Here’s a news flash so old that it’s available on microfiche down at the county library:
[H]ouseholds in which members volunteer for charitable causes or at their church give more than twice as much money to charities than households with no volunteers.
That statistic comes from research undertaken by Independent Sector in 2001.
Why cite a statistic that is older than the lunch meat in our refrigerator at work?
Because the report was a tree falling in the forest that nobody heard.
And it still falls on deaf ears today.
Think about it:
- The single greatest differentiator between a person giving a lot or a little or even nothing at all…is whether they volunteer.
- Want to increase the amount your donors give…by FIFTY PERCENT? Get them to volunteer.
- Did you hear that? A FIFTY PERCENT INCREASE!!! What other tool or technique or strategy offers that kind of return?
- Not wealth identifier indices.
- Not underlining words the right away or leading with the right headline.
- Even a 10 to 15 percent increase in your fundraising results over the previous year would be heralded as a hugely successful fundraising campaign. But FIFTY PERCENT??? Get out of here. That’s fundraising hall of fame level stuff.
Here’s the weird thing:
When Independent Sector published their report on that 2001 study, they didn’t even highlight that stat. They buried the proverbial lead, as it were.
So it’s not surprising that ten years later, most fundraisers still have never heard of that study.
So we quote it again here, in hopes that someone will notice.
Happy birthday, Independent Sector study. Here’s hoping that by the time you turn twenty, we nonprofits will have gotten your message.