A 4% DECREASE in gift income? Yes. Using two different computer models, two researchers with The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recently estimated that as a result of changes to the tax code mandated by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, charitable giving in the United States could drop 3.5 – 4 % this year.
The researchers don’t claim that every nonprofit organization will see a decrease but rather that overall charitable giving will drop by 3.5 – 4%. What your ministry might experience will depend on several factors, but be aware that changes to the tax code may affect giving.
So, what can you do to minimize the impact of tax code changes on giving to your ministry? How can you be prepared for that eventuality? Here are four steps:
- Don’t react to this news with fear. The Apostle Paul instructed his inexperienced assistant Timothy who faced a daunting task, “God did not give us a spirit of fear [timidity], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Reaffirm that God gives you the confidence you need to boldly ask others to support your ministry, it doesn’t come from your own strength. Once we’ve planted “seeds” it is God’s Spirit who moves people to give.
- This is a good time to ask yourself, “Am I “loving on” my donors? Have I found practical ways to care for them?” The more you show genuine love for your donors the more likely they will be to support your ministry, regardless of changes in the tax code. They want to know that you care about them not simply as “targets” for fundraising requests but because you treasure them as individuals who are made in God’s image.
Evaluate if you take a disciplined approach to fundraising:
- Have you clearly explained your mission (what you do) and vision (what results you expect to happen because of your ministry) to donors?
- Do you regularly share the results of your ministry with donors?
- How do you thank your donors for giving?
- Do you have a database management system that allows you to store and easily retrieve information about your donors—their giving records, personal information (birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, etc.), results of contacting them, etc.?
- How do you recognize them as individuals in your communications with them? Do you offer to pray with them over their concerns?
In short, a possible down-turn in giving is a great time to review how well you are following the fundamentals of biblical fundraising and make appropriate changes.
For more on this topic, read Randy Bronkema’s blog—“How to Move From Fear to Love in Your Fundraising” >>
Let’s talk about more specific ways you can cover a 4% decrease in your income this year. Just let us know you’d like to talk >>