In the years following the initial disruption of the pandemic, we’ve seen a very crowded campaign landscape in the United States.
Numerous organizations paused their campaign plans.
When they decided to move forward, many other organizations were already on track to launch during the same timeframe. Because of the recent overlap, it might seem like everyone is in campaign. Even before the pandemic, we’ve had perceptions of a crowded campaign landscape.
The crowding preceding the pandemic was likely the result of philanthropy’s recovery from the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. Although philanthropy recovered quickly, certain sectors, namely higher education and healthcare, recovered at a more rapid pace. Others, like International relief and development, continued to be flat or slightly declined in the years following this recessionary period. BWF’s evaluation was that the recovery followed the economic realities of wealth distribution in the United States.
High-net-worth individuals recovered quickly from the recession. Higher education and healthcare, using comprehensive campaign business models, were achieving the majority of their philanthropic attainment from high-net-worth individuals and their related organizations. international relief and development, along with other nonprofit sectors, had higher distributions of middle-class giving.
This observation reinforced the need for nonprofits to adopt models more likely to engage the top of the pyramid. Comprehensive campaign models began to appear across nonprofit sectors. Dollars continued to rise. Mega giving increased. And the shift in focus away from the masses contributed to overall donor participation declines.