We are over a week out from the election, and news reports such as this one from The Atlantic are reporting a sharp increase in donations to some non-profits, particularly organizations working in causes related to key campaign issues, such as the environment, civil liberties, immigration and women’s rights/healthcare.
Since Donald Trump was made President-Elect, the ACLU and its affiliate organizations have seen over 33,000 donations pour in, with a total of $1.9 million received. The Trevor Project, which is dedicated to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, has received triple the number of typical donations since Election Day, receiving over $70,000 in 24 hours.
What does this mean for US-based and international NGOs already in the midst of their year-end appeal process? The answer: we’re not sure.
For US-based organizations working internationally, it is possible that some donors may deepen their giving to local and national causes, but not at the expense of the international organizations they also support.
Other donors may view their giving as less siloed. Their thinking may be: “I have a finite amount of money to give away this year and I’m reallocating from my usual causes to these new ones.” These donors will replace some of their giving to international organizations with giving to domestic causes and organizations.
Our guess is that the former will hold true; the relatively small percentage of donors who give internationally will probably remain steadfast supporters of women’s rights, clean water, healthcare and leadership development overseas, and may in fact see this work as vital “now more than ever.”
It’s also important to note that for many organizations, especially those working internationally, the election may have little or no effect. Many international issues, like clean water access, are universal and non-partisan, making them less susceptible to funding changes in light of the election.
The relatively small percentage of donors who give internationally will probably remain steadfast supporters of women’s rights, clean water, healthcare and leadership development overseas, and may in fact see this work as vital “now more than ever.”
Donor fatigue is also a possibility, as many donors are probably being inundated both with e-appeals from domestic organizations they have supported in response to the election as well as traditional year-end appeals.
Should you change your messaging for your end-of-year campaign? We don’t think so, but we do think that for international NGOs, it would be smart to add a layer of messaging emphasizing that your work is important now more than ever.
We believe it would be wise to check in with your most stalwart supporters on how they are feeling post-election, and express how you remain committed to your work through uncertain times. This is an opportunity to tune into your funders in a new and deep way.
Have you seen effects (positive or negative) on your organization’s funding post-election? Share your experiences with us in the comments.