According to the Giving USA Foundation’s 2009 report, individuals are the top donors of charitable gifts, providing 75 percent of all gifts received in 2008. Foundations come in second, providing 13 percent of gifts, and charitable bequests come in third at 7 percent.
Not all individuals donate at equal levels. In fact, 10 percent of an organization’s donors are likely to provide the bulk of its income. Here’s a general rule of thumb:
- 50%-70% of an organization’s income comes from 10% of its donors
- 15%-25% of an organization’s income comes from 20% of its donors
- The remaining 15%-25% comes from 70% of the organization’s donors
These numbers might look intimidating, as they imply that an organization will need to find a handful of prospects willing to make very significant gifts. But getting these big-money givers means far fewer donors are needed to meet your fundraising goals. Instead of paying a little bit of attention to lots of prospective donors, you will need to pay a lot of attention to a few very important prospects.