The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund - the 'for profit' Donor Advised Fund run by Fidelity announced that incoming contributions totaled $1.1 billion in 2009, up from $1.05 billion in 2008.
Their press release credited the rebound in major market indices in the second half of the year -- resulting in an increase in contributions of appreciated securities, as donors looked for ways to meet their philanthropic goals while taking advantage of the charitable tax deduction. In total, donors to the fund — the nation's largest donor-advised fund program and its third-largest public charity — supported more than 60,000 nonprofits and recommended more than 298,000 grants in 2009 — a 1.8 percent increase over 2008. For the third year in a row, the total grant amount recommended by Fidelity donors topped $1 billion.
The Community Foundation of Utah provide local services with the same tax benefits -- and with just as competitive administrative fees. We say THINK LOCAL.
Some of our economic studies(get ready - another on the way) have shown that smaller nonprofits, especially those in rural areas, have been the hardest hit by the recession. This new article from a hometown newspaper in Woodstock Illinois stresses the importance of these organizations to their communities. Here is the story of one such demise, a small agency serving a growing Hispanic and Latino population outside of Chicago.
The Foundation Center has announced the launch of Glasspockets.org, a Web site designed to promote and facilitate greater openness and transparency among private foundations.
They have some pretty powerful partners -- the Center for Effective Philanthropy, the Communications Network, the Global Philanthropy Forum, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and the One World Trust in London.
The idea is for foundations to actually report to the public about the things that happen when you fund social change -- successes and failures! And here is the other good news: It has facts about all 97,000 U.S. foundations, illustrations of philanthropy's impact on important issues, and information how foundations are striving to become more transparent.
They also have a twitter feed, a place to highlight foundations using social media; and a Who Has Glass Pockets? section that offers at-a-glance profiles of foundations' online communication practices according to information they make public regarding their governance, finances, grantmaking processes, and performance metrics.
Proacative blog from Lucy Bernholz (if you don't read her - you shoudl)
She sees these threats to the special tax privieldges of sector as a whole:
- New corporate forms that recognize social businesses - like the L3C we have in Utah
- Tax credits for social businesses;
- Foundations' increasing interest in "sector agnostic" approaches to solving social problems;
- Regulatory concern about good governance, and payout rates from big foundations
- Investment in financial/social hybrids (not necessarily to nonprofits);
Lucy asks " But who is working on these big questions in pragmatic ways? Who is looking at what nonprofits do best, what social enterprises and social businesses contribute, and what roles government can and must play? Who is looking out for the whole? Or even looking at the intersections, not all of which are complementary or positive, of these many pieces?
From Chronicle of Philanthropy and Slate on line: More major donors are "funneling money into ambitious projects designed to address global and societal challenges instead of simply choosing to support nonprofit entities such as hospitals, museums, and colleges."
According to the latest edition of the annual Slate 60 list:
- in 2009, the $4.1 billion given to nonprofit and charitable causes by the top fifty philanthropists was barely more than a quarter of the $15.5 billion given by the top fifty in 2008.
- Top donors: Stanley and Fiona Druckenmiller, who gave $705 million to the Druckenmiller Foundation, and the late John M. Templeton, who left $573 million to the John Templeton Foundation. Other major gifts were made by Bill and Melinda Gates ($350 million), George Soros (three large gifts totaling $300 million), Michael R. Bloomberg ($254 million), and Cincinnati arts patron Louise Nippert ($185 million).
The study suggests many donors are being more creative in their giving - meaning less money for traditional brick-and-mortar projects and more ' investments' in social problems or to encourage charities to collaborate in new ways.
"Wealthy Americans increasingly see philanthropy as way to catalyze big changes in society, rather than choosing only to write a check for a new building or to further existing projects," said Chronicle editor Stacy Palmer. "More and more top donors now put their money, clout, and vision into fueling the development of new ideas and shaping future leaders — whether in education, business ethics, economics or climate change."
This from the Donors Forum survey of Nonprofits and grantmakers in Illinois. Sound familiar?
Based on a November survey of nonprofits and grantmakers in the state:
- 71 percent of respondents had cut their budgets during 2009,
- 66 percent reported a reduction in operating reserves,
- 63 percent saying they had three months or fewer of reserves
- only 11 percent reporting more than twelve months of reserves.
