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The Giving Institute

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. 

Tax Reform Under President Trump: What’s Next for Nonprofits?

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Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. is a proud member of The Giving Institute, and as such, we also belong to the Charitable Giving Coalition. Formed in 2009, the Coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable tax deduction, which is crucial to ensuring our nation’s charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions.

Firm President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne served as The Giving Institute’s representative to the Charitable Giving Coalition in 2015 and remains actively involved in the Coalition’s mission to ensure that the charitable deduction and other tax provisions retain their positive impact in supporting essential community services. JB+A will continue to monitor situations that could affect charitable giving incentives and update you with developments or when calls to action are encouraged.

With days to go until the Trump administration takes office, The Charitable Giving Coalition is working hard to ensure the future of the nonprofit sector. Over the past few years, our sector has been subject to increasing scrutiny, and with talk of impending tax reform under the new administration, it is crucial that our government representatives understand the impact nonprofits have on people and communities.

What is at stake?

Charitable giving incentives, particularly the charitable deduction. Congress enacted the charitable giving deduction in 1917 and since then, no other tax provision has generated a more positive public impact. It offers a vital and unique incentive to taxpayers that, in 2015, helped generate more than $373 billion (the highest total ever recorded over the past 60 years) to support charitable causes (GivingUSA).

Consider the following:

  • Nonprofits generate $1.1 trillion every year providing human services
  • 1 in 10 Americans work for a nonprofit, providing 13.5 million jobs
  • For every $1 subject to the charitable deduction, communities see $3 in benefits

Still, some politicians have suggested lowering or even eliminating the deduction in order to reduce the federal deficit. Proponents of preserving the deduction feel very strongly that the government cannot and will not find a better way to leverage private investment in nonprofit and worthy causes.

Why now?

All new administrations bring change, but President-elect Trump’s campaign promises suggest a major overhaul to the current tax code is in the works. We know that taxpayers adjust their charitable contributions based on changes in the tax code. As the President-elect’s team considers restrictions on itemized deductions ($100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples/families filing jointly), it is vital that charitable giving is exempt from these restrictions. If not, the incentive to give is no longer there and the future of many nonprofits is at risk.

What can you do?

The Charitable Giving Coalition is already taking action to preserve the charitable giving deduction. You can read their letter to President-elect Trump here. As nonprofit professionals, philanthropic leaders and American citizens it is also our duty (and privilege) to interact with, educate and influence our representatives in government. There are many ways you can advocate for the philanthropic sector. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Jeffrey Byrne’s piece on Advocacy in Philanthropy from the JB+A archives.

Our sector is lucky to have a number of highly competent bodies monitoring situations like this and advocating in support of nonprofits, but it’s up to all of us to make sure they succeed. To learn more about the Charitable Giving Coalition and how you can take action to preserve the charitable giving deduction, visit http://protectgiving.org/.

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 www.GivingInstitute.org .

For more information about Giving USA FoundationTM visit www.GivingUSA.org.

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.

Nonprofit Research Collaborative Winter 2016 Survey Now Open

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Did you see the recent report by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) about fundraising campaigns? It revealed current fundraising trends, reinforcing that campaigns are continuing to have greater fundraising success. Identifying such patterns is critical to understanding our industry and maximizing fundraising efforts. The research behind this report and others like it is essential, which is why we need you and other fundraising experts to share your insights through surveys.

A new study by the NRC is now open and your expertise is needed.

The survey should take less than 15 minutes for someone who is familiar with 2015 results in your organization. Most of the questions are about fundraising methods and results, though some of the questions seek insight into the metrics used. The survey will close on February 5.

Take Winter 2016 Survey Here  

These Surveys are a valuable tool for our industry, and we hope you will take the time to participate. Thank you in advance for your help in developing this ground-breaking research.

You will have the option to see early results when you submit your survey responses. The full report will be released in March. Remember, the deadline to participate in February 5.

You can also view the Special Report on Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns here, for insights on campaigns and fundraising results in 2015.

giving_institute_logoJB+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 such as the National Research Collaborative, to provide valuable research and data about charitable giving.

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

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Current Events/News, Fundraising, Giving USA, Major Gift Solicitation, The Giving Institute | No Comments

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.

Donor-Advised Funds: Parking or Philanthropy?

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Commentary, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Grants, Insights, News You Can Use, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Jeffery Byrne

Jeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

The Giving Institute recently hosted its Summer Symposium in Boston, and I attended a very informative session on “The Charitable Landscape and Donor-Advised Funds” presented by Matt Nash, a Senior Vice President with Fidelity Charitable. I felt the presentation made a good case for donor-advised funds, and has helped me re-shape my thinking around this giving vehicle.

As fundraisers and nonprofit managers, we know donor-advised funds (DAFs) have been a part of American philanthropy for decades. We’ve also undoubtedly noticed (perhaps with some chagrin?) that DAFs are quickly becoming more and more popular vehicles for charitable giving. Their role in shaping the charitable landscape has grown dramatically over the past two decades and we can only expect this trend to continue. Many of us have probably also wondered how to “crack the DAF nut” – how to successfully secure this type of funding and connect with the seemingly anonymous individuals behind the mechanism. Since 1991, Fidelity Charitable has operated as an independent public charity and currently sponsors the nation’s largest DAF program. Its mission includes programming to make giving simple and effective. So how do they do that through a funding mechanism that feels like an enigma, and what are the benefits – to both donors and nonprofits?

