Giving by Generation

Conflicting data about fundraising is, unfortunately, nothing new.  It is akin to the data on drinking alcohol:  don’t do it; do it in moderation for certain health benefits.  Nor is it new to feel overwhelmed by all the data, even when it isn’t conflicting.  So when three different sources predict that 2018 donations will fall because of last year’s changes to the standard deduction, people pay attention.

The American Enterprise Institute, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Tax Policy Center have all said that Read more

The 2% Solution

Year after year, charitable giving makes up only 2% of America’s GDP.  I don’t care what the actual number of dollars is because it still always amount to the same small percentage.

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I was intrigued when I caught a headline suggesting there were three ways to increase this 2%.  Sadly, though the author of the article says these three things could move the needle on the GDP, they certainly didn’t move me: legacy giving (the new term for planned giving), donor Read more

Freedom vs. Burden in Charitable Giving

It starts right about now:  an increase in solicitations in your snail and email boxes, on your phone and via all forms of social media, asking for donations for what is hoped is your favorite charity.  It continues with the news articles and radio and television stories on assessing where and how to give.  It continues right up to the first note of Auld Lang Syne.

The tug of war has begun:  charities that need your money versus the highly sought (and in high demand) donors Read more

Brain Drain

So, the IRS has added 155 new employees to its Exempt Organizations unit, bringing the total to 921; 100 of these new employees have been assigned to the division that does audits of nonprofits.  Yipee!  Apparently, brain drain has been happening within the Exempt Organizations unit, as many with long service in the unit are retiring.  So, whether this is an overall increase in bodies or not, it is clearly a loss of knowledge, experience and an expertise that comes only with years and years Read more

Getting Comfortable with Caring

How do I say write this without sounding like an old fuddy duddy?  With great difficulty and a low likelihood of success!

I think it is absolutely marvelous that the Red Cross has collected over $100 million from around the globe for the victims of the Haitian earthquake, predominantly through the texting of pledges.  (Well, actually, I think it is marvelous that $100 million has been raised; I am a little dubious about the Red Cross receiving all of that money as their recent track record Read more

Hark! Are those Angels I hear?

I’ve only just learned of using the term angel as part of the explicit label of some investment companies.  I just thought that all venture capitalists and investors of whatever ilk were angels to someone or some organization by the very nature of what they did.  But as so frequently happens, I’ve since heard/read the term a trillion times in the weeks since. 

Angels in the nonprofit world, that’s another story.  We all have been looking for them since our inceptions, I’m sure.  Unless, Read more

Take Heart

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  Unless this year is the exception to the rule, nonprofits should not be worrying about whether or from where their next dollar will be coming.  Relax; it will be coming.

According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University (the Center), philanthropy is stronger than the stock market, social upheaval Read more

Zero Sum Game

Two new data points give with one piece of news and take away with the other.

According to Giving USA 2008, the news appears all glowing. In 2007, over $306 billion was given to charities by foundations, corporations and individuals, an increase of 3.9%. And, good news or better news, depending upon how your organization’s planned giving skills are, bequest giving rose 6.9%, after what is referred to as a “steep decline” in 2006. The conclusion Read more