2018 was a decidedly mixed year for philanthropy.
While overall giving continued to grow (by about 1%) for the fifth consecutive year- when adjusted for inflation, we actually saw a slight decline. Why? Because while the overall economy is strong, consistent political and economic volatility (from stock market swings to the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) have added a new level of complexity and uncertainly to the mix for donors. This is reflected in the data - giving from individuals was down slightly and giving by bequest was flat, while giving by corporations and foundations was up. Correspondingly, of the 9 key giving sectors - Religion, Education, Human Services, Foundations, Health, Public-Society Benefit, Arts and Culture, International Affairs and Environment/Animals - only giving to International Affairs and the Environment /Animals saw an increase.
Volatility is no reason to panic and a single year does not make a trend.
Donor uncertainty must be met with organizational confidence and competence. Refocus on the fundamentals of good marketing/communications, prospect development, relationship management, retention, stewardship.
Developing expertise in the latest giving tools will engender confidence in sophisticated and less-sophisticated donors alike.
These include impact investing, donor-advised funds, social enterprise opportunities, and new methods for community engagement
prospect research, and
Leverage the corporate philanthropy renaissance.
Explore new opportunities for philanthropy, sponsorships, in-kind giving, cause-related marketing, and employee giving.
Don't discount the impact of changing demographics.
Millennials are reaching their prime earning years and now is the time to reorient your development strategies to better engage them. More specifically, the data points to their affinity for global issues and cross-border development
As part of our commitment to nonprofits in the Southwest, we will be presenting the report to audiences in Phoenix, San Diego, and Long Beach.