Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
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Looking for funding opportunities? We've identified a few funds that might be useful to you. Visit the links below to learn more about the requirements and deadlines for these opportunities. 

November 1


November 1
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 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 



Sandra Nicholes

Prospect Researcher 301.445.1952


Bethany Jones

Office Clerk


Letter from the Director

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to the October issue of Fundraising Talks. In this month's letter, we're interested in exploring the topic of donor-advised funds--something we've heard a lot about recently. National Philanthropic Trust  (NPT) defines donor-advised funds (DAF) as a "philanthropic vehicle established at a public charity. It allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time." In recent years, DAFs have become the fastest-growing vehicle for charitable giving. It's beneficial for institutions and fundraisers to know which wealthy or high net-worth individuals contribute through DAFs. The 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report by NPT suggests that a total of $16 billion in grants were contributed from donor-advised funds to qualified charities in 2016.
There are ways for fundraisers to find and acquire donations from DAFs, as it may not be possible to solicit gifts directly from sponsoring organizations. In an article by  Grants Plus , a professional grant seeking firm, Director of Operations Judy Salm gives tips that can be used by fundraisers to find DAFs, as discovering DAFs using traditional methods maybe difficult. One way to identify existing DAF donors in your database is by looking for donations paid by a financial firm or community foundation and developing a relationship with the donor associated on that contribution. Data entry or gift processing staff may apply a soft credit to the donor or individual in your database when the contributions from DAFs are processed. This will allow you to conduct future research on the individual, as well as develop cultivation and communication strategies. 
In order to boost giving through DAFs, institutions should set up easy ways for donors to give through their DAFs. Nonprofits can promote contributions through DAFs by mentioning DAFs on websites, solicitation offers, and advertising materials.  Web applications like DAF Direct or a different source on your online giving portal may allow your donors to contribute through DAFs. Lastly, aim to establish network relationships with those who help individuals establish and administer DAFs, including wealth, tax, and legal advisors. It's important for development staff to network with donor services staff at community foundations. Due to the many benefits provided by DAFs, an increasing number of wealthy individuals may turn to DAFs in the coming years. Consequently, it is important for fundraising staff to identify these high-net worth individuals who are likely to volunteer and/or become major or planned gifts donors at your institution.
We wish you the best as you continue to fulfill your fundraising goals. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team

This article from  takes a close look into DAFs. DAFs allow donations of cash, property, and appreciated assets to charities that donors identify, and give donors an immediate tax deduction. Additionally, DAFs give donors the option of an anonymous donation. DAFs are usually associated with financial investment firms or independent entities and are housed at more than 700 community foundations across the country. There are currently around 300,000 DAFs in the US that hold close to $100 billion. However, these fast-growing DAFs raise concerns--donors and organizations alike worry about the lack of transparency and conflicts of interest for financial institutions that offer funds while earning fees for investment management. notes that while DAFs are powerful tools, there is always room for improvement through self-regulation or Internal Revenue Service intervention. Read more here.

According to findings from a  Chronicle of Philanthropy survey of the 300 largest companies on the Fortune 500 list, many of these companies give less of what they take home annually to charity than their customers do. Of the 300 businesses surveyed, 63 volunteered data on their corporate giving habits over the last two years. These 63 companies, on average, gave about one percent of their pretax profit to charity, while most Americans give between two to three percent of their income to nonprofits. The Chronicle's survey measured cash gifts, rather than employee volunteering or other means. The giving leaders in the survey were Gilead Sciences, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Google, and JP Morgan Chase. Read more here.

In the past 12 months, 67 percent of Gen Z (people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) volunteered. How then, can you engage Gen Z at your organization? First, know that Gen Z believes that donating money has the least impact. Instead, they want to be actively involved and nonprofits should prioritize the actions that are impactful to Gen Z, rather than the actions you want them to take. Second, understand that length of time is the number one criterion young people use to sort through campaigns on Appeal to Gen Z with appeals that require little time and commitment. Lastly, know that peer influence can create social good among Gen Z. Data tells us that young people are more likely to volunteer in groups or their peers. Read more here.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects the European Union, but it may also affect nonprofits in the United States. Perhaps most important for fundraisers and research professionals to note is that any organization outside of the European Union that provides goods or services to, or monitors the behavior of European Union data subjects, must comply with GDPR. According to the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, "GDPR applies to every nonprofit processing or holding the personal data about anyone in Europe, regardless of whether they are a citizen or permanent resident of an EU country." Read more here.

Forbes 400 has started ranking its members on their generosity on a scale of one to five, five being the most philanthropic. To score their members, Forbes estimated each member's total lifetime giving and then delved into public filings and reached out to the members and nonprofits. Forbes then considered what percent of their fortune they had given away and weighted these factors equally. Only 29 of the 400 were given a maximum score. These 29 people gave away at least $1 billion or 20 percent of their total net-worth. Read more here.