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Giving USA

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

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If you live in the Greater Kansas City area, please join Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., U. S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect for 13 Years of Giving USA in Kansas City. This special presentation of Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 will be held this Friday, June 15, at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program will begin at 7:50 a.m. Register here.

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 us on June 15 for 501(c)Success National Speaker Series, Dr. Rooney and Giving USA

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Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 is coming 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 annual 501(c)Success National Speaker Series.

No other source provides the context for annual giving like Giving USA. The insight and information in Giving USA is used by major donors, nonprofit executives and managers, fundraising professionals, financial advisors, foundation Boards and other decision makers to plan strategies and identify opportunities in charitable giving. Leaders in philanthropy utilize Giving USA to act on the emerging challenges and trends affecting philanthropy and fundraising.

Charitable giving reached new heights in 2016, totaling $390.05 billion.

Did we eclipse that figure in 2017?

Reserve your spot to find out and register today.

Friday, June 15, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast | 7:50 a.m. – Program

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

Fees/Admission
$25  Nonprofit Connect members
$50  Nonmembers

Dr. Rooney will present this first look at the just-released Giving USA report. As one of the key people behind the research for the report, Dr. Rooney will provide unique observations about current trends and insights about the future of U.S. philanthropy you won’t hear anywhere else.

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., and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Get more information about the Giving USA research. And be sure to pre-order your copy of the report.

Giving USA: Interesting Reading or Fundraising Guide?

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Commentary, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, News You Can Use, Organizational + Personal Development, The Giving Institute | One Comment

Jeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

We’re approaching that most wonderful time of the year: Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 is on the horizon. We’re ready to welcome Dr. Patrick Rooney back to Kansas City as he gives us that coveted first look at giving data for 2017 and provides critical observations and interpretations about the state of philanthropy in the U.S. This will be our 13th year of presenting the report with Dr. Rooney in Kansas City, and I am proud of our partnership and friendship with this nationally-recognized (and fun!) expert on philanthropy.

It’s no secret I’m a fundraising “nerd,” and so many questions come to mind as I eagerly anticipate the release of our most trusted and comprehensive annual giving report: Will charitable giving rise for the fourth straight year? How did rage giving and tax reform affect philanthropy? Will the other recipient sectors continue to close the gap on or even surpass giving to religion? How did the economy impact giving?

But here’s the most important question about Giving USA to consider:  How can nonprofits use the report to improve their fundraising?

Don’t treat Giving USA the way some organizations treat their strategic plan and simply place the report on a shelf as you go about your daily routine. Read the report.  Understand the report.  Share the report.  Refer back to the report.  Make changes to fundraising strategies based on the report.  At JB+A, everyone carries a copy of Giving USA (perhaps my good habits ARE rubbing off on others)and we make notes, discuss the trends, identify nonprofit sector needs, successes and failures, evaluate our clients’ fundraising progress and brainstorm new strategies and tactics to improve fundraising.  Remember that great American Express ad campaign, “Don’t leave home without it”?  The same goes for Giving USA.

Here five ways Nonprofits can use Giving USA to improve their fundraising:

  1. Understand the correlations between giving and economic factors
    The stock market, personal wealth, personal income, GDP, corporate pre-tax profits and unemployment rates impact giving by all four sources (individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations). Trends are closely monitored by people “inside” and “outside” the philanthropy sector. Be aware of changes in these indicators, anticipate how changes will impact donors and adjust fundraising strategies accordingly.
  1. Confirm or dispel myths about giving
    Economic and political scenarios, complex societal issues, diverse giving platforms, wealth and capacity are just some of the drivers behind philanthropy. Understand the context of these drivers, help manage expectations about giving and set realistic and achievable goals for your fundraising plans.
  1. Educate Board members, volunteers, donors and staff about the broad context of philanthropic giving
    Help stakeholders better understand your organization’s funding patterns and potential. This isn’t so much about “keeping up with the Joneses of fundraising” but rather, what can we learn from their success and what can (or can’t) we emulate?
  1. Be nimble in your fundraising and stewardship
    Nonprofit fundraising must evolve as philanthropy evolves.  We are seeing an increase in the popularity of non-traditional giving vehicles (such as donor-advised funds and non-cash assets) and donors want more evidence of the impact of their gifts. What do your donors expect? Listen to your donors and prospective donors – and tailor your strategies to match their needs and expectations.
  1. Recognize the “individual giving effect”
    An estimated 87% of total giving in 2016 came from individuals, bequests and family foundations. There are human beings involved in every gift, and unfortunately sometimes, we forget this. Focus on developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with not simply the “concept of donor” but on an individual basis…with Bill and Marcia, with Joe and Liz, with Emma, with Peter and with Shane.

