Giving USA

Giving and the Golden Years: A Special Report from GUSA

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The JB+A Team was delighted to attend The Giving Institute’s March Meeting in Las Vegas last week for two days of insight, discussion and projection for the philanthropic sector. The Giving Institute is designed to help elevate the fundraising consulting and nonprofit services industry and enhance philanthropy across the United States. JB+A is the only Kansas City firm to be accepted to The Giving Institute and has been a member since 2005.

The March Meeting brings together Giving Institute members from all over the country for governance meetings and engaging educational sessions. This year’s meeting also offered a Mentor Series for professionals new to consulting. The Mentor Series involved a full day of educational sessions and workshops for an intimate group of twenty burgeoning consultants.

As Chair of the Board of Directors for The Giving Institute, Jeffrey Byrne opened and moderated Giving in the Golden Years, a live webcast on philanthropy and aging services. The panel included John Feather, Chief Executive Officer of Grantmakers In Aging, and Tom Hofmann, Ohio Living Chief Foundation Officer. John and Tom discussed and took questions on the Giving USA Special Report, Giving and the Golden Years: The Role of Private Giving in Aging Services Organizations, which provides a first-of-its-kind benchmark of the national aging services landscape, including information on state-by-state coverage and how these critical organizations are supported financially.

Here are a few core takeaways from this fascinating discussion on the future of aging services.

Aging is a Hard Sell

“Children are an investment. Old people are an expense.” This is what a philanthropist told one of our panelists recently. Aging is a reality that we tend to have trouble facing and this tendency to put other social services above aging has left us unprepared for the demand. According to their report, only 3% of American philanthropy goes to aging and only 2% from foundations.

Philanthropy to the Rescue

Twenty-five years ago there was no resource for aging organizations to understand how to lead their organizations into the future, and they have suffered as a result. There has been a lag in understanding that philanthropy can have a huge impact on performance. One of the most compelling findings from the report was the untapped potential for the sector to grow and thrive if only aging organizations and their CEOs engaged philanthropy as a serious component of their strategic plans.

All About the Pitch

There is little evidence that the baby boomers and established foundations will organically shift their focus to aging services as they themselves age. And the typical sales pitch for aging services organizations isn’t compelling enough. The panelists argue that a better approach is to focus on how your organization has an impact on the community at large. As a CEO or fundraiser, ask yourself: is my aging center part of a broader context that makes the community a better place to live for everyone, not just our residents? If funders can be convinced that you are part of a bigger philanthropic picture, they will be more compelled to give.

Your Own Worst Enemy

So why have aging services organizations lagged in adopting contributed revenue as a business driver? Mainly leaders struggle to view philanthropy as a long-term investment. When money is already short, investing in a strategy that could take years to produce a ROI feels risky to many CEOs.  There is also an ongoing battle to right the mentality that launching a fundraising component is giving up and/or exploiting fragile seniors. If a CEO is ready to implement fundraising, it’s important to educate staff and the Board as to what philanthropy really means and its potential to transform the organization if it has the right buy-in. The panelists are big believers in forming task forces to change the culture of your organization from within. Find a small group of trusted supporters of your fundraising initiative to have an open dialogue with your staff and Board about philanthropy. Institutional commitment to philanthropy is the key to fundraising success!

No Time Like the Present

Uncertainty in federal budget cuts has made foundations more cautious. If major budget cuts are passed, foundations will be called upon for major support from nonprofit organizations who haven’t considered diversified sources of funding. The panelists warn that we will see more hesitation from foundations to fund major projects/programs until there is more clarity from Washington. NOW is the time to talk to all your institutional funders in your local community. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The bulk of your fundraising should be cultivating individual donors over a long period of time.

To listen to the recording of the webcast click here and to purchase the full report click here. 

Giving in America Exhibition at National Museum of American History

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The National Museum of American History is currently featuring an exhibition on the history and evolution of American philanthropy. The exhibition examines how our national ideals of participation, equality, resourcefulness and shared responsibility have shaped a distinctive form of giving that is uniquely American.

deliveryserviceOne of the artifacts on display is a 1960 copy of the Giving USA report on fundraising statistics and trends published by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel (now known as The Giving Institute). As Jeffrey Byrne carries out his duties as Board Chair of The Giving Institute, we are delighted to see the inclusion of this report.

To learn more about the Giving in America exhibition, please click here to visit the Smithsonian’s website.

