Stratagems, September 2022

Happy National Non-Profit Day!

August 17th is on the official calendar of celebrations to pay respect to the awesome contributions of the non-profit sector (in addition to National Philanthropy Day that falls on November 15th). For a moment imagine a world without non-profits. It’s not a pleasant proposition. That would mean:
  • No 1.5 million organizations championing every conceivable mission under the sun.
  • No 12 million non-profit employees — the third largest workforce in the U.S., behind retail and manufacturing. This includes $826 billion spent on salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes every year.
  • No 77.4 million Americans, or 30% of the adult population, donating 6.7 billion hours of volunteer service worth $167 billion.
  • No private contributions of $485 billion from individuals, corporations and foundations.
In this nightmarish universe there would be huge gaps in responding to health, educational, economic development, cultural, human services and many other vital priorities. Fortunately, the non-profit sector is alive and well-fueled by the passion of wonderful men and women who are devoted to improving the lot of others.
We all benefit from a robust and healthy non-profit sector 24/7 as it touches, improves and saves more lives. We need to thank our amazing professional and volunteer non-profit leaders for their service on August 17th and every other day. Read my blog on the NANOE website for more on this subject.

Coalition Building

The Ford, Kresge, and Rockefeller foundations have announced their participation in the Biden-Harris administration’s Economic Opportunity Coalition (EOC), announced by Vice President Kamala Harris, which aims to catalyze and align public and private investments to address economic disparities and accelerate economic opportunities in underserved communities across the country. The three foundations will join 21 corporations in coordinating across the public, private and social sectors to develop and deploy products that direct resources where they are most needed and drive outcomes for meaningful action. To that end, the coalition is designed to uplift and support underserved communities in four focus areas: investing in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs), supporting minority- and women-owned business enterprises, expanding equitable access to credit and other financial services, and making infrastructure investments that create more community wealth and economic opportunity. The coalition has pledged more than $3 billion in investments, including $250 million in long-term, low-interest debt and more than $70 million in grants to CDFIs and MDIs. The groups also will support entrepreneurship and minority-owned businesses, with EOC committed to purchasing more than $6 billion in products and services from diverse suppliers and investing more than $500 million in funding to Black- and Hispanic-owned and led equity funds.

Carnegie Medals

The international family of Carnegie institutions named five distinguished philanthropists and one organization as recipients of the 2022 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of their extraordinary contributions toward addressing the challenges facing our world. The goal of awarding the medal is to inspire a culture of giving by honoring innovative philanthropists and by elevating the importance and relevance of philanthropic contributions to our society. Recipients include:
  • Singer-songwriter and entrepreneur Dolly Parton, who founded the Dollywood Foundation in 1988. The foundation’s flagship program is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which has since 1995 sent more than 186 million free books to children across the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Republic of Ireland.
  • Lyda Hill, founder of Hill World Travel, who supports charities including the Visiting Nurse Association, World Presidents’ Organization, and American Heart Association.
  • Lynn and Stacy Shusterman, who oversee Schusterman Family Philanthropies, with approximately $400 million in annual grants for causes that support inclusion and equality.
  • Manu Chandaria, a funder of higher education programs in Africa.
  • World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés, which will receive the first-ever Carnegie Catalyst Award.
Among the most prestigious honors in the field, the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy has been awarded for more than two decades, since its establishment in 2001, by the family of Carnegie institutions — more than 20 organizations in the U.S. and Europe founded by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. To date, more than 65 philanthropists have been honored with the medal.

Global Trends

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has published its second biennial “Global Trends and Strategic Time Horizons in Philanthropy” report. This is the only global survey of philanthropy of its kind. In an analysis of responses from 150 philanthropies from 30 countries, RPA found that the global challenges of 2020 and 2021 led over one-third of them to accelerate their spending and several more to consider revising their philanthropic timelines. This study expands on RPA’s previous research in 2019 and 2020 to understand the factors that affect a philanthropy’s consideration in choosing the length of time for which it will remain active. With the advent of COVID-19, socio-economic uncertainty, and rising geopolitical tensions, the responses help illuminate how and why philanthropic organizations make important decisions, including those about funders’ philanthropic timeframes. Education, community and economic development, and health are top programmatic priorities overall. When comparing differences among the time horizons, “political, civil, and human rights” was cited as the third leading area of programmatic focus among those considering a time-limited model, fourth for time-limited respondents and fifth for in-perpetuity organizations.

Cherchez La Femme

Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the past couple of years, 68% of women are more committed than ever to making a positive difference in the world, and 7 in 10 have increased their philanthropic efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic turbulence of the last two years, and increased social activism are among the key events that have influenced women to reassess their goals, according to the UBS report Women on Purpose. 80% of survey respondents said they’ve reexamined what’s important to them due to the events of the past two years. As a result, three quarters are now more committed than ever to making a difference in the world. Of those increasing their philanthropic support, 53% gave more of their time, 50% donated more money, and 38% shared more of their expertise. This could mean increasing their charitable giving, using their purchasing power to support companies and brands whose values align with theirs, changing to jobs or careers that have more meaning, or finding more time in their already busy lives to be of service to others. Importantly, women are in a better position do so. As their philanthropic inclinations have grown, so has their wealth. As of 2020, women in the U.S. controlled $11 trillion, about a third of financial assets, and that number is expected to reach $30 trillion by 2030, according to the report.

Student Loans

More than 145,000 U.S. borrowers have had the remainder of their student loan debt canceled through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and officials say many more likely qualify. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, launched in 2007 to steer more graduates to public service, cancels the remainder of a borrower’s federal student loan debt after they make 10 years of monthly payments while doing public interest work, or 120 monthly payments over any time span while doing public interest work. Teachers, librarians, nurses, public interest lawyers, military members and other public workers can all apply. Any not-for-profit organization that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code also qualifies. The U.S. Department of Education has relaxed the complex rules for applying for the program, but only until October 31. 

