Religion: 2021 could be ‘best year ever’ for America’s nonprofits, new report suggests
/ / / Religion: 2021 could be ‘best year ever’ for America’s nonprofits, new report suggests
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Religion: 2021 could be ‘best year ever’ for America’s nonprofits, new report suggests


90% of donors expect to give same — or more — to charity this year, says new study by DickersonBakker

RALEIGH, N.C. — A new report on charitable giving suggests America’s nonprofit organizations are on track for possibly their best fundraising year ever, even in the midst of the pandemic.

The new study of people’s giving intentions across the nation shows a whopping 90% of donors expect to give the same — or even more — to charity this year compared with last year, which smashed records.

“It’s great news for America’s nonprofit organizations — and the millions of people they help,” said Derric Bakker, president of DickersonBakker, a leading nonprofit consultancy firm that conducted the survey of 1,149 mostly -based donors during June and July.

Many nonprofits, especially those that help the homeless and hungry as well as people who have lost their jobs, have struggled to meet the flood of community needs during the pandemic.

Many nonprofit leaders are concerned about how the pandemic could affect charitable giving. This is the main way that they get funding for their work. “Our comprehensive survey shows that donors are stepping up to meet the increased burden – the vast majority say they intend to give as much as they did last year, or more, especially during the all-important holiday season when many nonprofits receive up to 40% of their total annual revenue.”

2021: Another Record Shattering Year?

DickersonBakker’s track record in forecasting charitable giving trends is impressive.

A similar survey conducted by the North Carolina-based company last year forecast donations to charities would be strong in 2020, despite the pandemic, and the prediction proved accurate. Charitable giving grew 5.1% in 2020 to $471 billion, making it a record-breaking year and shattering expectations. “Our research has shown that a large number of donors are optimistic about the future and in their financial security.” “At the same time… donors are mindful that many people are still in need, and they have no intent to throttle back on their charitable giving.”

At the time the survey was conducted, more than two out of every three donors said they felt the COVID-19 crisis had “largely passed,” and fewer than one-in-three felt it was still a “significant problem” in their area.

Donors ‘Eager for Normal’

People were “increasingly eager to get back to normal and come out to donor events again,” Bakker said.

More than seven out of every 10 donors said they’d be willing to meet in-person with fundraisers or attend a small-scale fundraising event. About six-in-10 said they’d attend a large donor gathering now, with nearly eight out of 10 saying they’d be ready to go to a big event by year’s end. Older donors — age 65-plus — were more reluctant to attend in-person events.

Nonprofits should do all they can to get hay in the barn while the sun shines,” Bakker stated. People are more financially secure and generous than ever, and they can see the need all around them. It’s impossible to predict what the future holds. But, for the coming holiday giving season, there’s plenty to be optimistic about.”


DickersonBakker has been providing professional fund development consulting services to nonprofit organizations for more than 35 years. The firm has offices in Texas and North Carolina and full-time consultants throughout the country. It has provided services to hundreds of non-profit organizations, including faith-based ones, in the U.S. and Canada.

Sheryl Sellaway
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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