I hope you are enjoying the summer weather and a bit of seasonal flexibility. I am always amazed at how much fundraisers accomplish during this season, as we simultaneously run campaigns, prepare for fall and year-end, and make the most of vacations and sunny days. Here at Avalon, we are diligent in encouraging our team to use their PTO—and we are moving the work forward on many fronts. It’s an exciting time.
Summer is also a prolific time for the Supreme Court. Of note for nonprofits: justices recently ruled in favor of donor privacy and protection. As you may know, the Nonprofit Alliance submitted an amicus brief signed by 126 nonprofits, which Chief Justice Roberts cited in his majority opinion. Well done to everyone who added their name. Here’s the excerpt:
The gravity of the privacy concerns in this context is further underscored by the filings of hundreds of organizations as amici curiae in support of the petitioners. Far from representing uniquely sensitive causes, these organizations span the ideological spectrum, and indeed the full range of human endeavors: from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund; from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to the Zionist Organization of America; from Feeding America—Eastern Wisconsin to PBS Reno. The deterrent effect feared by these organizations is real and pervasive, even if their concerns are not shared by every single charity operating or raising funds in California.
In other fundraising news, M+R recently released their U.K. benchmarks. It is always interesting to see how these compare to fundraising in the U.S. U.K. organizations send an average of 28 email messages per year (including 9 fundraising emails), whereas U.S. nonprofits send an average of 70 email messages per year (including 29 fundraising emails). However, the U.K. reports a faster rate of growth in email volume—sending 45% more emails in 2020, vs. a 10% increase in the U.S. In addition, the U.K. has very strong online sustainer rates: in 2020, monthly giving accounted for 30% of U.K. online donations, vs. 17% in the U.S.
I also recommend this assessment of the post-COVID economy by Paul Krugman. He emphasizes the stickiness of COVID-enabled changes to the ways we work (especially remote work), and he points out that these may have a negative impact on traditional bellwether metrics like G.D.P. However, he says, “All of this is OK!…Though the increased life satisfaction some people get by retiring early and spending more time at home actually comes at the expense of G.D.P., it makes the nation richer in what matters.”