One last thought: Americans give an average of more than $1 billion a day to help others. So, you can also use the report to remind yourself (and others): nonprofits are doing very important work.  Good job.

Be sure to register now for the 501 (c) Success National Speaker Series Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 with Dr. Patrick Rooney.  Details are below.

Friday, June 15, 2018
7:30 – 9:00 AM
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast | 7:50 a.m. – Program
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Giving USA Special Report: “The Data on Donor-Advised Funds: New Insights You Need to Know.”

By | Fundraising, Giving USA, News You Can Use, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Katie Lord
Vice President

On, Thursday, March 1, The Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation hosted a webinar to coincide with the release of its latest special report “The Data on Donor-Advised Funds: New Insights You Need to Know.”  A special panel included three industry experts on the subject: Pam Norley – President of Fidelity Charitable; Una Osili – Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Dave Scullin – CEO of the Communities Foundation of Texas and Mike Geary – lawyer and donor-advised fund holder.

This report is the first of its kind, revealing key insights into the creation of and grants from Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs.)  Want to hear the webcast in its entirety?  Click here

DAF Contribution Key Findings

  • DAFs continue to show annual growth – both in new funds being opened and in assets; Growth of assets in these funds is outpacing the growth of overall charitable giving – by three times the rate
  • Organizations most likely to sponsor DAFs have two characteristics: they receive large contributions and have low revenue
  • 15 organizations – consisting of community foundations, single-issue charities and national fund sponsors – hold 60% of DAF assets and make 60% of all grants

DAF Grants Key Findings

  • Education, religion and public-society benefit receive the most grant dollars from DAFs; education receives the most grant dollars
  • Granting patterns from DAFs mirror those of high net worth individuals
  • Grants from DAF are relatively stable from year to year
  • Differences between large and small DAF sponsors are nominal

After the Giving USA Foundation research was presented, Pam Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable, shared insights from the 2017 annual report regarding Fidelity Charitable’s fund holders.  Some of the myth-busting highlights of her presentation are below, including numbers from Fidelity Charitable’s Annual Report about the demographics of fund holders and the amounts of grants made each year.

  • Demographics of DAF holders (Fidelity Charitable 2017)
    • 55 years and older
    • 85% give to more than six (6) nonprofits
    • 79% volunteer with the organization receiving grants
  • DAF Grants by the Numbers (Fidelity Charitable 2017)
    • 60% of a DAF holder’s total giving comes from DAFs versus 40% from traditional assets
    • There are 9.7 grants per account annually
    • Donors grant out 24% of their assets annually from their DAFs versus 5% given from foundations
    • $4,200 is the average grant size
    • $19,000 is the average DAF account balance

In closing, Donor-Advised Funds are here to stay. They’re a great vehicle for both donors and nonprofits in making philanthropic impact.  As more research continues, it will be up to everyone to build relationships with our donors and DAF holders to maximize the benefits of this charitable giving vehicle.

And be sure to check out JB+A’s post on the continued rise of DAFs.

 

Questions about Donor-Advised Funds? Get them Answered Here: The Giving Institute Webcast on Donor-Advised Funds

By | All Posts, Annual Giving, Capacity Building, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, Grants, News You Can Use, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Until this Giving USA Special Report, there has been little aggregate information available about the granting side of the donor-advised fund equation. How much do donor-advised funds give to nonprofits annually? Which types of nonprofits do donor-advised funds support, and which types receive the most and the least from donor-advised fund grants? How have these trends changed over time?

Register now for “The Data on Donor-Advised Funds: New Insights You Need to Know,” The Giving Institute’s complimentary webcast exploring donor-advised funds – one of today’s hottest topics with donors, nonprofits and public policy experts.

Thursday, March 1
1:00-2:30pm Central

Register Here 

Expert panelists will discuss the latest Giving USA Special Report on donor-advised funds (DAFs), taking a rigorous, new and in-depth look at where DAF money goes. The webcast will address these pressing questions and offer guidance on how to incorporate this giving vehicle into your fundraising plans.

Panelists include:

  • Mike Geary, Attorney at Law, LLC, at Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C.
  • Pam Norley, President of Fidelity Charitable
  • Una Osili, Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  • Dave Scullin, CEO of the Communities Foundation of Texas

The Giving Institute webcasts always include time for questions from the audience, so don’t miss out on your chance to have your most burning questions about DAFs answered!

 

Moving the Needle: What Might Be Possible for Philanthropy in America?

