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Fundraising and the Generosity Crisis

Photo illustration showing three donation jars—one is full of coins, one is half-full, and one is empty

The nonprofit world is staring down the hard truth of declining rates of giving. Fewer than half of American households give to charity, down from two-thirds in the early 2000s.

Misdirected fundraising that is doing little to stoke humans’ innate generosity might be part of the problem. Indeed, an obsession with cash may be tamping down the desire to give.

Experts say nonprofits can help turn things around — if they change their approach to fundraising and work to forge stronger connections with supporters.