Summer is finally here. As we get ready to tackle a challenging second half of 2020, we would like to take a moment to commend you on successfully navigating through the first half during these unforeseen times. Although our circumstances have drastically changed over the last six months, it is worth taking a quick look at the Giving USA 2020 report that was released last month. Giving USA is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Data from the report reveals that in 2019, individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $449.64 billion to U.S. charities.
Giving USA 2020 reports that charitable giving in 2019 reached its highest point ever. This record was possible because of positive economic conditions and economic growth in the U.S. Data indicates that giving by wealthy individuals to education and cultural institutions was strong in 2019. “Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $309.66 billion, rising 4.7% in 2019.” Although 2019 data show that individual giving increased the most in dollar amounts, it may have been largely influenced by mega-gifts by few wealthy donors. The trend of “dollars up and donors down” continues. Also of note, foundation giving totaled $75.69 billion, an increase of 2.5% in 2019.
While this report is heartening, it doesn’t speak to our current circumstances. A June 2020 article from NonprofitPro describes some ways to optimize fundraising operations in the midst of Covid-19 and economic uncertainty. Suggestions include: cleaning and maintaining the database, supplementing internal data with external information, conducting prospect research on potential supporters, continuing to make the ask, and targeting potential donors and volunteers strategically. Using this time to improve your data and strategies will position your program for success as we emerge from this crisis.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer! As always, please feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
Did you know?
The University System of Maryland Foundation has access to a library of recorded webinars from the Annual Giving Network (AGN) that you may watch at any time from your computer. While we cannot currently gather in person for professional development events, this work from home period provides a great opportunity for you to learn on your own time! Please click here to see what webinars are available fromAGN.
If you are interested, please email Linda Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will help you access these webinars for free. Please do not try to access these webinars on your own, as you will be charged a fee.
Please also note that the Foundation only has access to free AGN webinars, not workshops. Workshops are available at a marginally discounted rate.
With no certainty as to when in-person donor visits will safely resume, cultivating donors virtually is essential. NonProfitPRO gives six tips for successful virtual major donor calls. Consider deepening your relationships with your current donors first and avoid reaching out to new prospects for now. Take interest in how they've been doing during quarantine and educate your donors on the good work your organization has been doing. Read all six tips here.
A survey by EAB warns that college revenue is likely to drop over the next two years. The survey queried 110 university fundraising professionals about current revenue projections. More than 40 percent of colleges are projecting a 10 percent or larger decline in fundraising revenue for FY 20 and more than one in five institutions expect fundraising revenue to fall by at least 20 percent. FY 21 has an even bleaker outlook. Nearly 45 percent of institutions project double-digit declines in fundraising revenue, and a growing number of colleges project a decline of 30 percent or more compared to 2019 totals. The survey's respondents believe that this will be because of major gifts decline, especially major gifts made to athletics. Read the full findings here.
A study from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (based on responses from 172 CEOs of nonprofits that receive at least one grant from staffed foundations that give $5 million or more annually) shows that nonprofits that receive foundation grants have not suffered cutbacks as a result of the pandemic. On the other end of the spectrum, foundations that rely on revenue from fees for services, ticket sales, and other activities saw a 77 percent decline. Overall, 84 percent of CEOs of nonprofits said there was at least a moderate or significant impact on their organizations. Read the full findings here.
Keeping donors engaged is all the more difficult during a global pandemic, but Giving USA has five tips on donor engagement during these unusual times. First, make sure you are keeping your donors informed on how your organization has handled operations in the face of turmoil. Encourage your donors to celebrate small and large victories for your organization. Remember to share personal stories of impact with your donors. Don't forget to remind donors of your organizations' mission and don't hesitate to ask your donors to stand with you as your accomplish your mission. Read more here.