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Giving USA 2018: Americans gave $410.02 Billion to Charity in 2017

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Giving USA 2018: Americans gave $410.02 billion to charity in 2017, crossing the $400 billion mark for the first time
Stock market, economic conditions helped drive solid growth in contributions across the board

Powered by a booming stock market and a strong economy, charitable giving by American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations to U.S. charities surged to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017, according to Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017, released today.

Giving exceeded $400 billion in a single year for the first time, increasing 5.2 percent (3.0 percent adjusted for inflation) over the revised total of $389.64 contributed in 2016.

Giving USA, the longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America, is published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute. It is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

Giving from all four sources and giving to all but one of the major types of recipient organizations grew in 2017, driven by economic conditions. While policy developments may have played some role in charitable giving in 2017, most of the effects of the tax policy changes adopted in late December 2017 likely will affect giving in 2018 and beyond.

“Americans continue to give, and they continue to give generously,” says Jeffrey D. Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. “Even during a time of intensely different perspectives and ideology – especially on the political front – people are giving more as they have more resources available and they are giving to a wide-range of causes.”

The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock market, as evidenced by 19.4 percent growth in the S&P 500. Investment returns funded multiple very large gifts, most of which were given by individuals to their foundations, including two gifts of $1 billion or more.

In addition to the S&P 500, other economic factors, such as personal income and personal consumption, are associated with households’ long-term financial stability and have historically been correlated with giving by individuals. These factors also experienced strong growth in 2017.

The Numbers for 2017 Charitable Giving by Source
All four sources of giving – individuals (70 percent of the total), foundations (16 percent), bequests (9 percent) and corporations (5 percent) increased their 2017 donations over 2016, according to the report.

  • Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $286.65 billion, rising 5.2 percent in 2017 (3.0 percent, adjusted for inflation). The single largest contributor to the increase in total charitable giving in 2017 was an increase of $14.47 billion in giving by individuals.
  • Giving by foundations increased 6.0 percent, to an estimated $66.90 billion in 2017 (3.8 percent, adjusted for inflation). Grantmaking by community foundations rose 11.0 percent from 2016. Grantmaking by operating foundations and independent foundations also increased, at 6.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Giving by foundations has seen strong growth for the past seven years; its five-year annualized average growth rate of 7.6 percent far exceeds the 4.3 percent annualized average growth rate for total giving. Data on foundation giving are provided by the Foundation Center.
  • Giving by bequest totaled an estimated $35.70 billion in 2017, increasing 2.3 percent from 2016 (0.2 percent, adjusted for inflation). Gifts from bequests tend to fluctuate year to year, largely due to very large gifts being made in some years and not in others.
  • Giving by corporations is estimated to have increased by 8.0 percent in 2017, totaling $20.77 billion (5.7 percent, adjusted for inflation). Corporate giving includes cash and in-kind contributions made through corporate giving programs, as well as grants and gifts made by corporate foundations. Corporate foundation grantmaking is estimated to have totaled $6.09 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.5 percent (in current dollars) from 2016. Corporate giving was boosted by $405 million in contributions for relief related to natural and manmade disasters.

The Numbers for 2017 Gifts to Charitable Organizations
Giving USA’s research also examines what happens within nine different recipient categories of charities. In 2017, giving to eight of the nine major types of recipient organizations significantly increased in 2017. Giving to foundations experienced the largest gain of any subsector (an increase of 15.5 percent), far outpacing the growth in total giving. Arts/culture/humanities was the second-fastest growing subsector.  Giving to international affairs decreased following six consecutive years of growth.

  • Giving to religion increased 2.9 percent (0.7 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, with an estimated $127.37 billion in contributions.
  • Giving to education is estimated to have increased 6.2 percent (4.0 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $58.90 billion.
  • Giving to human services increased by an estimated 5.1 percent (2.9 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2017, totaling $50.06 billion.
  • Giving to foundations is estimated to have increased by 15.5 percent (13.1 percent adjusted for inflation) in 2017, to $45.89 billion. This growth was driven by extraordinarily large gifts by major philanthropists, such as Michael and Susan Dell and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, to their foundations.
  • Giving to health is estimated to have increased by 7.3 percent (5.1 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $38.27 billion.
  • Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased an estimated 7.8 percent (5.5 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $29.59 billion.
  • Giving to arts, culture, and humanities is estimated to have increased 8.7 percent (6.5 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $19.51 billion.
  • Giving to international affairs is estimated to be $22.97 billion in 2017, a decline of 4.4 percent (6.4 percent adjusted for inflation) from 2016, but still reached its third-highest level ever recorded.
  • Giving to environmental and animal organizations is estimated to have increased 7.2 percent (5.0 percent adjusted for inflation) between 2016 and 2017, to $11.83 billion.