Jeffrey Byrne Re-Elected Chair of The Giving Institute

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Representing National Consultant Thought Leaders in Philanthropy 

Jeffery ByrneThe JB+A Team is proud to announce Jeffrey D. Byrne, firm President + CEO, has been re-elected to Chair of the Board of Directors of The Giving Institute. The Giving Institute is designed to help elevate the fundraising consulting and nonprofit services industry and enhance the philanthropic sector. JB+A is the only Kansas City firm to be accepted to The Giving Institute and has been a member since 2005.

giving_institute_logoThe Giving Institute was originally founded in 1935, and beyond its original charge of promoting the evolution of a professional and ethical fundraising field, its other commitment is to promoting philanthropy. To this end, in 1955, it first published Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy and later incorporated the Giving USA Foundation to carry out and expand its public service goals.  Today, Giving USA is the most influential publication reporting on the sources and uses of longitudinal giving data for the past 62 years in the United States.

In his role as Chair of the Board, Jeffrey will continue to serve on the Giving USA Foundation Board. This term marks the 12th year that Jeffrey has served on The Giving Institute Board and his 8th year on the Executive Committee. Jeffrey leverages his position with The Giving Institute to bring more awareness to the field of philanthropy, and has been quoted in the New York Times and numerous television, periodical and radio interviews.

“These next 12 months will continue to be very special to me and JB+A, as I begin my second year in this role. It is an honor and privilege to serve in a leadership capacity for this great organization and for philanthropy,” says Jeffrey. “I am proud to work alongside such committed fellow Board members to elevate the nonprofit services industry and to enhance the impactful work being done through philanthropy.”

For more information about The Giving Institute, visit .

For more information about Giving USA FoundationTM visit

Catch Jeffrey Byrne on KC Cares

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KC Cares June 20 2016

JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne with KC Cares host Bill Brandmeyer

JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne is a regular guest on KC Cares, a weekly 60-minute radio program by, for and about the Kansas City nonprofit community. It is produced by KC Creative in association with Union Broadcasting.

Jeffrey spoke about Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy during his appearance with KC Cares on June 20.  You can listen to the podcast of the show here.

KC Cares is a means to raise awareness of the activities of local and national nonprofits, highlight their upcoming events and interview guest experts on issues of importance to the nonprofit community.

KC Cares is broadcast live at 3:00 pm every Monday on ESPN 1510 AM. It’s also streamed from the 1510 website a little after 3:00 pm on Mondays.

Top 5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Giving USA

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Jeffery ByrneJeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO

Every year, I truly enjoy pouring over the data in Giving USA.  But I also realize Giving USA is so much more than the annual report on philanthropy – it’s a valuable tool to help improve philanthropy.   Nonprofit organizations can use Giving USA to help identify trends in their sector as well as successes and opportunities for improvement in resource development.

Here are my top 5 ways to “own the numbers” and use Giving USA to improve your nonprofit fundraising efforts:

5.  Identify the factors impacting philanthropy in general and in your subsector; benchmark your fundraising performance against national averages and adjust fundraising strategies accordingly

4.  Understand the correlations between giving and other economic factors, such as the stock market, personal disposable income and GDP — these are trends closely monitored by even those working “outside” the philanthropy sector; educate Board members, constituencies and prospective donors about these factor that influence giving

3.  Confirm or dispel myths about giving; help manage expectations about giving and set realistic and achievable goals

2.  Educate Board members, volunteers, donors and staff about the broad context of philanthropic giving; help them better understand your organization’s funding patterns and potential

1.  Become familiar with the reported motivations behind household charitable giving; tailor conversations and appeals to match the interests of donors

And remember…

Be flexible: nonprofit fundraising must evolve as philanthropy evolves.  We are seeing an increase in the popularity of non-traditional giving vehicles and donors want more evidence of the impact of their gifts.

Be cognizant of the “individual giving effect”:  an estimated 88% of total giving in 2015 came from individuals, bequests and family foundations.  This drives home the importance of developing and maintaining meaningful relationships.

Strengthen your case for support:  the best cases are realistic, relevant and compelling while being supported by the facts and clearly communicating the purpose, programs and financial needs of your organization.

Celebrate your impact: Americans give an average of $1 billion a day to help others.  Giving continues to grow, and there is confidence it will return to or exceed pre-recession levels.  Nonprofits and donors are doing great work.

Giving makes a difference, to both giver and recipient, but there is undoubtedly room to do more.  So spread the word about the good philanthropy has done – and the good it will continue to do.


I’m happy to share the two traditional pie charts illustrating 2015 source contributions and recipients. Click here to download.

