Programmatic Donor Recognition in a Picture

August 25th, 2014

DR Hierarchy1DRhierAs a donor recognition consultant, I am asked often what I mean when I refer to a programmatic approach to donor recognition. This one picture says it all.

Efficiency and Accuracy. Continue reading »

Improve Your NonProfit’s Website….Now!

August 13th, 2014

web confusedWas reminded this week of how often not-for-profit websites miss the opportunity to inform, invite, excite and even IGNITE giving on-line. Continue reading »

A Troubling Trend for Fundraising

August 5th, 2014

Fundraisers might well take note that although the annual total for giving in the US is rising, the number of donors is falling.  Continued giving and donor retention have long been seen as keys to long term fundraising success. Yet the acquisition of new donors may be most important to assuring a viable future for a non profit.

Read more in depth about The Long Term Trend that is Going Unnoticed.

As a donor recognition program consultant, my identification of actions and policies that influence donor retention and continued giving are vital to my work as counsel to fundraisers. This trend of major donor attrition  is one I have “felt” but could not prove myself. I appreciated having this highlighted for me.

Dennis W. Linderbaum of UnityPoint Health Foundation, upon reading about this trend said he has seen real evidence of this with both their employee campaigns and  overall fundraising efforts. His reality supports that they are raising more money from fewer people. He says that “the old 80-20 rule has been replaced by a 95-5 or perhaps even a 97-3 rule — 97% of the funds raised come from 3%” of their donors.

Interestingly, he acknowledged that “this could be a sign of the economic situation where the middle class has seen its resources diminish ever since 1980 or so”. But he suggests another, troubling reality that may be influencing the decline. This may well be the result of what he called an “incredible increase in competition from an ever-growing non-profit sector”.

Fundraisers must be vigilant within their own internal analyses to understand their own trend(s) and to identify and address to the causes for it.

Written by Robin E. Williams

2014 GIVING USA: Summary

June 30th, 2014
GIVE

Giving USA: Americans Gave #335.17 Billion to Charity in 2013: Total Approached Pre-Recession Peak- See more at: http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu/news/article/giving-usa-2014#sthash.ImgXmcMb.dpuf

More specifics and quick summaries were provided by David King, President of Alexander Haas said at the monthly meeting of the Association for Fundraising Professionals — Greater Atlanta on June 17.

The biggest finding for fundraisers this year is that corporate giving is down to its lowest level in 35 years.

As reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, King said, “Giving by corporations decreased by 1.9 percent in 2013. Corporate giving as a percentage of pre-tax profits was at 0.8 percent in 2013. The last time it was that low was in 1979.high-water mark was in 1986 when corporations gave away 2 percent of their pre-tax profits, and it has steadily declined ever since… 65 percent of all corporate giving is in non-cash donations — and 21 percent of that giving is pharmaceuticals. So the actual giving of charitable dollars by corporations is much lower than the 0.8 percent.”

Interestingly, religion, though still the single largest sector, continues its decline. “In 1987, 53 percent of all charitable donations were to religious institutions, and now that has dropped to just 31 percent.”

During a recession, giving usually shifts to human services and the recent “Great Recession” was no different. Yet now that the economy is improving, charitable giving once more returns “to sectors that contribute to a community’s quality of life”…. “Giving to the arts, environment/animal and health organizations showed strong increases in 2013.”

Education seems to be the biggest winner as the economy improves. “Between 2009 and 2013, giving to education is up 37 percent.”

A Closer Look at the Data by “Giving USA“:

  • Giving by individuals increased 4.2 percent (2.7 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised estimate of $230.91 billion in 2012.
  • Giving by corporations decreased 1.9 percent (-3.2 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised estimate of $18.22 billion in 2012.
  • Giving by foundations increased 5.7 percent (4.2 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised estimate of $46.34 billion in 2012.
  • Giving by bequest increased 8.7 percent (7.2 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised estimate of $25.50 billion in 2012.
  • Giving to religion was flat (-0.2 percent) between 2012 and 2013, with an estimated $105.53 billion in contributions. Inflation-adjusted giving to the religion subsector declined 1.6 percent.
  • Giving to education is estimated to have increased 8.9 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $52.07 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to education organizations increased 7.4 percent.
  • Giving to human services increased by an estimated 2.2 percent in 2013, totaling
  • $41.51 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to human services organizations increased by 0.7 percent.
  • Giving to foundations is estimated to have declined by 15.5 percent in 2013, to $35.74 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to foundations declined 16.7 percent.
  • Giving to health organizations is estimated to have increased 6.0 percent between 2012  and 2013 (an increase of 4.5 percent, adjusted for inflation), to $31.86 billion.
  • Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased by an estimated 8.5 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $23.89 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to public-society  benefit organizations grew 7.0 percent.
  • Giving to arts, culture, and humanities is estimated to have increased 7.8 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $16.66 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to the arts, culture, and humanities subsector increased 6.3 percent.
  • Giving to international affairs is estimated to be $14.93 billion in 2013, a decrease of 6.7 percent from 2012. Adjusted for inflation, giving to international affairs organizations declined by 8.0 percent.
  • Giving to environmental and animal organizations is estimated to have increased 7.5 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $9.72 billion. Adjusted for inflation, donations to the environment/animals subsector increased 6.0 percent.
  • Giving to individuals is estimated to have risen 1.4 percent between 2012 and 2013, to $3.7 billion. The bulk of these donations are in-kind gifts of medications to patients in need, made through the Patient Assistance Programs of pharmaceutical companies’ operating foundations.