In addition, giving to individuals, which is less than 2 percent of total giving, is estimated to have declined 20.7 percent (22.4 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars) in 2017, to $7.87 billion, primarily as a result of an unusually high increase in 2016. 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.

“At $410 billion, giving in the US has reached 41 percent of a trillion dollars,” says Byrne. “There is a heightened interest in the overall economic environment and other factors that contributed to the growth of giving in 2017. This is a very positive sign for the overall outlook of philanthropy. I am optimistic we will reach $1 trillion in charitable giving in the next couple of years.”

Explore Giving USA products and resources, including free highlights of each annual report at its online store at www.givingusa.org for more information. And be sure to check out Jeffrey Byrne’s advice on how nonprofits can use Giving USA to improve fundraising.

Join JB+A and Nonprofit Connect for Anne Wallestad and 501(c)Success on April 26

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Anne Wallestad
President and CEO BoardSource

Recognizing the critical partnership between boards and executives, and the impact of that partnership on overall organizational success, BoardSource helps nonprofit leaders invest in their leadership partnership by providing research, thought leadership and practical supports that help transform board structures, dynamics and perspectives.

Check out Anne’s thoughts on the power of boards in “Don’t Just Sit on a Board: Stand for Your Mission” from Huffington Post.

Anne was appointed to her position in 2013, after having served on BoardSource’s leadership team for nearly five years. She has overseen a period of remarkable growth and change, helping BoardSource expand its leadership voice and build a scalable model of program delivery that has resulted in a more than 200 percent growth in the number of leaders served. She has played an instrumental role in the launch of several new leadership initiatives including the Stand for Your Mission campaign, which challenges board leaders to play a stronger role in advocacy and public policy.

With 20 years of executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, Anne has worked closely with boards of directors and volunteers in a number of national and local organizations and has cultivated deep expertise in fundraising strategy and leveraging the board’s fundraising role. She has served on a number of advisory committees and panels, including the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations Panel on the Nonprofit Sector and Independent Sector’s 2014 Ethics & Accountability Advisory Committee. Under her leadership, BoardSource has been recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Drucker Prize for innovation and named a Best Nonprofit to Work For in 2016 and 2017. Anne herself has been honored as one of The Nonprofit Times’ “Power & Influence Top 50.”

Anne graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Drake University, with degrees in both sociology and English. She is also a graduate of Stanford University Graduate School of Business’ Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

Be sure to register for the first 501(c) Success Series program of 2018 featuring Anne Wallestad, President & CEO of BoardSource, a globally recognized organization focused on strengthening nonprofit board and executive leadership.

Thursday, April 26, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM
7:30 AM – Continental breakfast served
7:55 AM – Program starts

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Fees/Admission
$25 – Nonprofit Connect members
$50 – Nonmembers
(A light breakfast will be served.)

Dr. Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean and Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Joined us in Kansas City

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Dr. Pasic spoke to a captive audience at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on September 14 as part of Nonprofit Connect’s 501(c)Success National Speaker Series.  Dr. Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean and Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, shared his expertise and experience in the value of research, and how we can use this valuable tool to improve fundraising and philanthropy.

Dr. Pasic reminded us that essentially, leadership is fundraising, and asked the poignant question, “If a leader isn’t fundraising, is he really a leader?” Dr. Pasic pointed out leadership and fundraising both involve 1) building relationships, 2) engaging, asking and recognizing and 3) creating vision and buy-in. Check out Dr. Pasic’s blog on this very topic.

Key highlights from Dr. Pasic’s presentation included some great examples of people putting research into action:

  • Jane Chu, PhD, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (Rockhurst grad, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy alum and previous director of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Center) and how she used research to illustrate the impact of the arts and cultural industries on the nation’s gross domestic product.
  • Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, measures the financial scope of philanthropy in the U.S. and is fundamental to fundraising. The seminal report on charitable giving, Giving 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.

