Symbolic Giving – A Rapid Review

Symbolic Giving – A Rapid Review

If there’s ever a good reason to redouble your effort in a certain area of fundraising, it’s when you hear that it’s in decline or its days are numbered. Here, we take a quick look at the future of online symbolic giving, what the data is telling us and what you can do now to take stock and review your current program.

I remember the day I started in direct mail fundraising in the late 1980’s. I was told that people were writing off direct mail as dead. 20 some years later, it’s a hell of an important channel even today.

Now we hear from the chattering (mainly UK writers and thinkers) that symbolic giving is on the way out. I can’t help but chuckle and think that 20 years from now we’ll still see symbolic giving as an important part of philanthropy.

And the statistics seem to be on our side. In our 2010 study, The Next Generation of Canadian Giving , it showed roughly 20% of all Canadian donors make an in-lieu of gift and roughly 33% of all Canadian donors make a tribute gift. That’s a lot of Canadians and these kinds of gifts are directly connected to symbolic giving opportunities.

Furthermore, younger donors made in-lieu gifts as often – or more often – than older donors. Younger donors like to make in-lieu gifts online for a wide variety of reasons – for birthdays, for weddings, for celebrations of all kinds, for the holiday season, etc.  To hjc, it seems the future is solid for symbolic giving continuing to be an important part of any fundraising program.

But should you take stock? Absolutely!

hjc has been helping organizations like Oxfam, World Vision, and many others make their online and symbolic giving campaigns more effective. It’s still the summer time so why not have a rapid review of your symbolic fundraising campaigns offline and online. Our RAPID REVIEW looks at past results, technology, marketing, cultivation and stewardship, etc and finds the incremental improvements; gaps to be filled; and new marketing opportunities that will keep your symbolic giving program growing for years to come.

If you’re like us and think that symbolic giving will continue to be an important part of your fundraising program and need a RAPID REVIEW to keep it profitable and effective, drop us a line.


posted on Jul 14

Leave a Reply