By | All Posts, Commentary, Current Events/News, Fundraising, Giving USA, Legislative + Advocacy, The Giving Institute, Uncategorized | No Comments

Leaders in the nonprofit and fundraising sector are gathering soon, through an effort spearheaded by The Giving Institute, to begin developing a plan to help increase charitable giving in America.

American individuals, estates, foundations and corporations contributed an estimated $390.05 billion to U.S. charities in 2016, according to Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016. Total giving rose 2.7 percent in current dollars (1.4 percent adjusted for inflation) over total giving in 2015, and giving to all nine major categories of recipient organizations grew, making 2016 just the sixth time in the past 40 years that this has occurred.

This growth in giving is good.  Yet total giving as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continues to hover around 2.0 percent as it has for the last six years. So, The Giving Institute is coordinating discussions about a national plan to “move the needle.”

JB+A President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne, who served as Board Chair of The Giving Institute from 2015-2017, is among several nonprofit thought leaders who are part of an initial “working committee” to start dialogue about an examination of giving practices and how to increase giving while incorporating input from several people from several sectors (nonprofit, government, corporate, etc.)

Approximately two dozen people will be meeting in Dallas on February 7 to continue developing components of the plan:  focus of the work, organization as a legal entity, potential leadership and staffing, funding, research, information dissemination, federal recognition, communications and building support.

This national examination of giving practices is similar to “The Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs” in 1973-1975, most commonly known as “The Filer Commission.” This historical effort was spearheaded by John Filer, chairman of Aetna Insurance, and initiated by John D. Rockefeller, III, after the Tax Reform Act of 1969 was passed.  The Commission’s report, “Giving in America,”  contained recommendations that fell into three categories: 1) proposals involving taxes and giving, 2) interaction among donors, recipients and the public – those who affect the philanthropic process and 3) a proposal for a permanent commission on the nonprofit sector. The commission scrutinized government inducements to giving and considered alternatives such as tax credits and matching grant systems. Members felt the charitable deduction should be “retained and added on to rather than replaced by another form of governmental encouragement to giving.”

There were six main objectives for the commission’s final report: 1) increase the number of people who contribute significantly to and participate in nonprofit activities, 2) increase the amount of giving, 3) increase inducements to giving by those in low- and middle-income brackets, 4) preserve private choice in giving, 5) minimize income loss of nonprofit organizations that depend on the current pattern of giving and 6) be as efficient as possible (meaning, the new levels of  contributions stimulated should at least approximate the amount of government revenue foregone in order to provide this stimulus.) thought leader and participant in this critical/revolutionary time for philanthropy.

JB+A is excited to be part of this exciting and pivotal time for philanthropy – and discovering what might be possible for philanthropy in America in the years ahead.

*Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy in America, has produced comprehensive charitable giving data that are relied on by donors, fundraisers and nonprofit leaders. The research in this annual report estimates all giving to all charitable organizations across the United States.  Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA FoundationTM and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Giving USA FoundationTM, established in 1985 by The Giving Institute, endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education. Explore Giving USA products and resources, including free highlights of each annual report at its online store at www.givingusa.org for more information.

Corporate Giving – Are You Tapping This Resource for Your Nonprofit?

By | All Posts, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, News You Can Use | No Comments

Katie Lord, Vice President

It’s once again that time of year when our corporate partners/prospects are beginning to look at budgeting and goal-setting for the next fiscal year. It’s also the time of year when we, as nonprofit fundraisers, should be setting up cultivation touch points with this donor segment.  Notice I did not say “annual meetings with our corporate partners.”  As with all of our donors, we should not only be meeting with them to make the “ask,” but to also “take the temperature of the relationship” to further grow the partnership.

According to the Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016, Corporate Giving made up 5% or $18.55 billion of the $390.05 in total giving in the United States last year.  While Corporate Giving is the smallest segment of the sources of giving, there has been an increase in Corporate Giving over the past several years: it is up 3.5% from last year alone.  With Millennials emerging as the largest generation in the workforce, it is important to understand the continual emergence and changing attitudes of the corporate sector on social responsibility.

When approaching a corporate entity, be sure you’ve done your research.  Learn as much as you can about the business, the products/services, who customers are, earnings, etc.  This research can be done by looking at the company’s website, LinkedIn page, local business publications and a quick Google search.  Most importantly, do not go into a meeting with your own pre-conceived notion of what the corporation would want or a “standard” offering or sponsorship menu for them to choose from.  Each corporation or business, just like each individual, is unique – with its own identity, goals and needs.