Giving USA 2016: An Estimated $373.25 Billion to Charity in 2015

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America’s Most Generous Year Ever
Giving from American individuals, foundations, estates and corporations sets a record for the second straight year

Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., U. S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect celebrated 11 Years of Giving USA in Kansas City. Dr. Patrick Rooney, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy presented Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015 on Tuesday, June 21, at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. 

Americans donated an estimated $373.25 billion to charity in 2015, achieving an all-time high for the second year in a row.  This figure also represents a 4.1 percent growth in current dollars (4.0 percent when adjusted for inflation) over the revised estimate of $358.60 billion in current dollars ($359.04 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars) given in 2014. Total giving increased a combined 10.1 percent (in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2014 and 2015 – the first time two-year combined total giving experienced double-digit growth since 2004-2005 (15.4 percent).3D GUSA 2016 cover

These findings are contained in Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015Giving USA is the longest-running and most comprehensive evaluation of philanthropic trends in the United States. Giving USA is published by the Giving USA Foundation and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“Americans give one billion dollars a day, on average, to help others,” said Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., “and charitable contributions are continuing to grow. This data is not only remarkable on its face, but also illustrates the generosity that Americans show year after year.” Byrne is also Board Chair of The Giving Institute, sister organization to the Giving USA Foundation, a public service and public trust dedicated to providing the highest-quality information about philanthropy.

This growth in giving is due, in large part, to the recovering economic environment and stabilization of household finances, particularly those at higher income levels.  While the S&P ended flat in 2015 (a -.7 percent change), there was growth in several other key economic indicators:  personal consumption – 3.4 percent, personal income – 4.4 percent, disposable personal income – 3.7 percent, corporate pre-tax profits – 3.3 percent and GDP – 3.5 percent.  Total giving in 2015 was 2.1 percent of GDP.  Giving as a percentage of GDP continues to hover around 2.0 percent as it has for the last five years.

“This growth in giving is a positive sign, and we see countless examples of the good work it has done.  Without question, we should celebrate our impact, but nonprofit fundraising must continue to evolve as philanthropy evolves. We are seeing a proliferation of non-traditional giving vehicles and donors increasingly seek evidence of the impact of their gifts. Nonprofits must initiate and maintain two-way dialogue with their donors – first, to listen and learn about the donor’s needs and aspirations and to then share a persuasive case for support and the variety of ways to give,” added Byrne.

In 2015, giving increased for all four donor (source) types.

GUSA 2016 sources slide

blue up arrowIndividual giving, at $264.58 billion, increased 3.8 percent in current dollars (3.7 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2014. Giving by individuals accounted for 71 percent – the largest share – of total giving in 2015.

blue up arrowFoundation giving, at $58.46 billion, was 6.52 percent higher than 2014 (6.3 percent higher when inflation-adjusted). Giving by foundations accounted for 16 percent of total giving in 2015.

blue up arrowBequest giving, at $31.76 billion, increased 2.1 percent (1.9 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2014. Giving through bequests accounted for 9.0 percent of total giving in 2015.

blue up arrowCorporate giving, at $18.45 billion, increased 3.9 percent (3.8 percent when inflation-adjusted) over 2014.  This figure ties corporate giving for the year 2005 for its highest level ever. Giving by corporations accounted for 5.0 percent of total giving in 2015.

Additional takeaways from Giving USA 2016 about 2015 sources:

  • The single largest contributor to the increase in total giving was an increase of $9.77 billion in giving by individuals.
  • Independent foundations account for the largest portion of foundation giving at 75 percent, and have the strongest influence on the total change in giving reported for foundations. Total estimated giving by independent foundations in 2015 was $43.70 billion. Giving by operating foundations was $7.95 billion and giving by community foundations was $6.80 billion.
  • Bequest giving figures include three mega-bequests: nearly $759 million from the estate of Richard Mellon Scaife, $605 million from the estate of John Santikos and $293 million from the estate of William Scheide. In 2015, the threshold for including a “mega-bequest” was $300 million, up from $200 million in 2014.

In 2015, giving increased to all but one recipient type.