Dr. Pasic also pointed out that in addition to utilizing research for evaluation or benchmarking purposes, we can also use research to help identify impact, areas needing funding and other issues in our sector, such as recruiting and retaining talent.

Jeffrey Byrne (JB+A), Dr. Amir Pasic and Lewis Gregory (US Trust)

Dr. Pasic also address some of the “hot topics” in fundraising research now, such as Crowdfunding, Donor-Advised Funds and disaster giving. Crowdfunding is on the rise, and in 2015, $34.44 billion was generated in Crowdfunding, with $2.8 billion of that total raised for formal charitable purposes.

The prevalence of Donor-Advised Funds is increasing as well, both in the number of funds and the total assets held within them:  in 2006, there were 140,000 DAFs holding assets of $33.6 billion.  By 2016, those figures had grown to 269,000 and $78.6 billion respectively.  And in 2015, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund unseated United Way Worldwide as the largest fundraising charity, having collected $4.6 billion. And three of the Top 10 largest fundraising charities on the list are commercial DAFs: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund and National Christian Foundation. More than half of all DAFs are held in commercial funds and this hot topic is raising questions about their usage: what are the benefits versus the costs to society and the nonprofit sector?  What is the overall impact?  Are DAFS displacing other forms of giving?

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has been tracking disaster giving since the attacks of 9/11.  Typically following a disaster, we see a sharp uptick in donations in the first six weeks, with continued moderate growth through six months then finally leveling out.  Celebrities are very prominent in disaster giving (J.J. Watt raised more than $30 million for Hurricane Harvey relief) and the key element in disaster giving is mass participation.  And in times of disaster, we overcome our differences and unite as one force to help those in need.

Dr. Pasic discussed the different types of research:

  • quantitative studies (such as Giving USA, Million Dollar List and The Salvation Army Human Needs Index)
  • experiments (take us away from our “rules of thumb” and comfort zones, but help us discover more effective ways of doing things)
  • humanities (qualitative exploration – such as the Smithsonian Exhibit on Philanthropy (Giving in America is a permanent exhibit that looks at the historical role of philanthropy in shaping the United States)
  • studies of the profession (gender composition of the field, diversity in the field and other issues like compensation and tenure
  • public policy (tax reform, regulations, ethical guidelines for dealing with grateful patients and better educating legislators about our field)

Research asks the questions, in a variety of ways, “Why do things fail? Why do things succeed?”  Bottom line, research helps us cultivate judgement, create communities of discovery and develop leaders – all of which will help us strengthen philanthropy and our world.

Join us on September 19 for Bob Woodson and Panel Forum

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Join JB+A and AFP Mid-America Chapter on September 19 as we open up a special Forum to the entire Kansas City philanthropic community. (Event details below.) We’re inviting civic leaders, leaders of faith communities and all those interested in exploring new directions in philanthropy and activism.
Venture Philanthropy: Bob Woodson will address issues raised in his book, Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers Are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhoods.  During this lively discussion, Bob will describe his approach to empower faith organizations and local leadership to transform the struggling neighborhoods in which they live from the inside out. Discover how his organization helps residents of underserved neighborhoods identify their own strengths and capacities to effectively address the problems in their communities and how public/private partnerships can be a powerful tool in these efforts.
Following Bob’s presentation, a panel of local experts will continue the discussion with their experiences in Kansas City, and how we can adapt Bob’s lessons for our local use.

William (Bill) High is the Chief Executive Officer of National Christian Foundation Heartland. At NCF, he works with families, individual givers and financial advisors to inspire and facilitate biblical generosity. Practically, he works with families to develop multi-generational plans, address income tax, estate tax and complex gift transactions, including the sales of businesses. Bill is a recognized speaker, including recognition as one of the Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers in the country by Philanthropy Media.. He speaks frequently at conferences around the country.

Bill is the founder of iDonate.com, a donation platform software company serving the non-profit community. He also helped found FamilyArc.com, a family legacy company committed to helping families preserve their stories online. As the President of Ignite Consulting, Bill works with families to design their multi-generational legacy plans.

As a published author, Bill recently co-authored with David Green of Hobby Lobby, Giving it All Away and Getting it All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously (Zondervan 2017).
Pat Macdonald joins us in her role as Executive Director of the Black Community Fund, an Affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation where she serves dually as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor.

