As I reflect on 2020, I do so with admiration. Admiration for our nonprofits, and how incredibly resilient we were. We adapted. We learned new skills and innovative ways to communicate. We modified our events, revised our programs and pushed forward with technology that had previously seemed like a distant fantasy. Necessity being the mother of invention, I have seen many new and inventive programs born, new skills refined and relationships deepened. It wasn't the year we wanted, but I have heard from many of you that it has not been the catastrophe we feared.
Nationally, public charities have seen an increase in gifts. Donors are reaching deeper into their reserves to meet the need. National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the nation’s largest independent donor advised fund sponsor, reported the volume of NPT grants in March, April, May and June increased in dollar value an average of 159% compared to the same period in 2019.
Comparing the calendar year 2019 to 2020 at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, we have seen the total amount of donor advised fund grants increase by more than $10 million - an increase of 31%.
Lean into this new season - and keep up the momentum of new channels of support. Maintain the transparency with which you approached donors in the depths of the unknown this year. Keep thinking strategically about how you connect with your constituency. Proceed purposefully with where you set your intentions. I feel confident that our family of endowed organizations will shake off the fatigue of this year, pick up the tools of a new era and emerge as bright as the bulbs of our Rebloom project.
Here's to a bright and healthy new year!