AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

BlogInflation’s Impact on Charitable Donations

Subscribe to AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Impact of charitable donations during inflationary periods

Inflation’s Impact on Charitable Donations

The rise in inflation over the past year has impacted how individuals and businesses spend money including their charitable donations. Paying more for gas, food, repairs, supplies and services has altered what people spend on leisure and charitable support items.

Nonprofits may be doubly impacted by the rise in inflation. Not only are nonprofits also spending more on items to continue operations but depending on their cause may be experiencing a greater need for their services.

During times of high inflation, here are a few tips for nonprofits to maintain charitable donations:

Impact of charitable donations during inflationary periodsIncrease year-end giving efforts.

Most charitable giving occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. During this time, many nonprofits have initiated their annual fund appeals and have implemented tactics in direct mail, digital marketing and social media to encourage donors’ support of the annual campaign. Giving Tuesday (held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) has also grown in popularity in recent years as a platform for donors to support their favorite nonprofits. According to Nonprofit Source, 30% of annual gifts are received in the month of December while 10% of charitable donations are made in the last three days of the year.

Promote recurring gifts.

Educate supporters about the opportunity to support your organization with a recurring or monthly gift. A larger gift at the end of the year may be more challenging for donors to fulfill with the effects of inflation. Encourage donors to spread out their charitable donations throughout the year in smaller increments, either monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Donors are still able to support at the same level or greater than before. The nonprofit will also have a continuous revenue stream.

Encourage pledge gifts.

Along the same line as recurring gifts, offer donors the option to support large projects over a period of time. Making gifts in smaller increments may be more manageable for a donor’s pocketbook.

Accept non-cash charitable donations.

Particularly for Baby Boomers and the “Greatest Generation” donors, charitable gifts through an individual retirement account (IRA) or stock may be more appealing than a cash gift. Older donors may receive additional tax benefits for contributing these assets other than cash. For example, individuals age 72 and older may fulfill their required minimum distribution from their IRA by contributing up to $100,000 to a qualified charitable organization.

Increase corporate outreach.

National Philanthropic Trust reports that corporate giving in 2021 increased nearly 24% over 2020. To retain and attract employees, businesses have enhanced their corporate culture by giving back to the community and supporting organizations in which employees are involved.

As donor giving has changed over the past year due to inflation, now is the time to look at your organization’s revenue streams. A fundraising consultant from AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising can help analyze your development operations and provide fundraising recommendations with a development audit. To learn more about an AMPERAGE development audit, contact Jennifer Rubel at

Written by:

Melissa provides fundraising counsel for AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients, leading feasibility studies and providing solutions that drive successful fundraising campaign results. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she uses her experience and extensive skill set to continually advance her fundraising practices and develop campaign-specific strategies, materials and training to help clients reach their campaign goals and advance their mission. Melissa has vast experience working in the nonprofit sector, having served in development and leadership roles with Sisters of Mercy and the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with local nonprofits, such as the Catherine McAuley Center. Faith-based organizations and causes are of particular interest to Melissa. Melissa moves the needle by always looking for new opportunities and ways to improve professionally. She is currently president of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council and a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter. Melissa holds a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Mount Mercy University. This busy professional, wife and mother enjoys sports and live music in her free time. A fan of Cubs baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football, Melissa and family enjoy football tailgating, where she’s known for her breakfast burritos. She enjoys the local band scene but says a Foo Fighters concert is her all-time favorite.