GUSA 2016 recipient slideblue up arrowReligion, at $119.30 billion, received the largest share of total giving at 32 percent. Giving to religion increased 2.7 percent in current dollars, 2.6 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowEducation, at $57.48 billion, received the second-largest share of charitable dollars in 2015 at 15 percent of the total. Giving to education increased 8.9 percent over 2014 in current dollars, 8.8 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowHuman Services, at $45.21 billion, ranked third in total gifts received, at 12 percent of charitable dollars received. Giving to human services increased 4.2 percent in current dollars in 2015, 4.1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

blue down arrowFoundations, at $42.26 billion, amounted to the fourth-largest share of charitable dollars in 2015, at 11 percent of the total, but experienced a 3.8 percent decline in current dollars from 2014, 4.0 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowHealth, at $29.81 billion, received the fifth-largest share at 8.0 percent of the total. Giving to health increased 1.3 percent in current dollars over 2014, 1.2 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowPublic Society Benefit, at $26.95 billion, ranked sixth in total gifts received with 7.0 percent of the total. Giving to public-society benefit increased 6.0 percent in current dollars over 2014, 5.9 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowArts/Culture/Humanities, at $17.07 billion, received the seventh-largest proportion of total charitable dollars, with 5.0 percent of the total. Giving to arts/culture/humanities grew 7.0 percent in 2015, 6.8 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

blue up arrowInternational Affairs, at $15.75 billion, received the eighth-largest share of charitable dollars, with 4.0 percent of the total. Giving to international affairs increased 17.5 percent over 2014, 17.4 percent when adjusted for inflation.

blue up arrowEnvironment/Animals, at $10.68 billion, ranked ninth in total gifts received, with 3.0 percent of the total. Giving to environment/animals rose 6.2 percent in current dollars, 6.1 percent when adjusted for inflation, over 2014.

Individuals received 2.0 percent of 2015’s total giving – $6.56 billion dollars – mainly through in-kind donations of medicine via pharmaceutical company foundations’ patient assistance programs.

Additional takeaways from Giving USA 2016 about 2015 recipients:

  • Five charitable subsectors saw large increases in 2015: education, arts/culture/humanities, environment/animals, public-society benefit and international affairs. Each grew by more than 5.0 percent.
  • Giving to international affairs increased 17.5 percent in 2015 following two straight years of decline. This may be attributable to growth in the number of active international charities using more sophisticated fundraising methods, and an increased focus on international issues among foundations.
  • Giving to religion’s share of total giving has steadily shrunk for decades, yet this subsector still retains the largest share of charitable giving. Giving to religion has dropped from 53 percent of all donations in 1987 to 32 percent of the total in 2015.
  • Many types of tangible, appreciated assets such as artwork or manuscripts were donated to charitable organizations in 2015. As the overall valuation of art increases, it is becoming increasingly more attractive for donors to contribute works of art – particularly as mega-gifts.

“With an estimated 88 percent of total giving in 2015 coming from individuals, bequests and family foundations, it remains critically important to remember philanthropy is about establishing and growing relationships,” says Byrne.  “By forming long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, you create donors who have confidence in the integrity and ability of the fundraiser as well as confidence in the organization.”

For more information about the Giving USA Foundation click here.

For more information about the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, click here.

For additional information, about The Giving Institute, click here

Giving USA: An Important Resource for the Nonprofit Community

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3D GUSA 2016 coverGiving USA 2016 will be released on June 14, 2016.

On June 21, Giving USA 2016 comes to Kansas City with Dr. Patrick Rooney, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.  This program is part of Nonprofit Connect’s 501(c)Success National Speaker Series, and will be held at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.  Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program runs from 7:50 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Register today to reserve your spot.

For more than 60 years, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy has been the trusted source for all-encompassing giving data.  Its research estimates all giving to all charitable organizations across the U.S. A public outreach initiative of the Giving USA Foundation, the report is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

The research covers 53 million households across the U.S., nearly 16 million corporations claiming charitable deductions, more than one million estates and approximately 82,000 foundations.  Giving USA is very important to the nonprofit community.  Why?

  • it is the longest-running and most comprehensive context for annual giving
  • it identifies trends and opportunities in the nonprofit sector
  • nonprofits can compare their fundraising performance against national data to measure their performance
  • organizations can use it to educate their staff and Board members about the philanthropic sector
  • nonprofits can use the report to help define and refine strategies for their own fundraising success and growth

The full Giving USA 2016 report will be available in hard copy and digital (.pdf) formats on June 14.  Pre-order your copy now and save 10%Click here to get your copy today.

To learn more about the Giving USA Foundation and its sister organization, The Giving Institute, click here.

NRC Survey Reveals More Nonprofits are Conducting Campaigns – with Greater Fundraising Success

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Compared with 2011, significantly more nonprofits are conducting campaigns, and they are more likely to be receiving higher amounts in charitable gifts.  More than half of charities surveyed reported growth in charitable receipts.

