donors give an average 3.5 times larger gifts.