The Generosity Crisis is Here—Radical Connection is the Way to Overcome It, and DonorSearch Will Help You Get There

There’s one topic of conversation dominating discussions in the non-profit economy this month. Sadly, it isn’t the success of recent programs and the opportunity to do more good for more people. Instead, it’s how organizations can act in the face of the gloomy Giving USA report published at the end of June. Despite the bad numbers, including total giving plummeting by 10.5% when adjusted for inflation, DonorSearch is spreading a message of hope, both to our current clients and the entire non-profit community.

There is a way out of this mess, and DonorSearch can help.

But first, as if the marked decline in giving isn’t bad enough, today’s nonprofits are dealing with inflation just like for-profit companies and consumers. In fact, rising inflation has been such a problem for the U.S. economy that many experts were thrilled not by falling inflation, but, rather just by the fact that they now could finally predict how bad it would be.

To this point, and according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, inflation has nonprofits struggling with both high prices and increasing difficulties recruiting talent. Despite these ongoing challenges, there is a technique that nonprofits can use to safeguard against both souring economic conditions and shifts to America’s giving culture. DonorSearch Senior Vice President Nathan Chappell pioneered the strategy, and DonorSearch has the technology and skills to put the plan in motion.

Now for some background, Chappell, along with co-authors Brian Crimmins and Michael Ashley, describe the many problems nonprofits now face in their 2022 book, The Generosity Crisis (Wiley & Sons Publishing.) In the book, Chappell correctly forecasted issues uncovered by the Giving USA report, such as how megadonors can’t make up for a drop in giving by individuals. Sadly, giving has now fallen to 1.7% of disposable income, the lowest level in 27 years. Thankfully, The Generosity Crisis doesn’t only explore the causes of our ongoing challenge—it also outlines the solution.  

Chappell and his co-authors believe the culture of giving, one that has long been a hallmark of our nation, can be revitalized by the many organizations that continually strive to form tighter relationships with the most engaged members of their community. Or tribe, to use marketing guru Seth Godin’s term. Chappell and company named this form of deep relationship Radical Connection—and it should be the goal of every non-profit organization to both form and nurture this dynamic with their community.

The following quote from The Generosity Crisis explains just what Radical Connection looks like in practice:

Radical Connection combines surface level knowledge and rational thinking with a deep visceral bond on an emotional level that goes beyond simple explanation, yet, when achieved, makes the implausible completely possible. If you think of the special donors and community members who will seemingly move mountains for your nonprofit, you are thinking of radically connected individuals. Those people may seem like aberrations, but there are a huge number of people desperately hoping to form the same type of connection with a nonprofit—you just have to find them.

After reading this, you may be feeling excited about cultivating Radical Connection. That’s the hope! Yet, understanding the concept is only the start. The second crucial piece is how to put in practice a meaningful plan to focus on the right community members and foster greater engagement. This is where DonorSearch comes into the picture. As mentioned, Radical Connection concerns an emotional bond felt deep inside the individual, but it is also capable of being quantified by AI using sophisticated algorithms tailored to your organization and those people you most wish to reach.

AsChappell goes on to explain, “Readers tell us that as they learn about Radical Connection, they first think about organizations they are Radically Connected to themselves, then they contemplate community members who show all the signs of Radical Connection to their nonprofit. The question they tend to ask is, ‘How can we find more Radically Connected people?’ The answer is to harness AI’s power and machine learning to find them—there’s usually Radically Connected individuals you’ve never even talked to.”

DonorSearch Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Sarah TeDesco goes on to explain, “Our customized algorithms and advanced AI system provides nonprofits with a far clearer picture of their community than they’ve ever had before. This results in impactful engagement building and better results in every area of the fundraising process. Everyone in the nonprofit economy dreams of donors who don’t cut back on donations during a turbulent economy—but instead, actually reach out, asking how they can help. We assist our clients deepen their relationship with these Radically Connected individuals while also strengthening relationships across the board. And that leads to better fundraising outcomes—even in a down business cycle.”

If your organization is interested in turning around your own generosity crisis, please contact DonorSearch for a demo today. And if you are an experienced non-profit professional driven to empower nonprofits build for future success every single day, please consider a career with DonorSearch.

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