NRC logo

These findings are part of several in a special report recently released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC). The Special Report on Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns is based on results from 1,071 nonprofits surveyed during the summer of 2015. The report also shares information obtained about fundraising results and overall charitable receipts in early 2015 with regional, sector and organizational size comparisons.

In the survey, 27 percent of organizations reported being in a capital, comprehensive or combined campaign as of the summer of 2015.  And 19 percent reported being in a special campaign, meaning nearly half of all organizations responding to the survey had a focused effort to raise funds. This compares to just 12 percent from the 2011 study.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents saw fundraising receipts increase from January through June 2015, compared with the same time last year. This is an increase from 52 percent in 2014. Charitable receipts rose at 71 percent of Education organizations, much higher than the 58 percent seeing increases as of mid-2014. This subsector had the highest percentage of survey participants reporting growth in charitable gifts received. Sixty-three percent of Human Services organizations saw charitable receipts increase, much greater than the 48 percent reported in 2014. This is the first time that more than half of Human Services charities have seen an increase as of mid-year since tracking began in 2011.

View the full report here for more insights on campaigns and fundraising results in 2015.

JB+A is a proud member of The Giving Institute, which, since 1935, has championed thought leadership on philanthropy and fundraising in the nonprofit sector. Through the Giving USA Foundation, The Giving Institute produces the Giving USA Annual Report and partners with other groups to provide valuable research and data about charitable giving.

#GivingTuesday 2015

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GivingTuesday264x792 Template (14x40)On Tuesday, December 8, The Giving Institute hosted a webinar revealing preliminary results, a sampling of success stories and important takeaways from #GivingTuesday 2015. We are pleased to share some highlights of this webinar and celebrate the success of this year’s #GivingTuesday with you. It’s not too soon to begin thinking about how you will be a part of this powerful, annual tradition in 2016.

The fourth year of #GivingTuesday set another milestone in giving: an estimated $116.7 million in donations were made on December 1, 2015 – a 181% increase over 2014.

The brainchild of the 92nd Street Y has once again inspired an incredible demonstration of charitable giving, bolstering the continued development of our philanthropic environment by encouraging bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season.

As the numbers continue to grow and our mechanisms for capturing and analyzing activity on this day become more sophisticated, we better understand the impact as well as potential of this event.

The Numbers:

The figures illustrated below are early estimates provided by The Case Foundation, with data gathered from 24 platform partners who collaborated to provide these measurements. It is important to note that while these numbers are approximations, they still illustrate the undeniable growth trends of #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday 2015:

  • $116.7 million in total dollars raised
  • 1.08 million total gifts
  • $107.47 mean gift size
  • 698,961 total donors
  • 1.3 million social media mentions related to #GivingTuesday
  • 114 billion impressions on Twitter
  • 917,313 users reached on Facebook
  • 71 countries participated
  • Top 5 Issues: Education, Environment, Animals, Health Care, International Affairs

The Takeaways:

  • #GivingTuesday is still on the rise: in its fourth year, it continues to gain momentum
  • A #GivingTuesday campaign is an effective way to kickoff year-end giving
  • Nonprofits who participate in #GivingTuesday are outpacing their peers in donations
  • Mobile usage in on the rise: approximately 27.18% of donation forms were viewed on mobile devices
  • #GivingTuesday motivates a broad population through peer-to-peer inspiration and encouragement
  • Graphic images and stories of impact on social media draw maximum attention and donor response
  • #GivingTuesday increases the confidence and comfort of volunteers to make an ask (The entire world is giving back today, and I want my organization to benefit from that.)
  • Establishing an overall goal for a #GivingTuesday campaign helps create a sense of urgency
  • #GivingTuesday is a great platform for encouraging new and/or lapsed donors to give
  • Matching gifts/challenge gifts are a great way to increase the impact of a #GivingTuesday campaign

So what does all of this mean?

We simply cannot measure to full impact of #GivingTuesday: dollars raised, hours volunteered, awareness increased, causes supported, growth in the culture of philanthropic giving—the variables to assess are seemingly endless.

But the growth of this phenomenon is certain. The opportunities for nonprofits to benefit from this collaborative culture of giving and service are tremendous. What was initially dismissed by many as a fad movement, #GivingTuesday has revolutionized the way our world is engaging in philanthropy, and has started an incredible movement that will only continue to build in volume and generosity in years to come.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

As the holiday season continues, the folks at #GivingTuesday are encouraging the use of the hashtag #ThankYouWednesday. They are hoping nonprofit organizations can again capitalize on the power of social media to demonstrate impact by sharing stories of success, continuing to educate about why giving is so important and expressing perpetual gratitude for those who support them.