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Giving Crisis: How Nonprofits Can Thrive

For the first time since the Great Recession in 2009, total charitable giving declined. 2022 donations decreased by 3.4% in current dollars—down 10.5% after adjusting for inflation, according to 2023 Giving USA. Giving decreased in 2022 across all sectors, returning to the 2019 level from a historic pandemic-era peak. Most notably, there has been an overall downward trend of the total number of individuals contributing, but large mega gifts have been masking the problem over the last several years.

Ways Your Nonprofit Can Thrive 

Focus on Your MVV

Revisit your mission, vision, and values to support your donor communication strategy.

Steward Your Current Donors

  • Utilize a strong donor communication strategy and share success stories with your current donors regularly.

  • Increase donor engagement with tailored approaches, so donors will not only renew, but often increase their support.   

  • Personalize thank you notes, tailor emails about ongoing initiatives, and host in-person events to engage your donors.

  • Ensure it is easy for your donors of all generations to contribute online safely using options such as Apple Pay, Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal.

Attract New Donors

Encourage new donors by using donor networks, board connections, and special events.  Monthly donor campaigns are an easy way donors can start to contribute.

Use AI

Streamline basic tasks such as thank you notes and segmenting data by using artificial intelligence.

  • For example, you can segment your donor data while preserving donor privacy using tools such as Microsoft’s Copilot. 

  • AI can be a time saver for busy nonprofit executives and development staff as long as any AI generated information is carefully reviewed.

  • Subscribe to our newsletter campaign, "90-Sec Nugget," for insightful glimpses into various AI tools.

Election Year

Adjust the timing of your nonprofit appeals,  being aware that donors will be getting more than usual election appeals and communications. 

Moving Forward

The decline in charitable giving underscores a critical juncture for nonprofits. By focusing on core values, nurturing current relationships, broadening donor bases, and integrating technology, organizations can navigate these turbulent times. As the sector faces these unprecedented challenges, the resilience and adaptability of nonprofits will not only determine their survival but can also pave the way for a new era of philanthropic growth and innovation.

Ready to ensure your nonprofit is thriving by making an impact and creating a culture of philanthropy?

We’re here to help you assess, develop a strategic plan, and improve your philanthropic resources.  Reach out to CSR at 404-850-7957 or email Laura at For a more convenient way to connect, fill in the contact form. Let’s ensure your nonprofit meets its financial goals together.

About author

Laura Rheintgen: Accomplished nonprofit professional with 20+ years in development and fundraising. Laura enjoys yoga and hiking and is a community volunteer in Northern Virginia.


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