We’re not close to closing the books on 2020, but the preliminary data continues to look very encouraging. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) reports that charitable giving grew by 7.6% during the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019. FEP is the provider of the Growth in Giving Database, the world’s largest publicly available database of actual donations to nonprofits in the U.S. and Canada. The 3rd quarter marks the second consecutive quarter of strong growth in giving. The FEP 2nd Quarter Report found giving at the halfway point in 2020 ahead of the 2019 pace by 7.5%, so the growth in the 3rd quarter continues the upward trend. The increases are especially notable given that at the close of the 1st quarter, 2020 giving was down by 6% compared to 2019. The rate of growth in the overall number of donors slowed a little in the 3rd quarter (from 7.2% after the 2nd quarter to 6% after the 3rd quarter compared to 2019). The increase in donors is led by the number of new donors, up 11.7% compared to 2019. The only area of significant decline is in new repeat donors — donors who gave for the first time to a charity in 2019 but haven’t given again to the same charity in 2020 so far — down 10.3%.
Give Elon Your Ideas
We bet you have plenty suggestions on how the world’s new richest man can give his money away. Elon Musk lays claim to the biggest net worth ever recorded: $209.3 billion! What he does with it will be closely watched. Judging by Twitter, the Tesla Inc. co-founder’s preferred medium of communication, philanthropy is on his mind. One of his first reactions on becoming the wealthiest human — after an initial shrug — was to solicit advice on how to give it away. Musk, 49, is a philanthropy neophyte compared with those he just leapfrogged on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of the world’s 500 wealthiest people. Despite signing the Giving Pledge initiative that urges the ultra-wealthy to donate at least half their fortunes, Musk has done relatively little publicly in the way of charity. He’s donated more than $257 million to the Musk Foundation — equivalent to about 0.1% of his current net worth — which in turn distributed $65 million between 2016 and 2018 to about 200 nonprofits, according to an analysis by Quartz.
First Million-Dollar Gifts
If I suddenly paid you $1 million for your house, that’s what it would be worth. It’s the same in fundraising. As soon as a non-profit of any size and from any sector receives a million-dollar gift, it moves up to the elite status where donors like to give leadership gifts. I’ve been there for first million-dollar gifts, and it’s hard to top the excitement, and also the awesome momentum it provides in leveraging other leadership gifts. It’s a genuine game-changer. That’s why we can’t wait until January 27th webinar on First Million-Dollar Gifts. We’ll be featuring our longtime and good friend, Marv LeRoy, President and Founder of the Institute for Philanthropic Excellence. The U.S. now boasts about 20 million millionaires. The groundbreaking book The Millionaire Next Door reminded us that most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue — they live next door. Far from being showy, they live below their means. Join our interactive discussion of how to build the pipeline that culminates in first and next million-dollar gifts. The webinar is free, but you must register here.
Planned Giving Power
On the Bookshelf: Surprising Gift of Doubt
We can’t wait to read the latest book from one of the true leaders in our profession (and such a nice human being) with whom we were so proud to partner on a webinar — Concord Leadership Group Founder Marc A. Pitman — who coaches clients to lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. In The Surprising Gift of Doubt, he not only shows you how to conquer your imposter syndrome, but actually harness these uncomfortable feelings to develop a rare level of leadership mastery. In fact, that inner doubt you’re wrestling with is a signal that you are on the verge of greatness. Through the same assessments, exercises and self-management tools Pitman uses to help his executive clients achieve their leadership dreams, you’ll learn to: identify your inherent and learned abilities and apply them most effectively; use stories to amplify your natural leadership strengths; set career and life goals that fuel your leadership objectives; and develop a unique style of leading to heighten your performance and the engagement of your team.
How Likeable Are You?
Quiz: Inaugural Addresses
Stratagems is published monthly by Jim Eskin, Founder of Eskin Fundraising Training, LLC. We offer workshops and customized training sessions for board members, staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations of all kinds and sizes. For details about our services and information, or to find out how to schedule a training session for your organization, visit our website. Follow our events on Facebook, and read more articles about philanthropy on our LinkedIn page.
TO ORDER A COPY OF JIM ESKIN’S BOOK, 10 SIMPLE FUNDRAISING LESSONS, CLICK HERE.