Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
Upcoming Events

May 31
12:00 pm 
T ell Me More...
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. 
June 15

July 2
Useful Links  
Contact Us 

 Sapna Varghese

Director of Advancement Research 



Sandra Nicholes

Prospect Researcher 301.445.1952

Letter from the Director
Dear Colleagues,
Spring has finally arrived! We hope you are enjoying these warmer days. In recent weeks, many reports on philanthropic giving have emerged. These reports are informative guides that highlight fundraising trends and performances over the years. They can also help us prepare for the future by outlining new strategies to increase fundraising revenue. In this month's Fundraising Talks, we'd like to highlight one reports and its findings.
The 2017 Charitable Giving Report by Blackbaud is informed by nearly  $30 billion in fundraising data from the past year . The report has information on overall giving data from 8,453 organizations representing $29.7 billion in total fundraising revenue, and online giving data from 5,709 organizations representing $3.1 billion in online fundraising. The report reveals that there has been a 4.1% increase in overall giving in 2017, and online giving in 2017 increased 12.1%.
Part of the 2017 Charitable Giving Report focuses on " How Fundraising Performed in the Higher Education Sector in 2017 ." Even though overall charitable giving increased by 4.1% in 2017, contributions to the higher education sector experienced lower than average growth with a 1.6% increase in giving in 2017 compared to 2016. According to the report, the largest level of giving in higher education was seen in the month of December. The report states that this may be caused by #GivingTuesday donations and we may continue to see increased levels of giving in December in the future. Additionally, the higher education sector received the most revenue on #GivingTuesday in 2017. Evidence from higher-education online-giving data assures that the higher education sector should be investing in different strategies to provide donors and prospective donors more opportunities to engage or donate through online channels.
Using technology and various digital media platforms may help in increasing fundraising revenue in the future, however, we must also focus on personal interaction and relationship strategies to create larger gifts. 
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

Donor-advised funds are the new buzzword in philanthropy, thanks to  yet-to-be-known tax implications. Donor-advised funds remain a small part of philanthropy, but in recent years their popularity has grown. The Chronicle of Philanthropy asked experts common questions about donor-advised funds, as their growth shows no signs of slowing down. According to the experts, not all donor-advised funds are alike. They may fall into three categories: commercial, community-foundation, and single-issue funds. Donor-advised funds may be handed down to heirs, depending on the sponsor. Some sponsors even allow accounts to be broken up into smaller funds, each with designated heirs serving as advisors. Furthermore, assets in a donor-advised fund account can be used to fulfill a pledge, but nonprofits must be careful to comply with IRS guidance on this issue.  Click here to read more.

Blackbaud released its findings from the Next Generation of American Giving study that explores the charitable habits of each generation. Baby Boomers remain the most generous generation, but Generation X is approaching prime giving years. More than 20 percent of Gen-Xers said that they expect to increase their charitable giving in the coming year. According to Blackbaud, Millennial giving is still a work in progress and building relationships with Millennial donors is a long-term investment. Each generation except Baby Boomers has seen a decline in the percentage of donors. See more of Blackbaud's findings here.

According to the Annual
 Giving Network (AGN), institutions shouldn't limit themselves to the data that's available in their donor databases. Social media is chock-full of information on alumni and donors, such as their geographic location, employer, and job title. Alumni are much more likely to update their job titles on LinkedIn than they are to reach out to their alumni departments with the news. You may also use social media to understand what your donors' affinities are. For example, Hamline University asked alumni on their Facebook page to comment with the name of a faculty member who made a difference in their lives. The post was their most engaging ever and it revealed which professors were popular with alumni, information they could later use for the alumni magazine and annual fund appeals. Read more here.
Education remains the most popular focus of 260,000 foundations globally, according to Reuters. The world is in an age of philanthropy, with an increasing number of wealthy individuals, families, and corporations setting up foundations for social investments. According to Reuters, many wealthy people are driven by a sense of moral obligation and a fear that inequality can threaten peace, stability, and the free enterprise system that created such wealth. The education sector is seen as a way to bring individuals out of poverty but also as an engine for national growth. Read more here. A recent article by Barron's also highlights the philanthropy boom. Click here to read it.

As noted in the previous article from Reuters, philanthropy is growing and as a result, the market is both saturated and competitive, but honing marketing and messaging can build donor awareness and loyalty. NonProfit Pro offers four tips to improve marketing and communications. First, NonProfit Pro suggests clarifying your donor message by developing an authentic core message based on your values. Second--consistency is key. All web and print content should fit into the overall brand of your organization. Next, developing great content can set your organization ahead of another. Having a mobile-friendly website could be the deciding factor for a donor. Lastly, use data to couple with success stories to build trust with your donors. Read all the details here.