Giving increased .7% but you won’t hear many people celebrating and that’s really too bad

They were wrong.

Remember when the Lilly School predicted at least a $13 billion drop in giving due to the Trump Tax Cut (which would have taken us to $376 billion)?

Instead, we saw a .7% rise in real dollars to $427.71 billion.

They should have egg on their faces for their doomsday prediction. Instead I’m seeing reporters spin the recently released Giving USA data on last year’s charitable giving saying “the tax cut made people less generous.”

Good grief! Not true!!

Folks, the real reason people are giving just a little bit less (in inflation-adjusted dollars) is because people are fed up! They (your current and potential supporters) are sick and tired of being pummeled again and again by over-solicitous fundraising tactics that fail to provide value to them. PERIOD!

If you want to raise more money, keep focusing on providing value to your supporters. MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD!! Especially your major and legacy gift donors.

People are generous. But only if you treat them right. It’s just that simple!

Have a nice day.  🙂

Giving USA 2018 infographic

3 responses to “Giving increased .7% but you won’t hear many people celebrating and that’s really too bad”

  1. Joan Blick says:

    In Denver CO, our major gifts of $1,000 or more decreased by 19% in our FY 2018 -19 which began July 1, 2018 compared to the previous fiscal year. I work for a human services agency. We have certainly experienced a downward trend for the first time in years driven by the new tax law.

    • Greg Warner says:

      So are you saying you had specific conversations with the major donors and they said explicitly that they stopped giving because they did not get a tax benefit?

      Honestly, I’d be surprised if that was the case. Most people’s passion (especially among those who can afford to make 4-figure donations) for a cause does not wane in that way.

      I strongly suggest you use my Fundraising Report Card ( to identify who stopped giving. Then call them and ask them why. I seriously doubt they’ll say it’s because of the tax law and, instead, will tell you other reasons.

  2. Joan Blick says:

    They did not stop giving but the amount of their gifts decreased well below $1,000. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get smarter with the SmartIdeas blog

Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!