DAF Explosion

Everywhere we look we see more evidence of donor advised funds being the most dynamic component of American philanthropy. Latest evidence: Donations from Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s largest grantmaker, climbed 11% to a record $4.8 billion for the first half of 2022. The growth in payouts from Fidelity’s donor-advised funds — which let donors enjoy tax deductions and investment gains on their donations before they give the money away — paints a far sunnier picture about philanthropy than other recent reports. The Giving USA report found 2021 donations were down 0.7% when adjusted for inflation. That was a sign that the sector is generally struggling to keep pace with increased needs caused by higher prices and global crises like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Fidelity Charitable donors earmarked more than $128 million in grants to Ukraine aid efforts in the first half of 2022. Emergency relief organization International Medical Corps saw the number of Fidelity Charitable donors provide them a grant jump of more than 1000% compared to the first half of 2021, while chef José Andrés’ food security non-profit World Central Kitchen grew more than 500%.

Celebrity Corner

The journey of Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a story for the ages. The actress is a born achiever and dons many feathers in her cap. From winning the Miss World 2000 crown to being listed by Forbes among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Priyanka Chopra has been nothing short of an inspiration to young women. Today, she is not only a pageant winner and actress but also a businesswoman, producer, author, philanthropist, and former UNICEF goodwill ambassador for child rights. She is also an advocate of the feminist movement and has spoken about women’s empowerment through education. She founded “The Priyanka Foundation for Health and Education,” which provides support to underprivileged children. Chopra had initially aspired to become an aeronautical engineer, but fate had different plans in store for her. 

Friendships Overcome Poverty

Relationships can have a profound influence on a life, from the schools that people attend to the jobs they land. But teasing out how those connections impact a person’s economic status is tricky. Now, an analysis of billions of Facebook connections by researchers at Nature, the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal. suggests that childhood friendships between wealthier and poorer individuals is linked to increased earnings later in life for poor children. The study uses big data (roughly 72 million Facebook users ages 25 to 44 in the U.S.) to explain long-standing research showing that a poor child’s loose social connections, such as to mentors or their wealthier friends’ parents, can help lift that child out of poverty. 

On the Bookshelf: 24 Rules for Raising Even More Money

Do you have access to a rulebook to guide what you should do and shouldn’t do to be more successful? Our good friend and colleague Diana Hoyt, Chief Strategist & Trainer, Formula for Fundraising, is furnishing such a valuable resource in her new book. She is our go-to subject matter expert on the case for support and we’ve featured her in our webinar series on multiple occasions. But her knowledge of fundraising is much more extensive than that. Her new book is based upon ideas gleaned from her experience as a volunteer fundraiser, a chief development officer, fundraising consultant and trainer, and as a business owner of a fundraising donor management software company. Having worked with hundreds of organizations, she learned that certain rules are important because they help the fundraiser maintain a high level of professionalism and integrity, and most importantly raise even more money. You’ll like that Diana kept the book short. The text is written like bullet points, with some requiring more depth. She includes an appendix with a treatise about writing a case for support and provides an example case. Most non-profits know they need a case, and they know they should update it every year. However, they don’t. She hopes that all readers will take chapters eight and nine to heart. The two chapters reflect her mantra, KNOW YOUR NUMBERS, KNOW YOUR DONORS®. She is not sure how any organization successfully raises money year-over-year and retains its donors without clarity regarding how many donors the organization has and who the donors are, and what the donors’ dreams and aspirations are for the community. She believes not having this information and not creating strategic planning around this information has resulted in the downward spiral of donor retention and the high burnout rate of development professionals. These two chapters encompass the need for analytics and engagement in fundraising success. Do yourself a favor and read this gem of a resource for everyone engaged in the fundraising loop.

Cats

The virtual cat hero from the new video game sensation “Stray” doesn’t just wind along rusted pipes, leap over unidentified sludge and decode clues in a seemingly abandoned city. The daring orange tabby is helping real world cats as well. Thanks to online fundraising platforms, gamers are playing “Stray” while streaming live for audiences to raise money for animal shelters and other cat-related charities. Annapurna Interactive, the game’s publisher, also promoted “Stray” by offering two cat rescue and adoption agencies copies of the game to raffle off and renting out a New York cat cafe. Livestreaming game play for charity isn’t new, but the resonance “Stray” quickly found from cat lovers is unusual. It was the fourth most watched and broadcast game on the day it launched on Twitch, the streaming platform said. Viewers watch as players navigate the adventurous feline through an aging industrial landscape doing normal cat stuff — balancing on railings, walking on keyboards and knocking things off shelves — to solve puzzles and evade enemies. Our two cats, Billie and Joey, heartily approve.

Quiz: Top National Parks

There’s a national park for everybody whether you’re seeking an educational experience, wild back country tour, or adventure in hot springs in an urban area. Out of the 62 national parks, which draw millions of visitors every year, match the following national parks with their visitation results for last year. Answers are shown at the bottom of the page.
 
1. Grand Canyon ………………………a. 4.4 M
2. Great Smoky Mountains ………..b. 4.5 M
3. Rocky Mountain ……………………c. 4.8 M
4. Yellowstone ………………………….d. 5 M
5. Zion ……………………………………..e. 14.1 M

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

Jim Eskin, Founder

Eskin Fundraising Training

Email: [email protected]
Cell: 210.415.3748
www.eskinfundraisingtraining.com

ANSWERS TO THIS MONTH’S QUIZ:  1=b, 2=e, 3=a, 4=c, 5=d

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