Crucial Donors: How Major Individual Givers Can Best Support Nonprofits

Posted by Center for Effective Philanthropy on October 1, 2019

New CEP Report Sheds Light on What Nonprofits Need Most from Major Individual Donors

The largest source of philanthropic support for nonprofits in the United States is giving from individual donors. Of the total charitable giving in 2018, individual donors contributed 68 percent. However, the recent decline in giving among small- and medium-gift givers means that major individual donors are becoming more critically important to nonprofits.

New research from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) reveals that nonprofits largely seek to develop stronger relationships with major individual donors, and are looking for more long term, unrestricted gifts. The report, titled Crucial Donors: How Major Individual Givers Can Best Support Nonprofits, distills insights from nearly 200 nonprofit leaders from CEP’s Grantee Voice panel to learn what types of support nonprofits already receive from major donors, what major donors can do to support nonprofits better, and how nonprofits’ relationships with major donors differ from their relationships with staffed foundations.

Crucial Donors identifies three key findings regarding the ways in which major donors can most effectively support nonprofits: 1) Relationships matter; 2) There is an understanding gap; and 3) Nonprofits most need multiyear commitments, unrestricted gifts, and support beyond money. Our report also found that nonprofit leaders prefer to receive funding from major donors rather than from staffed foundations, as it’s easier to manage relationships with individual major donors and they provide more multiyear commitments and unrestricted gifts.

This research was supported in part by funding from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Raikes Foundation.

You can download the report for free here.

Crucial Donors: How Major Individual Givers Can Best Support Nonprofits

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