Pat joined the Community Foundation in 2006 but has a long history in nonprofit management, strategic planning, resource and community development, and the arts. In the mid 90’s Pat spent 9 years with BEU a Community Development Corporation, in the Historic 18th and Vine district. While there, she represented Kansas City as one of eight individuals selected nationally to participate in the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s Community Development Arts Resource Initiative at Harvard Graduate School of Business.  In the early 2000’s Pat enjoyed independent consulting as a museum design content researcher for Eisterhold Associates. With Eisterhold, Pat contributed to such projects as the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in North Carolina, Rosa Parks Children’s Annex in Alabama and Ralph Nader’s Tort Law Museum in Connecticut. Ever committed to applying personally and professionally acquired skills toward improving the quality of life in Kansas City, she has served on a number of boards affecting both sides of Kansas City’s state line and is currently on the Board of Trustees of City Trusts for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, KCUR, VisitKC, and Rotary Club 13.

Pat is a past President of the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and attained CFRE credentials in the field.

Desiree Monize is the founder and Executive Director of Avenue of Life, a nonprofit with the aim of breaking the cycle of poverty through community development in KCK and KCMO.   For six years, Desiree served as the Executive Director of Hope Faith Ministries, where she took a small soup kitchen to the largest homeless day center in Kansas City.

Prior to working with the homeless, Desiree held the position of Equipping Pastor at Vineyard KC North, serving a congregation of 2000 through volunteer management, assimilation, leadership development and pastoral care.

Desiree has over 17 years experience in the field of domestic violence, serving as a legal advocate and shelter liaison. She is a visionary leader with a talent for rebuilding inefficient businesses with the effective leadership, policies and procedures needed for healthy growth and expansion.  She is passionately committed to urban ministry and community development.

She is a mother to two sons and a daughter-in-law.  She recently became a grandmother to identical twin boys who are 15 months old.  Desiree currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Bob Woodson Presentation 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Panel Discussion 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Register here.

Join JB+A, U.S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect for Dr. Amir Pasic on Thursday, September 14

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Dr. Amir Pasic is the Eugene R. Tempel Dean and Professor of Philanthropic Studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Pasic leads the world’s first school devoted to the study and teaching of philanthropy.

The school is an internationally recognized leader in philanthropy education, research and training and is dedicated to improving philanthropy to benefit the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change.

Dr. Pasic will address how an organization’s leadership and fundraising staff must be focused on the same things to make fundraising efforts successful. How do leaders and fundraising practitioners grasp what to focus on and decide where to direct their activity? One key resource that any leader needs is research:

  • How do we know what works, and just as importantly, what does not?
  • How can we understand the complexity of what motivates a donor?
  • How can we assess the impact of our efforts?
  • How can we hope to address societal problems or develop effective strategies unless we have reliable insight into new developments in our field?

Rigorous, high-quality research is an important component in virtually all aspects of the work of philanthropy, and it is through better research that we will achieve even better results.  Join us to meet Dr. Pasic and discuss how research can inform success.

Reserve your spot and register here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast | 7:55 a.m. – Program
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
JB+A is a proud sponsor of the 2017 501(c)Success National Speaker Series,
a program of Nonprofit Connect
501(c) Success National Speaker Series

Join JB+A and AFP Mid-America Chapter for Bob Woodson on September 19

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Robert L. Woodson, Sr. founded the Woodson Center in 1981 to help residents of low-income neighborhoods address the problems of their communities. A former civil rights activist, he had headed the National Urban League Department of Criminal Justice and has been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Foundation for Public Policy Research.

Join the AFP Mid-America Chapter for a special forum with Bob Woodson, where he will address issues raised in his book, Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers Are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhoods.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Bob Woodson Presentation 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Panel Discussion 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Register here.

During a lively discussion, Bob will describe his approach to empower faith organizations and local leadership to transform the struggling neighborhoods in which they live from the inside out. Discover how his organization helps residents of underserved neighborhoods identify their own strengths and capacities to effectively address the problems in their communities and how public/private partnerships can be a powerful tool in these efforts.

Referred to by many as the “godfather” of the neighborhood empowerment movement, for more than four decades, Woodson has had a special concern fro the problems of youth. He is an early MacArthur “genius” awardee and the recipient of the 2008 Bradley Prize, the Presidential Citizens Award and a 2008 Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Manhattan Institute.

