3 November 2021 | Reports and Studies | Gabrielle Gean

Malaysia: 2021 End-of-Year Holiday Fundraising Outlook

The Season of Giving is here, which means a new window of opportunity for nonprofit fundraising is opening. In SG Support’s first Fundraising Outlook of 2021, we turn to Malaysia, where Christmas giving is a norm. We studied the historical fundraising performance in Malaysia and predict how the pandemic may influence giving trends in 2021.

What can we expect from holiday donations in 2021?

Compared to 2019’s performance, new recurring donations in December 2020 declined by 23% year-over-year (see Figure 1). Even though nonprofits were able to sustain one-time donations, the impact of several lockdowns caused a drop in total new donation amount by 22%, for both one-time and recurring donations (see Figure 2). However, some key obstacles to new donation growth last year appear to be coming to an end.

Figure 1

Total new donations declined sharply in 2020 due to Face-to-Face acquisition in Malaysia being disrupted.

Holiday New Donation YoY Growth (%)

Holiday fundraising year on year growth 2016 - 2020 Fig 1

Figure 2

While new acquisitions declined in 2020, more people were donating during the pandemic compared to Years 2016-2018.

Holiday New Donation YoY Growth ($M)

Holiday New Donation YoY Growth ($M)

Economic tailwinds could bring charities the gift of higher donations…

As the progress on vaccination efforts continues, the Malaysian economy is gradually reopening to the “next normal”. Based on post-lockdown fundraising performance in the first half of 2021, new donation amounts rose as many people were increasingly eager to go out and reconnect with friends and family.

After Malaysia’s Second Movement Control Order lifted at the end of February 2021, new donations increased by 185% MoM (see Figure 3). Similarly, as the longest lockdown and interstate travel ban was lifted in October 2021, we expect a rise in new donations for the next three months.

Figure 3

New donations in Malaysia are expected to grow in December 2021, given past post-lockdown trends.

Total New Donation Amount by Month in 2021

Total New Donation Amount (MYR) by Month in 2021 Fig 3

Feeling more cheerful this year, donors may be more eager to give

The average recurring gift value has increased from US$14 to US$15 in 2021. Similarly, the average one-time gift value from new donors is higher this year compared to the last. If this trend continues, we anticipate a higher total donation amount from new donors this year.

Figure 4

In 2021, new donors are expected to donate a higher gift size, both one-time and recurring.

Avg. Gift Value YoY Growth (%)Avg. Gift Value YoY Growth (%) Fig 4

However, there are some headwinds to prepare for…

Other non-charitable spending

Although there’s an expected rise in charitable giving, nonprofits must consider the possibility of existing or potential donors spending more on consumer goods and services. As Malaysia’s economy just reopened mid of last month, people are expected to spend on travel, restaurants, retail, and services.

Another COVID-19 wave

Malaysia’s COVID-19 daily cases dropped drastically in October, but pandemic uncertainty can dampen the pace of fundraising and donation recovery.

Our final prediction

The ability of nonprofits to handle unanticipated changes will become the single most critical element deciding whether they will be able to improve fundraising during the holiday season. The fast-changing market will force nonprofits to adopt new technology and methods of working, welcome new talents, build stronger ties with their donors, and more in the next months and years. Those who win are the ones who will develop an insurgent attitude and think about disruption proactively.

What are your holiday fundraising predictions? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this analysis and other holiday topics you would like to read. Drop us a note at consulting@sgsupport.com

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