JGA Blog

Giving USA Reports U.S. Giving Tops $400 Billion in 2017

June 12, 2018

Giving USA released its annual estimates of U.S. charitable giving today, and the results show impressive growth despite a shifting national landscape. Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 reports that total charitable giving in our nation reached $410.02 billion in 2017, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2016. This total breaks the lofty $400 billion mark and is the highest in the history of Giving USA, which began tracking this data more than 40 years ago.

Published by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute, Giving USA is the longest running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America. It is researched and created by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

All but one of the nine major categories of charitable organizations realized growth in giving. (International affairs saw a decrease of 4.4%.) Amid new national leadership, numerous national disasters, and the uncertain impact of tax law changes in December, Americans gave. This positive growth trend was fueled by a strong economy and an increase in personal consumption (4.5%)—the strongest indicator of individual giving.

Read More..

Giving Trends in America Highlight Need for National Conversation

June 06, 2018

This is the time of year when some attention gets focused on giving in America. The Giving USA Foundation will release next week its report on the latest facts and trends. JGA is a member of Giving USA and the Giving Institute and we are pleased to help promote awareness of the upcoming report. 

As we do so this year, we should pay special attention to the trend lines – and what they mean not only for giving and volunteering but for our nation. From my perspective, there are mixed signs – and some real concern.

Read More..

How Women and Men Approach Impact Investing

May 24, 2018

Impact investing is a rapidly growing field – one that's important for nonprofit fundraisers to understand. As more people see impact investing as a way to advance social change, how will this influence the philanthropic sector? Do nonprofits need to adjust or evolve their donor engagement strategies as impact investing continues to gain steam?

As a relatively new practice, there is not yet much research regarding how people use impact investing, and even less research connecting the fields of impact investing and philanthropy. A new report from the Women's Philanthropy Institute – "How Women and Men Approach Impact Investing" – is among the first to explore this connection through a gender lens. It includes a number of key insights for nonprofit organizations to consider, including:

Read More..

Create a Development Plan to Guide your Fundraising Efforts

May 10, 2018

Do you have an updated development plan and do you use it? Creating a comprehensive development plan can guide your organization’s fundraising efforts and position you for future fundraising success. The plan can help you prioritize your fundraising activities for both short- and long-term growth, identify key constituent groups, and provide metrics and benchmarks by which to measure and evaluate success.

Read More..

Establish a Plan Early for Counting Planned Gifts in a Campaign

April 13, 2018

 

Nonprofit organizations across the country utilize campaigns to rally key constituents around programs and projects that move the organization forward. Fundraising campaigns provide a great platform to share the vision of the organization, serve as the catalyst to engage volunteers in hands-on fundraising activities, and significantly increase philanthropic resources to the organization. When done properly, campaigns can significantly enhance an organization’s impact and improve operations, however, much planning and preparation are required before moving into a campaign.

The role of planned gifts in a campaign is one area that must be discussed early. Planned gifts are funding as much as 40 percent of some comprehensive campaign goals, so it is crucial to establish a clear policy for these types of donations before beginning to solicit gifts for a campaign.

Read More..

New Research Shows Benefits of Diversity on Nonprofit Boards 

February 20, 2018

Nonprofit boards that include a higher percentage of women tend to have board members who participate more in fundraising and advocacy. Members of these boards also tend to be more involved in the board’s work, new research released today shows. 

These findings are just two of a number of results from the study, The Impact of Diversity: Understanding How Nonprofit Board Diversity Affects Philanthropy, Leadership, and Board Engagement, which can help board members and nonprofits strengthen their boards through diversity. The research was conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI in partnership with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates and BoardSource. 

Read More..

Good Stewardship is the Key to Donor Retention

January 31, 2018

Have you looked at your overall and new donor retention rates lately? If your organization is like most other nonprofit organizations, there is ample room for improvement.  According to the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, the average overall donor retention rate for the nearly 11,000 nonprofits participating in the study was 45%. The average new donor retention rate was 23%. 

Good Stewardship (1).jpg

As noted in the AFP report, for the past 10 years, the average overall donor retention rate has been less than 50%.

How can your organization move the needle on donor retention?  A good place to start is with donor stewardship.

Read More..

Giving to Religion - A Leader in  Charitable Giving

January 19, 2018

Giving USA has published the longest-running, most comprehensive analysis of charitable contributions since 1957—and religion continually tops the list over the other nonprofit subsectors by a wide margin. The Giving USA:Special Report on Giving to Religion (Fall 2017) sheds new light on giving to this important sector, including the unique challenge of calculating these estimates and how the evolving religious landscape is changing charitable giving in America overall.Giving to Religion-1.jpg

At an estimated $122.94 billion given in 2016, religion cornered the market at 32% of total giving, which is more than twice the next closest contender, education. But a closer look at the data behind this sector reveals some relevant facts that can inform giving more broadly across all sectors. Generally, religious donors give at higher rates to other subsectors than their non-religious peers, according to Connected to Give: Faith Communities.

Read More..

Understanding the Tax Law Changes and the Implications for Charitable Giving

January 03, 2018

by Angela E. White, CFRE and John T. Keith, J.D.

Happy New Year from JGA! As we ring in 2018, the biggest change in the philanthropic marketplace will be questions about the impact of the new tax law changes.

The much-discussed bill is the most significant change to our tax code since 1986. It will take several months for these changes to be implemented, particularly the changes to payroll systems and withholdings, etc. For example, the entire system of claiming personal exemptions on the W-4 will be gone. It seems reasonable to assume that all workers will need new W-4s based on a newly designed form, unless the IRS allows some form of automatic conversion, which is unclear at this moment.

Read More..

Help Donors Do More with Their Nest Egg – Tax-Free Charitable IRA Rollovers

November 30, 2017

 

Educating donors about the benefits of charitable IRA rollovers is a great way to uncover future planned giving prospects for nonprofit fundraising. This flexible giving vehicle provides donors a tax-free method to support their favorite causes, whether they itemize their deductions on their federal tax return or not.

Since they were first created in 1974 as a part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have become a featured financial and tax planning tool. Some of your organization’s donors have saved for retirement for years through IRA accounts and then, upon retirement, they discover that they don’t yet need the IRA. Given a choice, these donors would simply allow their IRA funds to stay in the account and continue to grow for the future, however, IRA owners are required to begin taking minimum withdrawals after age 70 ½.

Read More..