Top 5 Webinar Learnings – The State of Giving After Trump’s First 100 Days

Check out the second installment of our Interns Corner series – here, we’ve given a recap of five key learnings from our recent webinar, Charitable Giving in the Trump Era – President Trump’s First 100 Days.

Yesterday, we held our second webinar of the series Charitable Giving in the Trump Era, with data powered by NRG and strategic nonprofit insights from our own Glenn Lalich and Bethany Maki. In our first webinar and respective study, we focused on how the 2016 election season and the inauguration of President Trump impacted giving attitudes and behaviors among Republicans and Democrats. While that time revealed sharp divisions, we’re starting to see the partisan divide narrow as we move forward under the new administration. Check out these five important learnings from our June 26th webinar:

  1. Activism and advocacy have grown across the country in response to the inauguration of President Trump – a trend that will continue throughout 2017.

Greater advocacy and giving intent has been strong across the board, particularly as President Trump’s more extreme views continue to impact the nation at large. Many are showing more support, both in donations and in social advocacy, for the causes they feel will be impacted most (positively or negatively) by policies under the new administration. The average expected giving amount for 2017 has increased over the course of Trump’s first 100 days in office among both party affiliates.

Strategy Tip – While rage has somewhat subsided since January, nonprofits must continue to keep close watch of the news cycle, and response across digital/social media in order to join the important conversations when the time arises. The partisan divide may be closing, but this isn’t for a lack of passion, rather a more diverse range of causes are becoming equally as urgent.   

  1. Small donors still plan to double their contributions during Trump’s presidency

Small donors (those donors who gave less than $100 over the past year) will continue to make their impact in the upcoming months, planning to double their contributions to the organizations they support. Larger donors still plan to “up” their giving, but not as significantly as small donors, who show a 112% average increase over 2016 giving.

Strategy Tip – Tap into your small donors’ passions, they are worth their weight in gold! With the right messaging and contact strategy, these small donors could become bigger – and more loyal – donors over time.

  1. Republicans are less concerned about financial security under the Trump administration, while nearly two thirds of Democrats remain apprehensive about their finances.

Across the board, Republicans display a greater confidence in their personal financial situation – this is particularly important for Faith-based and Military & Veteran organizations, with these being the causes that Republicans most identify with.

Strategy Tip – While Dem’s might show more concern around their personal finances, they’re still as passionate as ever – and about a wider range of causes. Strike a nice balance of fundraising tactics and more focused social engagement, empowering those donors to have a voice in their community, while also encouraging them to support their causes in multiple ways.

  1. The shortening of the news cycle impacts people’s perception of current events, and this, in turn, impacts giving response

With the continued proliferation of online news and social media, the news cycle seems to be ever-shortening. And with the constant influx of news around the Trump administration, it’s not always easy to determine what is what. Now that news might only be “current” for a couple of hours versus several days, it’s important to stay ahead of any substantial changes that may impact your organization. Democrats are more likely to pay close watch to the news cycle, while Republicans are less interested.

Strategy Tip – Make sure your organization is operating with as nimble a strategy as possible, in order to message and contact appropriately while news is still hot.

  1. Political affiliation ultimately matters, even if your organization is not directly linked

Even though some causes may not be directly tied to a political stance or party, it’s critical to be aware of different political agendas and news events.

Strategy Tip – Maintain authentic storytelling, but recognize there are times when it might be appropriate to join a more politically-charged conversation, as long as it does not become overly-polarizing to your constituency.

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