BATAVIA, IL — If you’re like many Illinoisans, you’ll spend many of the last few days of November immersed in consumerism, buying this and that for your friends and family, and even indulging yourself. GivingTuesday on Nov. 29 is a chance to turn your attention to local nonprofit groups seeing an alarming decline in small gifts.
Since 2012, nonprofits, community and grassroots groups, and mutual aid networks worldwide have used GivingTuesday to galvanize fundraising, rally volunteers and add momentum to their causes.
Local nonprofits are having a particularly tough time this year. The number of donors shrunk by 7 percent in the first half of 2022, largely due to a “collapse” in the number of small-gift supporters, according to the most recent GivingTuesday quarterly fundraising report.
Donors giving $100 or less were down 17 percent in the first six months of the year, and 8 percent fewer donors made gifts of $101 to $500, according to the report.
You likely have your own favorite causes among the nonprofits, community and grassroots groups and mutual aid organizations that address local needs here in Batavia.
GivingTuesday is locally led in more than 240 U.S. communities, networks and coalitions. GivingTuesday communities in Illinois include Take 5, Giving Tuesday: Feed Those In Need and BCBigGive.
Some worthy causes near Batavia include:
- Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry, a not-for-profit food pantry founded by local churches looking to help people in need in their community.
- Batavia United Way, a nonprofit organization that focuses on education, income and health. Some of its programs include Adopt-A-Family and Success by 6.
- Northern Illinois Food Bank, a Geneva-based food pantry that serves northern Illinois counties.
- CASA Kane County, a nonprofit organization aiming to help children in abuse, neglect and private guardianship cases within the juvenile court system.
- Fox Valley United Way, a group that works to ensure “all young children, birth to age five, have equitable access to early childhood resources and education [by] investing in the health, education and financial stability of all individuals in our community.”
There are some bright spots in the fundraising report, released by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, a research effort of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Foundation for Philanthropy and GivingTuesday.
Importantly, although the pool of donors shrunk in the first half of 2022, the dollars contributed increased by 6.2 percent as major donors stepped up. At the same time, the increase in large donor contributions was outpaced by a second-quarter inflation rate of about 8.5 percent.
“Recaptured donors” — people who at one point had given to an organization, but not in the most recent reporting period — grew by 6.3 percent.
That group likely includes people who supported a charity in a surge of pandemic giving in 2020, as well as those who paused their charitable donations during the first two years of the pandemic and gave again this year, according to Lori Gusdorf, executive vice president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals group, said in a news release.
The key takeaway for charities is to stay in contact with donors and include them in fundraising pitches, regardless of when they last gave, Gusdorf said.
The report “underlines the importance of employing targeted strategies for retaining this key donor segment, especially in times of economic volatility, when donors are more frequently evaluating their financial commitments,” she said.
GivingTuesday was created in New York City in 2012 with a simple goal: to encourage people to do good. Over the past nine years, the idea has grown into the global movement it is today.
The goal of GivingTuesday is “radical generosity” — the concept that the suffering of others should be as intolerable to us as our own suffering, according to the movement’s website.