I learned a lot about the state of DAFs from Matt’s presentation. For example, Fidelity Charitable holds nearly $15 billion in assets in more than 72,000 DAFs (Fidelity Charitable calls them Giving Accounts) which are held by more than 119,000 individuals (known as donors). The average age when opening a DAF is 54 and the current donor age is 62. Donors establish Giving Accounts as they approach retirement age, and 62% of Fidelity donors say they are using these donor-advised funds as a way to sustain giving through retirement. It is also interesting to note that more than half of Fidelity’s donor contributions were non-cash assets and 3/4 of donors say the ability to donate such assets is a reason for setting up their fund. In 2014, more than half of contributions were made with non-cash assets.

Fidelity Charitable is the second-largest grant making entity in the United States, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2014, it awarded $2.6 billion in donor-recommended grants to 97,000 charities. The total amount granted by Fidelity has tripled over the past 10 years, as has the number of grants of $1 million or more. In the first six months of the 2015 calendar year alone, Fidelity has set a record with its 310,000 donor-recommended grants.

Once assets have been contributed to a Giving Account, they can be invested for short- or long-term giving goals. Donors can recommend an investment strategy that aligns with their own charitable goals and time frames, and potentially grow their charitable dollars tax free. And most DAF participants list tax benefit as a motivation for using a DAF. Is this “parking” funds? Perhaps. But isn’t it also empowering philanthropy? Absolutely! There is a correlation between investment growth and grant making. Fidelity reported its assets rose from $12.8 billion to $14.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. Grants rose 32% over the previous year. While the average grant size remains consistent, the number of grants per Giving Account continues to grow. And most contributions to Fidelity Charitable are granted out to charities within 10 years.

The median Giving Account balance is just over $16,000, and 60% of Giving Accounts have balances under $25,000. But more than 5,500 accounts have balances upwards of $250,000. The majority of grants were recommended online and Fidelity offers a free, online tool (the DAF Direct Widget) that nonprofits can add to their websites, helping donors recommend grants directly from the charity’s website. Donors are also taking advantage of being able to pre-schedule their giving, and pre-scheduled grants make up about 1/5 of outgoing grants from Fidelity. And contrary to some perceptions, most grants–92% of them–are not anonymous, but include names and addresses for acknowledging the gift.

Consider these takeaways when navigating the world of DAFs and meaningfully engaging DAF (and ultimately your organization’s) donors:

  • Flag the DAF and gifts in your donor database
  • Recognize the donor in stewardship, not the DAF sponsor
  • Seek to engage the donor, even if the initial gift is small
  • Be sure to include DAFs in your organization’s “Ways of Giving”

And remember, most donors complement their DAF giving with cash giving; often times, the DAFs are used in strategic and larger giving, while cash or cash equivalent gifts are used for smaller donations and more casual giving. DAFs are becoming increasingly more popular and nonprofits should recognize and work with DAFs and their donors as ways to strengthen philanthropy.

Participate in the NRC Summer Survey

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The deadline to participate in the survey is Wednesday, August 19.  Thank you for taking 15 minutes to answer these questions. Your feedback will provide unique insights into fundraising practice, to help your organization and others.  

As a member of The Giving Institute, JB+A is a proud partner of the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), which studies trends in fundraising twice a year. The NRC Summer 2015 survey began collecting data late last month, and is inviting charities in the U.S. and Canada to participate.

The survey link is www.surveymonkey.com/r/NRC_GUSA. Every survey from the NRC asks whether your organization is meeting its fundraising goals, which helps determine what activities are successful in fundraising today.

Prior reports can be viewed at www.NPResearch.org. The site has some new infographics showing conclusions since the NRC began in 2010, including annual fund, board engagement and social media use.

The best person to answer this summer’s survey will be familiar with all aspects of fundraising in your organization, so please feel free to share the link with the appropriate individual.

Jeffrey Byrne Elected Chair of The Giving Institute

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Represents National Consultant Thought Leaders in Philanthropy

The JB+A Team is proud to announce Jeffrey D. Byrne, firm President + CEO, has been 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.

“I know the Kansas City nonprofit community and his client partners across the U.S. will benefit from Jeffrey’s leadership and guidance in this role,” says G. Kenneth Baum, longtime Kansas City civic leader.

The 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 61 years in the United States.

“Jeffrey’s election as Board Chair is a testament to his longtime commitment to philanthropy and nonprofit fundraising success,” says Wendy Powell, member of the Powell Gardens Board of Directors. “I have worked with Jeffrey on several fundraising projects over the last 15 years, and his passion for philanthropy is genuine and unwavering.”

In his role as Chair of the Board, Jeffrey will continue to serve on the Giving USA Foundation Board. This term marks the 11th year that Jeffrey has served on The Giving Institute Board and his 7th year on the Executive Committee.

“For our client partners,” says Jeffrey, “this appointment reaffirms our commitment to their fundraising success. We will continue to share with them our fundraising leadership, industry best practices and the latest sector research and trends.”

Jeffrey adds: “These next 12 months will be very special to me and JB+A. Not only do I have the honor and privilege of serving in a leadership capacity for this great organization, but will be doing so during a very commemorative year: the 80th Anniversary of The Giving Institute and the 60th Anniversary of the Giving USA Foundation. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with a great leadership team of fellow Board members, and we will diligently continue our work toward The Institute’s vision to develop extraordinary leaders in the world of philanthropy.”