We’ve been looking at individual donations and Haiti. What about what we see in our local area? We work with over 100 nonprofit agencies and prepare over 700 tax returns for individuals. While it is a small population, observations can still be made:
- You don’t have to write a grant application to ask individual donors for money
- Individual donations are not normally restricted for specific purposes so you can use individual donations (in most cases) for general operating monies
- Individuals will typically give to the same charities year after year and most tend to be life long donors
- A nonprofit with about a $1 million budget with a good planned giving program in place for 10 or more years receives on average $50,000 annually. This has been our experience. However, I do not know the national statistics on this.
- As a percentage of their income, lower income individuals give more than higher income individuals. While we note this at our CPA firm, it actually mirrors the same documented national statistics
- Charities that are less dependent on government money and foundation money are more stable, survive the rough times better, and have more people resources to devote to their mission because they don’t have to file mountains of government paperwork or find new foundations to support them every few years.
- A surprising number of very nice, caring people don’t give--at all.
- When individuals talk about charities that they have had some relationship with, they say “If they asked me to give money, I would”