Citing data from Giving USA 2013, back in June Roger discussed the very slow recovery of charitable giving since the 2008 recession — giving in 2012 was up 3.9% (only 1.5% adjusting for inflation) over 2011. At that rate, it would take 6-7 more years for giving to reach the pre-recession high of $344.48 billion reached in 2007.

Earlier this month, he reported on the latest Blackbaud Index, which showed overall giving up 2.2% for the first half of 2013 over the same period in 2012.

This recent Harris Interactive survey indicates the frugality that persists amongst American consumers … a mindset that can’t help but affect their inclination to give to charities and causes.

Listen …

  • 38% of Americans would switch to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water;
  • 44% report ‘brown bagging’ their lunch instead of purchasing it;
  • 29% report canceling one or more magazine subscriptions and 18% cancelled a newspaper subscription;
  • 22% stopped buying coffee in the morning.

No coffee, only tap water, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, nothing to read … no wonder grumpy Americans would give less.

Seriously, the data seem pretty clear that frugality is upon us … and perhaps to stay.

Where would fundraisers see that? Lower average gifts, tougher prospecting (i.e., less willingness to try ‘new’), and giving to fewer organizations.

We’re seeing all of the above. Are you?

Tom

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