With the continued evolution of the fundraising and business landscapes, one size no longer fits all when building corporate relationships and donor growth.  There are now multiple ways that nonprofits can benefit from corporate philanthropy, including paid volunteer time for employees, matching gift programs, sponsorship dollars, peer to peer internal fundraising campaigns, cause marketing opportunities and corporate foundations just to name a few.  Be sure to explore all of these possibilities and combinations with your prospective/current corporate partner to ensure the optimum outcome.

Be prepared for your meeting.  Before your meeting, have thoughtful and tailored specific questions, be able to discuss what a charitable partnership looks like and how both parties can measure outcomes and success.  Ask open-ended questions and then LISTEN to the answers.  It is important to be able to articulate how a partnership can be mutually beneficial, by helping the business achieve its goals internally while simultaneously having an impact on your organization and the community externally.

If you are renewing a relationship, be able to illustrate the outcomes of your partnership or projected outcomes.  Include numbers such as digital impressions, value of corporate volunteer time to the organization and what sponsorship dollars were able to achieve.   Also share personal results, quotes from any employees about the impact the partnership had on them or stories of people who directly benefitted from the financial support the corporation provided the organization.

Corporate Giving is a vast resource in our nonprofit communities.  Creativity is important and it is mandatory to think outside the proverbial box in order to meet the changing landscape of corporations, their employees and social responsibility. Gone are the days of offering corporations a set menu of charitable options.  We, as nonprofit professionals, have to be able to entice corporations to build sustainable relationships with the positive outcomes of our partnership.  We have to learn and grow with them by offering innovative ways to contribute to the nonprofit organizations in their communities with their donor dollars, the support of their employees and the positive impact of their contributions in time, talent and treasure.

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

By | All Posts, Current Events/News, Events, Giving USA, Legislative + Advocacy, The Giving Institute | No Comments

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.

 

Key Takeaways from Dr. Rooney’s KC Presentation of Giving USA 2017

By | All Posts, Commentary, Current Events/News, Giving USA, Insights, The Giving Institute | No Comments

JB+A was proud to join U.S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect in hosting Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016 in Kansas City on June 16 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.  2017 marked JB+A’s 12th year of bringing Giving USA to Kansas City, and this year’s report was presented by Dr. Patrick Rooney, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research and Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Here are some Key Takeaways from Dr. Rooney’s presentation of the Giving USA 2017 report:

Philanthropy and Politics
“More people donate each year than vote,” explained Dr. Rooney, “and the issues most spoken about in 2016 political dialogue were the recipients of the most giving: arts/culture/humanities, environment/animals, health and international affairs.”  Dr. Rooney stressed this may or may not be a “causal” relationship, but pointed out the correlation was hard to ignore. And we may see more clearly the true impact of this “politically-motivated” type of giving in 2017 data.

Giving by Foundations and the 5% Payout Rate
While giving by all three types of foundations – independent, operating and community – increased, the growth was more moderate in 2016.  “Giving by Foundations is more predictable, because of the 5% payout rate*,” said Dr. Rooney, “And independent foundations provided the majority of grantmaking in both 2015 and 2016.” This moderate rise in giving may be attributable to a two-year lagged effect from S&P 500 performance.

But in the midst of ongoing scrutiny and debate about whether private foundations distribute a big enough portion of their assets, Dr. Rooney shared his analysis on increasing the payout rate: “We ran some numbers, to see if increasing the payout rate to 10% would bankrupt foundations.  It would take more than 100 years for that to happen, so in short, the empirical evidence is that increasing the payout rate would not bankrupt foundations.”

*Refers to the payout requirement that is the minimum amount private foundations must spend each year for charitable purposes. By law, private non-operating foundations must distribute five percent of the value of their net investment assets annually in the form of grants or eligible administrative expenses.

Public-Society Benefit and Donor-Advised Funds
Dr. Rooney recognized that “not everyone understands the composition of the Public-Society Benefit subsector.” Organizations within this category include those related to voter education, civil rights, civil liberties, consumer rights and community/economic development as well as free-standing research institutions (for the sciences and public policy.)  This subsector also includes organizations that raise funds to distribute to nonprofits, such as the United Way, Combined Federal Campaigns and Jewish Federations.

National donor-advised funds (such as Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard) are also included in Public-Society Benefit, and Dr. Rooney noted we are seeing strong increases in contributions to these types of giving vehicles.  “For only the second time since The Chronicle of Philanthropy initiated the Philanthropy 400 in 1991, United Way Worldwide was not listed as the top charity,” explained Dr. Rooney. “Fidelity Charitable took the top spot. In 2015, contributions to Fidelity Charitable grew 20% over 2014, while United Way saw a 4% drop in charitable receipts.”

Dr. Rooney offered that being able to continue to disaggregate donor-advised funds data in this category will shed more light on this topic.

