JGA Blog

Giving USA 2017: Implications for Higher Education

June 28, 2017

We've had a couple of weeks now to absorb the data on 2016 charitable giving provided by the release of the Giving USA 2017 report Now, we'd like to share a look at the implications of the data for those fundraisers involved in higher education advancement.

Total Giving

To recap, according to Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016, total charitable giving in the United States grew by 2.7 percent to $390.05 billion in 2016. This marks the highest total amount given in the 40 years Giving USA has tracked this data, both in current dollars and when adjusted for inflation.

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Attracting and Retaining Good Fundraising Talent

June 19, 2017

The foundation of a strong fundraising program is built on relationships. When your organization has a talented and dedicated staff, you have the key elements to form relationships with your donors. What can we do to ensure we’re attracting and retaining our most valuable asset – people – while growing a strong culture of philanthropy?

What does the data show us about the current landscape of hiring development staff?

Recent research shows that the fundraising profession has a high turnover in staff positions and a dearth of qualified candidates to fill the void. Working with our clients, we hear stories of vacancies, long searches, and short stays.

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Giving USA Indicates Growth in Philanthropy Across All Nonprofit Sectors

June 13, 2017

Giving USA released its annual estimates of U.S. charitable giving today for 2016, and the results show overall growth during a presidential election year filled with national tumult and impending policy changes. Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy reports that total giving in our nation reached $390.05 billion in 2016, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2015. This total is the highest since Giving USA began tracking this data 40 years ago.

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How Does Your Fundraising Measure Up? Improve Performance with a Development Audit

May 23, 2017

A development audit is a great “barometer” to measure the capabilities of your development office and to establish goals and strategies for future success. This internal assessment is a rare opportunity to get a fresh perspective on a strong development program and can allow you to pause and take stock of how things are going and what resources may be needed to move forward and produce even better results. Development audits can also help solidify an organization’s philanthropic focus by ensuring board, staff, and all areas of the organization are working together and embrace a unified culture of philanthropy. Often, organizations seek such an assessment of internal readiness in preparation for a new campaign or as a strategic planning process begins.

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Teaching Our Children to Give: Passing Down Our Philanthropic Values to Gen Z

March 30, 2017

“Why don’t we give money to the Church any more, mom?,” was the question from my then ten-year-old son one Sunday morning. I realized that he had stopped seeing my husband and me put the envelope in the collection basket, as we had done for as long as he could remember.

Well, of course we had not stopped giving to our Church but rather had moved to a more convenient and consistent method of giving that was encouraged by our parish…. online giving. Online giving ensures a weekly collection regardless of travel or forgetting the envelope at home, yet it takes away a very important symbol of giving: the physical habit of placing the envelope in the basket for all to see.

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Developing Your Fundraising ‘Swing’: Lessons Learned from Rowing

March 16, 2017

 

“When you get the rhythm in an eight, it’s pure pleasure to be in it.  It’s not hard work when the rhythm comes – that ‘swing’ as they call it. I’ve heard men shriek out with delight when that swing came in an eight; it’s a thing they’ll never forget as long as they live.”

 - George Yeoman Pocock, as quoted in The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

The book, and accompanying note, arrived shortly before Thanksgiving. It came from a chief advancement officer to express gratitude for being part of the leadership team of a successful campaign and to bring closure to the work of that team. 

I expected it to be a book about leadership or vision or philanthropy, but I was wrong. It was a book about rowing! It was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, a #1 New York Times bestseller about the crew of working class boys from the University of Washington (UW) who, against all odds, competed for the eight-oar gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

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Understanding Baby Boomer Donors and their Giving Preferences

March 10, 2017

We now have 5 generations of donors, workers, and volunteers in the philanthropic marketplace:

  1. Gen Z (born after 1995)
  2. Millennials (1981 – 1995)
  3. Gen-X (1965 – 1980)
  4. Boomers (1946 – 1964) 
  5. Silent/Greats (born before 1946) 

Increased life expectancy, better healthcare, and delayed retirement all contribute to this unprecedented generational diversity.

Why should development professionals pay attention to generational diversity in the philanthropic marketplace? Each generation is influenced by their own economic, social, political, and environmental dynamics as well as collective experiences and different worldviews. These factors inform philanthropic behavior and generational giving preferences and have implications on how we as development professionals build relationships with donors.

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Maximizing Major Gift Fundraising

February 27, 2017

Did you know development programs that rely solely on transactional giving, like direct mail and special events, generally have a return of investment (ROI) of about 200 percent, while programs that are relationship-based and major gift focused can enjoy a much higher ROI of 500 percent or more?

That’s why it’s so important to have a diversified development program with a strong and systemized major and planned gifts component. Now is a good time to evaluate your major gift practices to make certain that you are being as effective as possible when you, your volunteers, development staff, and CEO are cultivating major gift prospects.

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Donor Data: 4 Strategies to Maximize Your Fundraising

January 17, 2017

 

Data-driven fundraising is a vital tool that can help you maximize your development efforts. JGA asked Bill Tedesco with DonorSearch to share tips on using insights from your donor data to help you reach your donors effectively and efficiently.

Using your donor data is especially important for building relationships with major donor prospects. Don’t waste resources sending appeals that donors won’t respond to. Instead, use these 4 strategies to maximize your fundraising with donor data:

1. Identify major donors.

2. Establish your appeal strategies.

3. Send effective appeals.

4. Create your stewardship plan.

 

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3 Philanthropic Trends Driving Fundraising in 2017

January 12, 2017

We are off and running into 2017!  After a fall that was focused on the US Presidential election, the 2016 year-end season of giving seemed like a wonderful opportunity to focus on helping others, thanking donors for their generosity, and looking ahead to 2017.

As I look ahead, I believe that these are the 3 philanthropic trends that will underpin our fundraising landscape in 2017:

  1. Advocacy – As our nonprofits work with their newly elected officials, a focus on advocacy will emerge as more important than ever.  How do we communicate the role of advocacy to our donors and ask them to invest in advocacy? The Council of Nonprofits outlines the need for heightened advocacy and the
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