Join Jeffrey D. Byrne for an expert panel discussion on how public policy and legislative issues are impacting philanthropy

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Over the last few years, the nonprofit sector has seen an increased level of interest on the part of elected officials, particularly on the federal level, in public policy and legislative issues impacting the sector. These issues range from the charitable tax deduction, to foundation and donor-advised fund “pay out” to PILOTs or other use taxes at the state or municipal level.

Join JB+A’s Jeffrey Byrne for a live webcast of an expert panel discussion on these issues that will affect our sector and how we can educate legislators on their impact.

July 14
10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Central Time

Tax Policy and Other Changes in the Political Wind
hosted by The Giving Institute

Register now for this complimentary, live webcast

Panelists:
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D., President and CEO of Philanthropy Ohio
Jeffrey D. Byrne, Chair, The Giving Institute
Robert Collier, President & CEO, Michigan Council on Foundations
Sally Ehrenfried, Senior Manager, Philanthropy and Volunteer Engagement, Blackbaud

Moderator:
Jon Biedermann, Vice President, DonorPerfect

Be sure to read Jeffrey’s takeaways from Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016 for background on the state of fundraising in the U.S.

As members of The Giving Institute — Jeffrey D. Byrne is the 2015-2017 Chair of its Board of Directors — JB+A is pleased to share this special opportunity with you.

The Giving Institute, 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 on Philanthropy and other reports and partners with several groups to provide valuable research, data and thought leadership on topics and trends impacting charitable giving.

 

Join JB+A and SH Marketing for the “Google Ad Words for Nonprofits Webinar” June 22

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Among the many benefits of using Google to advertise, the most significant benefits are user accessibility and reach. Google processes over 40,000 searches per second all around the world. Imagine having this potential at your fingertips! As daunting as it may be, you can customize your campaigns to reach as far or as near as best fits your organization. Now that millennials are the largest living generation, and given how tech savvy they’ve proven themselves to be, to not take advantage of digital marketing is to largely ignore a very significant volunteer and donation pool.

You won’t want to miss this valuable webinar on June 22 from 12- 1pm. Register here!  

Women in Philanthropy: Where Are We Headed?

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By Katie Lord, Vice President

What are some of the complexities, challenges and contradictions you see in women’s philanthropy today? What do you want this narrative in the 21st century to include?

On March 14th and 15th more than 300 women congregated in Chicago to address these very issues, and I was one of them.  My participation in the 2017 “Dream. Dare. Do. Women, Philanthropy and Civil Society” Symposium made me very aware of the diverse array of women participating in philanthropy, and even more committed to strengthening our role in the sector.  This event is hosted by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute of Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Deborah Mesch was the chair of this year’s event. Dr. Mesch presented “Women in Philanthropy” last year at the JB+A-sponsored Nonprofit Connect 501 (c) Success National Speaker Series.

Held every three years, this two-day symposium brings women philanthropists, fundraisers, funders and organizations together to discuss advancing women-related fundraising causes, women working in the field of philanthropy and raising the profile of women donors and philanthropists.  As part of this year’s focus, attendees were exposed to ways women can dream, dare and do more to advance women at all levels of the field through specific channels of change.

As part of the “dream” section, discussions centered around organizational flexibility to change, including addressing gender and generational differences head on with our donors and constituents, embracing risk-taking in our organizations through venture philanthropy, innovative programming and collaborations with other nonprofits as well as public organizations.

Next, participants were asked to “dare” to think outside the box of traditional philanthropy through emerging nontraditional verticals, including pursuing social entrepreneurship partnerships in business and startup communities, social impact investing partnerships within the financial sector, and the rise of giving circles and collaborations through community foundations and special interest/affinity groups.

Finally, we were challenged to go back home and “do more.” This includes bringing women philanthropists and organizations to larger audiences and making sure we are having a seat at the table at all levels of organizational involvement.  Women still are underrepresented on nonprofit boards, in executive positions within foundations and nonprofit organizations and are often left out of the donor cultivation process, even though most are the key decision makers for financial and philanthropic decisions within their households.

