JGA Blog

Angela E. White, CFRE

Angela E. White, CFRE, has been instrumental in JGA’s success since 1996, when she joined the JGA team. In 2011, she became CEO of JGA, responsible for providing day-to-day leadership to the firm and guiding the JGA staff, while continuing to provide tailored consulting services directly to our clients. Angela has a high level of expertise in philanthropic consulting in healthcare, education, social services, arts, and faith-based organizations. She also has considerable depth in strategic planning and data analysis. Among Angela’s passions are women’s issues and women-serving organizations. Angela is a member of the faculty at The Fundraising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and often presents on behalf of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
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Recent Posts

Giving USA Reports a Robust Year for 2019 Giving

June 16, 2020

The environment for charitable giving was favorable in 2019. Economic strength underpinned very positive giving patterns and precedes potential challenges that may occur in 2020, considering the economic, health, political, and social challenges prevailing to date. However, positive trends in 2019 help establish momentum and a strong base of support to which nonprofits can strive to return.

Giving USA Foundation has released annual estimates of charitable giving for 2019, showing that giving reached more than $449 billion amid a strong economy. Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2019  reports Americans gave $449.64 billion in 2019. This marks the third year of growth with the highest giving levels ever seen—over $400 billion—driven by individuals as the largest source of charitable gifts. Total giving reflects an increase of 4.2% in current dollars and of 2.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2018. These numbers demonstrate a robust pattern of giving, bolstered by a strong economy.

Total US Giving 2019

In addition to the impacts of the economy and other challenges this year, political giving trends may be another relevant factor. Historically, political giving represents a low share of all giving and has not had substantial impact on giving across subsectors—so the 2020 election is not anticipated to have a major effect. However, due to high engagement in advocacy, awareness of current issues, and unusual circumstances in 2020, this trend may shift in this election cycle.

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Keep Your Fundraising Team Engaged During Social Distancing

April 21, 2020

Today, the vast majority of us find ourselves and our staff working from home. This remote work arrangement, while necessary for everyone’s health and safety, creates some unique challenges. Though the current crisis has changed how we work, it hasn’t changed the desire to keep the missions of our institutions moving forward. Here are a few tips for you and your team while you are working remotely that will help position your organization to be more effective once the crisis passes.

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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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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 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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Leadership and the Future of Philanthropy

August 02, 2019

We know that 2018 was a complex year for charitable giving – $427.71 billion total charitable giving in the US, the second highest level of giving ever. Yet in actuality, giving was essentially flat in 2018, coming off of a record-breaking 2017 and four years of consecutive growth. As giving mirrors economic fluctuations, the strong performance of economic indicators in 2018 helped drive growth, yet stock market volatility at the end of 2018 may have negatively impacted giving by individuals. Also, the uncertainty of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have impacted individual giving as well.

With these complexities, how do we grow philanthropy in our nation? This has been a key leadership question at JGA over the 25 years of our work with nonprofit clients. We are committed to strengthening philanthropy through research and best practice – and by learning from our colleagues and friends in the industry. 

Perhaps the culmination of our commitment to growing philanthropy takes place this year – our 25th anniversary year – with the appointment of our Senior Consultant and Founder, Ted R. Grossnickle, CFRE, as the Chair of the Giving Institute.

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Giving USA Reports a Strong but Complex Year for 2018 Giving

June 18, 2019

Today, Giving USA released its annual estimate of charitable giving for 2018, showing that giving reached more than $427 billion amid a complex year in terms of economic conditions and a changing policy environment. Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2018 reports that Americans gave $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.

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.adjusted for inflation. Even adjusted for inflation, charitable giving reached its second highest level ever in 2018, second only to 2017.

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Seeking Big Gifts: Steps to build your major gifts fundraising program

May 28, 2019

Building a systematic major gifts program can have a dramatic impact on your fundraising ROI (Return on Investment). Establishing a major gifts program that is systematic involves creating a purposeful, organized, and ongoing program for identifying and cultivating relationships with donors that leads to solicitation and stewardship of major gifts.

A successful major gifts program also entails focusing your efforts on those prospects who are likely to make the largest financial impact on your organization. A sharper focus on your top prospects will allow you to better steward your institution’s resources and work more effectively and efficiently.

We believe success in securing major gifts is so important for nonprofits, that Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy to provide a curated collection of Chronicle articles and JGA insights on major gift fundraising.

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A Quarter-Century Empowering Nonprofits

April 01, 2019

At Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, we are a philanthropic consulting firm that takes our vision quite seriously:

“JGA strengthens the field of philanthropy and empowers not-for-profit organizations to make the world a better place.”

It’s been that way since 1994, when Don Johnson and Ted Grossnickle had a vision for a distinctly different consulting firm. From the beginning, JGA was intended to be a high-quality, personalized, deeply strategic consulting practice for nonprofits. JGA would be the firm that would think intuitively about a client situation. If needed, a consultant would take extra time to do the job right. JGA would under-promise and over-deliver. And, consequently, through good service to the nonprofit community, JGA would have a positive impact in making the world a better place – living out our vision. 

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