Mark Your Calendars -- November 15th
Non-Profit Work Ethic
A Campbell Rinker survey shows that despite increasing economic anxiety among America’s middle class, a greater share of people who gave at least $20 during the previous 12 months plan to continue giving than at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eighty-seven percent of those donors polled in July said they plan to continue giving. That’s a sharp rise from 78% in September of 2020. Of those donors, 59% said they plan to give “more sparingly or carefully” than previously, up from 52% in September 2020. Seventeen percent of donors said they planned to give less in 2021 than previously, compared with 28% in September of 2020 who said they planned to give less that year. Meanwhile, 26% of donor households are finding their financial situation very or extremely challenging, up from 24% in September 2020 and 22% in April 2020. However, donor confidence about the year ahead appears to be growing: 63% expect the economy to stay the same or improve in the year ahead, compared with 51% who said that in September of 2020 and 40% in April 2020.
Challenges for Small Non-Profits
More than half (53%) of non-profits have had greater demand for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one-third are experiencing higher operating costs. Four in 10 non-profits have cut operating costs, and one-third have pared back programs or services. That’s data from the Nonprofit Leadership Survey Report 2021 by Grassi Advisors & Accountants. Cutbacks hit smaller non-profits harder than larger ones, with 48% of those having costs less than $5 million experiencing cutbacks, compared with 37% of those with expenses in the $5 to $25 million range and 36% with costs greater than $25 million. Non-profits have explored a variety of cost-cutting and revenue-supplementing activities. Slightly fewer than one-quarter (23%) have renegotiated leases and other contractual financial obligations. Some 7% have terminated automatic payments and 15% have increased their draws on their endowments. Five percent merged with another nonprofit during the past year. Human capital is also being affected. Nearly one-third of nonprofits had layoffs and furloughs, while 12% reduced employee benefits. Two in 10 are operating under a hiring freeze. What will non-profits need for future success? Funding, funding, funding. While 60% said their top priority was attracting and retaining qualified people, the next three priorities bunched revenue concerns, with 56% seeking improved fundraising, 55% indicating a pressing need for more funding for overhead costs, and 54% citing the need to stabilized revenue and cash flow.
Legacy Giving Spike
Affluent Step Up
Stretching Gift Amounts
We love donors for the generous and precious gifts of time and money that they make to advance our non-profits. We love them even more when they can increase the size of their gifts to magnify the impact on the mission. Fortunately, there have never been so many options to help donors stretch the size of gift amounts. Our thanks to Candid Learning for featuring our guest column on this topic.
Overcoming Fundraising Fright
Let’s face it: Most people are afraid of fundraising and especially asking for gifts. A better description might be terrified. So, I turned to seven members of the Eskin Fundraising Training Brain Trust, whom I consider among the most respected and brightest authorities among fundraising consultants across the country. Read my LinkedIn feature that shares their advice and counsel to give to board members and other volunteers who partner with us to advance the missions of our non-profits.
On the Bookshelf: How We Give Now
In How We Give Now, Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab, shows that philanthropy is more than writing a check and claiming a tax deduction. For most of us — the non-wealthy givers — philanthropy can be a way of living our values and fully participating in society. We give in all kinds of ways: shopping at certain businesses, canvassing for candidates, donating money, and making conscious choices with our retirement funds. We give our cash, our time, and even our data to make the world a better place. Bernholz takes readers on a tour of the often-overlooked worlds of participatory philanthropy, learning from a diverse group of 40 resourceful givers. Donating our digitized personal data is an emerging form of philanthropy, and Bernholz describes safe, equitable, and effective ways of doing so, for example, giving genetic data for medical research through a non-profit genetics organization rather than a commercial one.
$29 Billion Calling
U.S. savings bonds helped finance World War II and for decades provided risk-free investments for average Americans, including millions of children who received them as boring but practical birthday presents whose full-face value loomed years away. But they fell out of favor in the 1990s with the rise of the Internet and a plethora of potentially more lucrative and exciting investment options. Now, the humble paper savings bond has become so forgotten that the Treasury Department says 80 million of them, worth a total of $29 billion, have fully matured but have not been redeemed. Some of that money might be yours.
Quiz: World Series Winners
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.
Jim Eskin, Founder
Eskin Fundraising Training
ANSWERS TO THIS MONTH’S QUIZ: 1=d, 2=a, 3=b, 4=c, 5=e