Individual Giving and its Share of the Pie
Individual giving has declined from 84% of total giving in the five-year period ending in 1981 to 72% of total giving in the five-year period ending in 2016.  But Dr. Rooney reassured us individuals/households are still giving, they’re just doing so in more formalized ways (such as through private foundations and donor-advised funds) and reminded us that the single largest contributor to the increase in total charitable giving in 2016 was the increase of $10.53 billion in giving by individuals. He also pointed out the “democratization of philanthropy in 2016,” explaining that “The strong growth in individual giving may be less attributable to the largest of the large gifts*, which were not as robust as we have seen in prior years – suggesting this growth may have come from donors among the general population.”

Dr. Rooney stressed the power to increase giving is in our hands: “If every American household reallocated $5 a day of frivolous consumption to philanthropy, that would double household giving overnight.”  Dr. Rooney added, “It’s up to us as donors, but also as nonprofits – we need to make the case for philanthropy.”

*Giving USA refers to very large gifts as “mega-gifts” and sets that threshold every year.  In 2016, gifts of $200 million and above were tracked as mega-gifts.

Be sure to check out Jeffrey Byrne’s Top Five Ways Nonprofits Can Use Giving USA to improve their fundraising and JB+A’s recap of Giving USA 2017  findings.

Download the two traditional pie charts illustrating 2016 source contributions and recipients and share with Board members, your CEO and development staff.

Top Five Ways Nonprofits Can Use Giving USA

By | All Posts, Boards + Leadership, Capacity Building, Commentary, Current Events/News, Donor Cultivation, Fundraising, Giving USA, Insights, Stewardship, The Giving Institute | No Comments

Giving USA is a powerful tool:  it is the most trusted annual report on the sources and uses of philanthropy in the U.S., but it’s also a valuable resource in helping us improve philanthropy.  Nonprofit organizations can (and should) use Giving USA to help identify trends as well as opportunities to strengthen resource development efforts.

Here are my Top Five Ways Nonprofits Can Use Giving USA to improve their fundraising:

5. Understand the correlations between giving and economic factors
The stock market, personal wealth, personal income, GDP, corporate pre-tax profits and unemployment rates impact giving by all four sources (individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations). Trends are closely monitored by people “inside” and “outside” the philanthropy sector.
Be aware of changes in these indicators, anticipate how changes will impact donors and adjust fundraising strategies accordingly

4. Confirm or dispel myths about giving
Economic and political scenarios, complex societal issues, diverse giving platforms, wealth and capacity are just some of the drivers behind philanthropy.
Understand the context of these drivers, help manage expectations about giving and set realistic and achievable goals

3. Educate Board members, volunteers, donors and staff about the broad context of philanthropic giving
Help stakeholders better understand your organization’s funding patterns and potential

2. Be nimble in your fundraising and stewardship
Nonprofit fundraising must evolve as philanthropy evolves.  We are seeing an increase in the popularity of non-traditional giving vehicles (such as donor-advised funds and non-cash assets) and donors want more evidence of the impact of their gifts.
Listen to your donors and prospective donors – and tailor your strategies to match their needs and expectations

1. Recognize the “individual giving effect”
An estimated 87% of total giving in 2016 came from individuals, bequests and family foundations.
There are human beings involved in every gift; focus on developing and maintaining meaningful relationships

And remember:

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 more than $1 billion a day to help others.  Nonprofits and donors are doing great work.

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

I encourage you to download the two traditional pie charts illustrating 2016 source contributions and recipients and share with Board members, your CEO and development staff.

View JB+A’s recap of Giving USA 2017  findings here.

Check out key takeaways from Dr. Rooney’s 2017 Giving USA presentation in Kansas City.

About Giving USA
For over 60 years, Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy in America, has produced comprehensive charitable giving data that are relied on by donors, fundraisers and nonprofit leaders. The research in this annual report estimates all giving to all charitable organizations across the United States.  Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA FoundationTM and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Giving USA FoundationTM, established in 1985 by The Giving Institute, endeavors to advance philanthropy through research and education. Explore Giving USA products and resources, including free highlights of each annual report at its online store at www.givingusa.org for more information.

About The Giving Institute
The Giving Institute, the parent organization of Giving USA FoundationTM, consists of member organizations that have embraced and embodied the core values of ethics, excellence and leadership in advancing philanthropy. Serving clients of every size and purpose, from local institutions to international organizations, The Giving Institute member organizations embrace the highest ethical standards and maintain a strict code of fair practices. For information on selecting fundraising counsel, visit www.givinginstitute.org. Jeffrey Byrne has the honor of Chairing The Giving Institute Board of Directors (2015-2017).