Optimistic Fundraising and 2018 Tax Law Changes

I have been reading a lot about how charity donations are expected to drop next year due to the tax law changes. For months my clients and colleagues have been worrying about how to combat this decline. I, however, have a different perspective.

Maybe I am just an optimist, but I am convinced that people give to a cause because they believe in it, not because of the tax deduction. Research has shown that people give for a variety of reasons including:

  • Have money
  • Believe in the cause
  • Trust solicitor
  • Make good things happen
  • Make bad things stop happening
  • Tradition of giving
  • Legacy
  • Guilt/fear
  • Tax deduction.

The number one reason people give money is because they were asked – by the right person for the right project for the right amount of money at just the right time.

It doesn’t mean that nonprofits can become complacent. If anything, we need to redouble our efforts to share the good works being done in our organizations.

Nonprofits must share their missions and goals for the future. Clearly describe the needs of the nonprofit in a consistent, compelling case for support on the website, in other materials, on the phone and in person.

Leadership including the CEO and the board need to be involved in personally soliciting gifts for specific amounts. Assuming the organization has hired the most qualified development officer they can find, this fundraiser needs to craft a fundraising plan that is approved and endorsed by the leadership and implemented in its entirety.

Charities should not have to employ fancy new fundraising techniques to meet their goals. Although it will be beneficial to have an easy to use online giving mechanism with an option for monthly giving on the website.

What charities need to do is provide cultivation and appreciation for their donors who are making choices with what to do with their funds despite no longer having an itemized deduction capability.

Best wishes for successful fundraising in 2018!


Owner/founder of Our Fundraising Search in Atlanta, Linda Wise McNay, Ph.D. has been successfully raising money for nonprofits in Atlanta for over 30 years.

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