- November 27, 2016
The new administration has promised to defund climate change research and significantly reduce funding for human services, healthcare, colleges and other programs.
As David Callahan writes in Philanthropy in the Age of Trump: Six Predictions, progressive fundraising will likely explode but philanthropic giving overall may decline.
Charitable Tax Deductions
Megan O’Neil and Timothy Sandovalf, writing for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, included this from Steven Taylor, counsel for public policy at United Way Worldwide and a former Congressional aide:
“Many analysts believe that Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers will quickly propose a sweeping tax overhaul that would likely include big tax cuts. Some tax proposals from lawmakers will probably also contain limits on charitable-giving incentives and large spending reductions, too.” But if Congress “made further cuts to social-service spending and at the same time limits incentives for charitable giving, then that would be disastrous.”
How Can Nonprofits Keep Pace?
If the nonprofit world has likely entered a new era—one in which it will be more difficult to collaborate with the federal government—as Nancy Berlin, policy director at the California Association of Nonprofits worries, then nonprofits need to take things into their own hands in order to become self-sustainable.
For those that rely on federal funding as a primary source, individual, planned and corporate giving must become a priority—in spite of the proposed caps on charitable giving write offs ($100,000 for single people and $200,000 for married couples).
Focus on increasing the volume, frequency and dollar amount of donations from individuals is a good starting point. Many nonprofits have paid little attention to their websites, conversion optimization, donor personas, and multitude of digital marketing touch points—essentially leaving money on the table. Now that reliance on donors will likely become a necessity, appealing to those that have an emotional connection to a cause is critical.
Through demographic targeting, these prospective donors can be identified, marketed to and converted to donors.
In fact, the current political climate may just make this a little easier—as rage donating has become a recent trend, touted as a new form of donor motivation in which people give to causes that they feel are in danger. Nonprofits are also seeing a post-election upswing in volunteer inquiries.
But time is of the essence. Nonprofits cannot afford to sit back and wait to assess, strategize and implement these web and digital marketing initiatives. Timing will be an important part of leveraging the trends, best practices and outreach to donors across the country.