This conversation is timely. With access to more wealth than ever before—some say as much as $13.2 trillion in North America alone—women’s voices, leadership and resources are needed more than ever to address the pressing challenges in our country and around the world.  I know the conversation will continue with this Symposium attendee.  I am grateful for the support of the Women in Philanthropy Institute and the research it provides to help cultivate women donors and to help move the needle.  If you would like additional information on the topics discussed at the Symposium, or are interested in moving the needle, please contact me at klord@fundraisingjba.com or at 816-237-1999.

Success Stories from the Front Lines: #GivingTuesday 2016

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The results are in and #GivingTuesday 2016 was a resounding success raising $168 million and surpassing last year’s total raised by more than 43%. But how has this global day of giving made a difference to the nonprofits who participate and the individuals they serve? Here are two success stories from nonprofits that demonstrate just how impactful this giving phenomenon has become.  

kidsight-logoSaving Sight
Saving Sight is on a mission to prevent childhood vision loss through charitable vision services for the children of Missouri. This past #GivingTuesday, they harnessed the power of social media to support their signature charitable program, KidSight, which provides free vision screenings to Missouri children.

The Saving Sight team credits their #GivingTuesday success to their prep work. When you have a plan in place you’re already halfway to your goal – the rest is just execution! Leading up to November 29, they mobilized their staff, Board, donors and program recipients to participate in #GivingTuesday through email blasts, a dedicated webpage and regular social media posts.

They reached out to their dedicated base of supporters and recruited them as ambassadors to their #GivingTuesday campaign. Ambassadors not only donated, but also spread the word  by posting the #GivingTuesday version of the selfie, the #unselfie.

Take a look at a just a few of the many #unselfies posted by Saving Sight supporters.

ss-gt-collage

So how did they do? 40 individuals donated on #GivingTuesday adding up to $1,040 in total donations. At $5 to screen a child, they raised enough to support KidSight vision screenings for 212 children. Incredible! Well done to the entire team at Saving Sight and KidSight.

urlHealthEd Connect
HealthEd Connect empowers women and children through evidence-based health, education and advocacy. They train volunteer community health workers in sub-Saharan Africa and Nepal and provide free primary (K-7) education for orphans and vulnerable children in the Copperbelt region of Zambia through three community schools. For this year’s #GivingTuesday, HealthEd Connect focused their efforts on their Girls Achievement Program (GAP), which aims to empower, educate and enable 5th, 6th and 7th grade girls in the developing world to focus on their studies and break the cycle of poverty and dependence.

Their goal? Raise $12,000 for 12 girls to study through the 12th grade.

Like Saving Sight, HealthEd Connect credits a great deal of their success to the prep work. Using the JB+A #GivingTuesday Guide, they developed a robust plan with assigned roles, responsibilities and deadlines.

They mobilized their base through targeted pre-#GivingTuesday emails intended to spread the word amongst Board, staff and key volunteers, and through #GivingTuesday-focused newsletters throughout the month of November. They approached social media with precision and efficiency drafting all posts in advance with engaging photos and pre-determined launch times in place. They also developed a unique hashtag for their campaign: #12GX3.

And they didn’t stop at the prep work. Throughout #GivingTuesday, they sent real time updates to their donors and contacts keeping them informed and engaged in the fundraising process.

Lauren Hall, Executive Director of HealthEd Connect, also credits Board participation with their #GivingTuesday success. “JB+A’s Guide helped us communicate the importance of #GivingTuesday to the Board and they got 100% behind the campaign,” says Hall. “We acquired three matching pledges from the Board in addition to commitments to forward pre-written emails to their contacts. Their support was essential to the success of our campaign.”

So how did they do? HealthEd Connect’s goal was to raise $12,000 ($6,000 online, three $2,000 matching pledges) sending 12 Girls to high school on HealthEd Connect scholarships. They more than surpassed their goal raising $32,365 which will get 32 new scholars through high school. They also acquired 41 new donors and reached more than 3,500 people.

Truly an inspirational account showcasing the power of social media to harness generosity and passion.

Congratulations to the entire team at HealthEd Connect!

Interested in getting your organization to participate in this phenomenal day of philanthropy? The next #GivingTuesday is scheduled for November 28, 2017. It’s never too early to start brainstorming your plan of attack! Leading up to #GivingTuesday, JB+A will be posting helpful tips and guides to help your organization make the most of this global day of giving. Stay tuned!