JGA Blog

Dan Schipp

Dan Schipp brings three decades of experience in institutional advancement in higher education to the JGA team. His early career included teaching junior high social studies and working in community planning and development in southern Indiana. Before joining JGA, Dan, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, enjoyed a long career in institutional development with Saint Meinrad Archabbey and School of Theology. Clients value Dan’s quiet, calm and thoughtful demeanor as they navigate difficult challenges.

Recent Posts

Are You Taking Advantage of Challenge Gifts in fundraising?

May 07, 2019

Challenge gifts are a mainstay of most nonprofit fundraising programs for one very good reason . . . they are effective! For decades nonprofits in all sectors have utilized challenge gifts to incentivize giving to achieve a variety of goals.  Their effectiveness has not waned.  They work in any number of situations.  They work with all generations.  Leveraging giving has universal appeal!

Although fundraisers can provide numerous anecdotes of how challenge gifts have stimulated giving, formal research also has shown that challenge gifts attract donors and increase contributions.  One study conducted by Daniel Rondeau and John List in 2008, Matching and Challenge Gifts to Charity:  Evidence from Laboratory and Natural Field Experiments, revealed that challenge gifts attracted 23% more donors and increased total dollar contributions 18%. 

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Giving USA 2018:   Implications for Religion

October 04, 2018

According to Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017, total charitable giving in the United States grew by 5.2 percent to $410.02 billion in 2017. 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.

What this Means for Religious Organizations:

Giving to religion continues to capture the largest percentage of philanthropic dollars (31%) of all subsectors by far, despite having the slowest positive growth rate at 2.9 percent in 2017. This is a continuing pattern of slow growth over the past several years. With total giving of $127.37 billion last year, charitable giving to faith-based organizations continues to grow overall, despite a national trend of decreasing affiliation with and attendance at religious institutions. Among the major Protestant denominations and Catholic and Jewish faith traditions, all have experienced the downward trend in affiliation and attendance. Interestingly, research shows that any form of religious affiliation increases an individual’s average annual charitable contributions overall.

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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%. 

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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.

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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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Giving USA 2016: Fundraising Implications for Giving to Religion

November 10, 2016

According to Giving USA 2016, total charitable giving in the United States grew by 4.1 percent to $373.25 billion in 2015. This marks the highest total amount given in the 40 years Giving USA has tracked this data, both in current dollars and adjusted for inflation.

A few weeks ago we looked at the implications for higher education and healthcare organizations from the Giving USA data. This week we will focus in on the faith-based sector and look at the implications of this latest data on giving to religion.

 What this Means for Religious Organizations:

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Building a Systematic Approach to Major Gifts Fundraising

July 07, 2016

Over the years, JGA has often been asked to help nonprofit organizations move from a transactional fundraising model – focused heavily on direct mail and special events – to a long-term sustainability model. The latter approach is based on building donor relationships that encourage and create meaningful opportunities for philanthropic investment in an organization. A key to success in this relationship-building, major gifts-focused model is a formal prospect management approach.

How do you put in place such a system?  What actions need to be taken to formalize an ongoing program of major gifts fundraising?  The following are four fundamental steps in implementing a systematic approach to major gift development:

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Using Naming Rights in Fundraising

January 19, 2016

A common practice among nonprofit organizations -- the offering of naming opportunities to donors – is seemingly receiving increased scrutiny. In the past fifteen months, for example, The New York Times featured an op-ed article on revising the way tax law treats naming rights and The Wall Street Journal ran a story on how naming rights can go wrong, focusing on a legal battle over a gift made by country singer Garth Brooks.

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8 Best Practices for Fundraising Campaign Success

October 28, 2015

Over the past 21 years, JGA has served as campaign counsel, assisting scores of not-for-profit organizations in planning and conducting all types of fundraising campaigns from comprehensive campaigns, to endowment and capital campaigns. The organizations we have counseled represent all segments of the nonprofit sector – secondary and higher education, cultural arts and museums, health care, human services, churches and religious institutions, and wildlife and environmental causes. We have served as campaign counsel for campaigns with goals of less than $1 million and more than $100 million.

Looking back over these many years of experience with a wide range of campaigns, what are some of the common denominators of successful campaigns? What “best practices” are key to success in a campaign?

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2 Crucial Elements Influence Capital Campaign Success

July 17, 2015

In a recent luncheon conversation, a prospective client asked me, “What, more than anything else, influences the success of a capital campaign?”

A number of important factors quickly came to mind: a well-conceived and executed plan, outstanding institutional and volunteer leadership, great campaign counsel (like JGA, of course . . . just couldn’t resist!).  But as I reflected on the many campaigns in which I have been involved over the years, I told the inquirer two things stand out as being most influential. Donors_Vision_Puzzle_2

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