JGA Blog

The CARES Act and Your Donors: The Potential Impact on Giving

April 06, 2020

The CARES Act, an economic stimulus bill that was passed into law on March 27, 2020, contains many provisions to assist for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Most of the initial commentary about the recent stimulus packages has, for obvious reasons, focused upon the organizational aspects such as payroll protection and enhancements to the small business loan program.

It is important that you also consider the tax changes that potentially affect the planning considerations of your donors and, therefore, might also affect your fundraising efforts.

Here are three aspects of the CARES Act that might have an effect on the philanthropic planning of your donors. Keep in mind that these are not the primary reasons a donor makes a gift. Your mission matters the most. Tax planning tends to affect how they give, not why.

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COVID-19: Historical Giving Data and What to Do Today

March 23, 2020

A week ago Friday, I posted my first blog about COVID-19 and the impact it might have on nonprofit  philanthropy. A lot has changed in the past week – seemingly by the hour.  As you continue to navigate these complex waters, let’s first take a look at some historical data to see how philanthropy weathered the storm of other crises. 

The Data

Unfortunately, there is no philanthropic data from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, so we have to look at the next most relevant set of data. The research from Giving USA and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy help us understand how donors behave during a time of crisis and also during an economic downturn.

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COVID-19: Philanthropy in a Changing Landscape

March 13, 2020

We hope above all that you and yours are safe and healthy.

With the escalation of COVID-19, we know that you are facing many complex decisions and processing information at a fast pace. We want to assure you that JGA is here to help you think through the complex donor situations and the potential impact of COVID-19 on philanthropy. As always, our JGA team is accessible; whether we are working with you in your setting or remotely, we will stay in close touch to assist with this fluid situation. We have considerable expertise in remote work and anticipate there will be no disruptions to our service.  

While it is too early to predict the full impact COVID-19 will have on giving and volunteering by your friends and supporters, we recommend that you and your colleagues focus on the following key areas in these days:

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Leaving a Legacy – 3 practical implications for planned giving

February 27, 2020

In November 2019, the Giving USA Foundation published a special report associated with its research of planned giving donors and their motivations to give. This study, "Leaving a Legacy: A New Look at Planned Giving Donors," was based upon national survey results from more than 860 planned giving donors and an additional 40 personal interviews. The study provides information on key trends, motivations, and insights.

 

Here are key findings and three practical implications for your planned giving program from this valuable research:

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Using Data to Focus Your Major Gift Efforts

February 10, 2020

 

Though personal visits are the gold standard to engage and cultivate major gift donors, they can be costly and labor intensive if you are not seeing the right prospects. But how can you ensure you are connecting with the best prospects?

Your database holds the answer. Big data is a buzz word we’re hearing more and more about, particularly for its ability to organize large volumes of data to uncover hidden trends and its ability to make organizations more efficient through predictive analytics. This emerging trend involves utilizing historical data to find patterns and correlations to build assumptions and develop potential scenarios. So how do we take those concepts and put them into practice with our nonprofit organizations?

The trick to finding major and planned gift donors within your data is to identify those with both the ability to make a major donation, as well as the affinity to give to your organization. A good prospect has not only the capacity to give to your organization, but also an interest and inclination to give to your mission.

While you can’t grow a prospect’s capacity, inclination can be nurtured through cultivation.

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Giving USA 2019: Implications for Religious Organizations

January 28, 2020

According to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, American giving reached $427.71 billion in 2018, an increase of 0.7 percent in terms of current dollars but a decline of 1.7 percent from 2017, when adjusted for inflation. Even adjusted for inflation, charitable giving reached its second highest level ever in 2018, second only to 2017. Thus, 2018 is seen as a very strong but complex year in terms of philanthropy.


What this Means for Religious Organizations:

Giving USA reports that giving to religion declined to $124.52 billion in 2018 (a 1.5 percent drop in current dollars and a 3.9 percent drop when adjusted for inflation). This is the first decline for the sector following seven years of positive or flat growth. Still, it remains the largest philanthropic subsector, receiving 29 percent of all charitable gifts in 2018. It is notable that for the purposes of the Giving USA report, religious organizations include congregations, missions, religious media, and other related organizations. Even with this narrow definition, giving to religion comprised 29 percent of charitable donations in 2018. If all houses of worship and religiously oriented charities (e.g., schools, hospitals) were included in this category, up to 75 percent of all charitable giving could be considered religious in nature.

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Leading for Change: Onboarding the next generation of nonprofit leaders

December 02, 2019

Boomers are moving toward retirement, Generation X is taking on greater leadership roles, and Millennials are accelerating their career development. As the next generation of leaders are introduced into nonprofit workplaces, they will bring with them new personalities, opportunities, and approaches to fundraising. Current nonprofit leaders have the opportunity to learn from the next generation, tailor their hiring strategies to attract and retain the best candidates and create successful onboarding programs.

Recently, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy to provide a curated collection of Chronicle articles and JGA insights on grooming future leaders, hiring fundraisers, and preparing for the next generation of nonprofit workers. We encourage you to download this collection of articles produced by Chronicle Intelligence, a division of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

One important step in strengthening your advancement team is to reduce employee turnover, which is an area that often presents challenges for nonprofits. Frequent staff changes can tap limited resources, impact mission delivery and hamper fundraising.

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Giving USA 2019: Implications for Healthcare

November 20, 2019

According to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, American giving reached $427.71 billion in 2018, an increase of 0.7 percent in terms of current dollars but a decline of 1.7 percent from 2017, when adjusted for inflation. Even adjusted for inflation, charitable giving reached its second highest level ever in 2018, second only to 2017. Thus, 2018 is seen as a very strong but complex year in terms of philanthropy.

What this Means for Healthcare Organizations:

Giving to health reached $40.78 billion in 2018. While growth over 2017 was nearly flat at just 0.1 percent (or declined by 2.3 percent when adjusted for inflation), the sector had its second highest level of giving ever when adjusted for inflation. Large gifts are common in this sector but donor retention lags behind other sectors. According to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 2018 annual Report on Giving, the largest sources of healthcare funds raised in 2017 were corporate/foundation and major gifts, followed by special events, annual gifts, and planned giving. 

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Giving USA 2019: Implications for Higher Education

October 22, 2019

According to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, American giving reached $427.71 billion in 2018, an increase of 0.7 percent in terms of current dollars but a decline of 1.7 percent from 2017, when adjusted for inflation. Even adjusted for inflation, charitable giving reached its second highest level ever in 2018, second only to 2017. Thus, 2018 is seen as a very strong but complex year in terms of philanthropy.

What this Means for Colleges and Universities:

After four years of consecutive growth, Giving USA estimates that giving to the education sector (which includes colleges, universities, and other educational institutions such as libraries as well as K-12 schools) declined in 2018. Specifically, giving to education organizations totaled an estimated $58.72 billion in 2018 (a decline by 1.3% in current dollars and 3.7% when adjusted for inflation).

However, while giving to education organizations overall fell slightly in 2018, there is some positive news regarding giving to higher education specifically. The Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey found that total contributions to higher education reached their highest levels ever in the 2017-2018 academic year. Indeed, VSE found that giving to these institutions was 7.2 percent higher than in the year previous. According to the survey, contributions from all donor types increased with the most notable gains from non-alumni individuals and organizations other than corporations and foundations. Respondents to the VSE survey also reported that giving from donor-advised funds (DAFs) increased 65.8 percent over last year.

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Maximizing Volunteer Engagement

October 03, 2019

Would you be surprised to learn that most nonprofits are failing to make use of one of their most valuable resources? What if I told you that that resource is 100% free?

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