JGA Blog

Honoring a Leader in our Profession

March 26, 2019

On April 2nd in San Antonio, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor Dr. Paul Pribbenow, PH.D., CFRE,  as Outstanding Fundraising Professional for 2019 at the International Conference on Fundraising.

This is one of those occasions when a “blog” just doesn’t provide enough space to say why this is such a great honor and why it’s so appropriate. The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is the highest honor that AFP bestows upon one of its members, recognizing effective, creative and stimulating leadership, as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising.

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Required Reading for Running a Campaign

January 17, 2019

Thoughtful planning for a campaign is more important than it has ever been. The pressure to meet increasingly high expectations is real, establishing ambitious but realistic goals is more critical than ever, and yet resources to do so are seriously constrained or questioned.

Recently, Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA) partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy to provide a curated collection of Chronicle articles and JGA insights on capital campaigns. While capital campaigns were historically the province of large charities and major institutions like universities and hospitals, in recent years they’ve become increasingly common among nonprofits of all sizes. In this collection of articles produced by Chronicle Intelligence, a division of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, we show you how to help your organization plan, market, and complete a successful capital campaign.

 If you believe a campaign is in your future, think about how well your organization can answer these key questions:

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Top 5 Things for Nonprofits to Know in 2019 About Tax Law Changes

January 02, 2019

In December 2017, Congress passed and the president signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which contained what many describe as the most significant changes to the tax code since 1986.  During 2018, we received many questions from our nonprofit clients about the implications of these changes for their donors. 

1. What is the most significant tax law change that could affect the short-term philanthropic planning of our donors and, therefore, our annual giving program? 

The 2017 tax law change nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals (from $6,350 to $12,000 and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly). This means that fewer taxpayers will claim itemized deductions. Research has shown that those donors who claim itemized deductions are more likely to give consistently (should we say that this may be correlation rather than causation). In the recent past, approximately 30% of taxpayers have claimed itemized deductions. As a result of the tax law change, it is estimated that approximately 15% to 20% of taxpayers will continue to itemize their deductions.

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Need to Expand Your Donor Base? Start from within and work outward

December 20, 2018

Over the years, we have all seen gimmicks promising to be the “silver bullet” in fundraising. However, there are no new quick solutions to solve your fundraising problems. Successful fundraising takes the right blend of art and science that matures over time with persistence and planning. In short, it’s matching the right person with the right cause and then growing that relationship. 

Organization’s are often looking for a “quick fix” to expand their donor base and grow their pipeline of future donors. A question we get often at JGA is “What can we do to grow the number of donors and prospects to the organization?”

I usually answer that question by stressing that an organization’s best donors and prospects are likely already in their database. You should maximize every opportunity to grow relationships with those people first! So, who are they and how do you identify them?

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Giving USA 2018: Implications for Human Services Nonprofits

December 05, 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 Human Services Organizations:

Giving USA estimates that giving to human services organizations increased 5.1 percent in 2017, to $50.06 billion. This record total amounted to 12 percent of total giving across subsectors, behind only religion and education.

Sixteen natural disasters during 2017—at a cost of at least $1 billion apiece—prompted a widespread outpouring of donations to human services organizations. Some innovative organizations employed new avenues of getting aid to victims, including direct cash giving and crowdfunding options.

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High Net Worth Donors Have Increased Giving Amounts Since 2015

October 25, 2018

JGA is pleased to share with you news about the latest study on trends in high net worth philanthropy from U.S. Trust and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. We were honored to host a webinar shortly after the release to discuss the report in detail with Dr. Una Osili, the report's author at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and William Jarvis, with U.S. Trust, Bank of America's Private Wealth Management.

The 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, published by U.S. Trust in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, finds that wealthy Americans continue to be generous with their time and money, increasing the amount they gave on average to charitable causes and organizations in 2017, including giving in the wake of natural disasters. The biennial study shows that 90 percent of high net worth (HNW) households gave to charity last year, and 48 percent volunteered time to nonprofit organizations and causes.

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How to Use Prospect Research in Your Major Gift Fundraising

October 16, 2018

By Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President, DonorSearch

Major gift fundraising is an important part of any nonprofit’s long-term strategy. We all know the 80/20 rule: 80% of your nonprofit’s donations come from 20% of its supporters. For many organizations, this has now become the 90/20 rule. But, finding enough people with the capacity to give major gifts and a connection to your organization can complicate this ratio.

With smarter prospect research, your major gifts officer has a better chance of securing those all-important donations with maximum efficiency.

Prospect research is looking at publicly available information to determine who in your community might be willing and able to give major gifts to your nonprofit. Some commonly considered data points include both wealth indicators and previous philanthropic behavior.

So how can your team best combine the insights of prospect research with your major gifts fundraising strategy? Our five best tips are:

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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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Missed Connection: 6 common nonprofit communication failures

September 20, 2018

Guest Blogger:   John Thomas, Writer/Strategist, JTPR, Inc.

Nonprofit organizations do amazing things. Things like curing diseases … feeding people … making art accessible to the masses … helping communities come together and fight injustice. 

Unfortunately, some organizations that do those amazing things wither and die, not because they fail to perform, but because they fail to get their messages out to the people they need to receive them. Whether they’re trying to raise money or engage people in their mission, they fail to connect with the right people.

As you consider that statement, note what I didn’t say: I didn’t say these lost organizations didn’t send messages. They probably sent a lot of messages. But they didn’t send them effectively.

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Giving USA 2018: Implications for Healthcare

September 06, 2018

Total Giving

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.

With this milestone year, U.S. giving continues a steady growth trend over the past eight years, indicating a positive climate for philanthropy. Giving to every category of recipient organizations increased when measured in current dollars, except for international affairs, which dropped by 4.4 percent. Four subsectors (foundations; arts, culture and humanities; public-society benefit; and health) saw significant growth of 7 percent or more, with foundations leading the way with an impressive 15.5 percent growth over 2016. 

What this Means for Health Organizations:

Giving to health increased by 7.3% in 2017, with a total of $38.27 billion—the highest amount the subsector has ever received in both current and inflation-adjusted terms, surpassing the previous year’s high of $33.14 billion. Growth for health organizations has increased for the past six years, at an average of 7.9 percent from 2013 – 2017. This growth rate well exceeds the growth rate of 4.3 percent in total giving across all subsectors for the same period.

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