On the grantmaker side:
- 37 percent of respondents said they planned to further reduce their grantmaking,
- 42 percent of the grantmakers said they had increased their support for nonprofit capacity building over the past twelve months — a sign, according to the report, that there is widespread concern among grantmakers in the state about nonprofit sustainability.
Service deman increasing:
- 67 percent of nonprofits reported an increase in demand for their services — the same percentage as a year ago but up significantly from five years ago
- 41 percent reported a decrease in their ability to meet that demand, up from 21 percent in last year's survey.
Nonprofits also reported declines in funding from foundations (68 percent) and government sources (62 percent), with 40 percent reporting that they had experienced delays in receiving government payments.
The Marion Community Foundation in Ohio received a $16 million dollar bequest virtually out of the blue from Dorothy Wopat yesterday. I bet there are plenty of agencies out there that dream of such a thing in their own organization's histories. What an incredible legacy! read about it here.
A new study from the University of Chicago mirrors some of the findings from our entrepreneur focus groups. While people think non profits are warm and fuzzy - they do not trust them with their purchases!
"Across three experiments, we found that consumers hold stereotypes, or shorthand, blanket impressions about non-profit and for-profit organizations and that these stereotypes predict crucial marketplace behaviors, such as the likelihood of visiting of a website and willingness to buy a product from the organization," write authors Jennifer Aaker (Stanford University), Kathleen D. Vohs (University of Minnesota), and Cassie Mogilner (University of Pennsylvania).
Here si the study in a nutshell: - we need to make sure our messages exude competence as well as commitment!
The authors found that people generally view for-profit companies are being competent, but also as being devoid of warmth, which does not lead people to admire them.
In contrast, they found that consumers perceive non-profits as being warmer than for-profits, but they also believe they are less competent than for-profits. Therefore, if consumer stereotypes are not interrupted, people are more likely to buy products from for-profits than non-profits."
Here is the link.
A friend passed this on and it is too good not to share:
DEAR FOUNDATION PEOPLE:
We’ve been “friends” for a long time. We call. You return our call a few weeks later. We hang on to your every word. You seem to like us too, because you send us checks, though they’re always smaller than we’d hoped. We send thank-you notes, or give you a piece of Lucite at our next dinner.
But the truth is, we don’t really talk. We in the not-for-profit world depend on you, your foundations, and your beautifully typed checks with a tycoon’s name on them; by one recent count, you have $628 billion that you could dole out to us. Still, let’s be honest: Our relationship is fraught. Most of us don’t tell you how we truly feel about you. We don’t say when we think you’ve made a bad decision, because in the hoity-toity world of big money (yours) and little not-for-profits (us), that would be impolite — and, on my part, stupid. We fear losing your money.
If we’re really in this do-gooder business to do good, though — and if we’re ever truly going to be partners — then we’re going to need a little more honesty. So here are some things we wish you’d stop doing — along with one pledge I’ll make — which would vastly improve our relationship.
1. Stop thinking you know everything. Don’t assume that your PhD diploma — which I see on the wall every time I visit — means that you understand the challenges of executing and implementing some of the good plans you fund. You’ve got lots of ideas, and you may write smart white papers about combating youth depression and suicide. But you probably still don’t know as much about it as the folks at To Write Love on Her Arms or the Trevor Project, who work with suffering people every day.
2. Stop mistaking marketing for overhead — and stop hating on overhead. We’re all running businesses, and we’ve all got more expenses than we want. But your constant refrain about us spending too much on communications staff, graphic design, and public relations is misguided. “Scaling up” means that people need to know about us. It also means that we’ll have to spend money on expenses that you label with the most unfairly pejorative word in our business: overhead.
3. Stop funding redundancy. There is a ridiculous amount of repetition in our sector — much of it encouraged by the way we ask for funding, but also spurred by the way you fund. Does it make sense to bankroll three different organizations claiming to be the umbrella coalition for New York not-for-profits — or could we just get behind one? Be less like Santa Claus, who visits the home of every good boy and girl, and more like Warren Buffett, who picks targets that make long-term sense and pulls in smart investors with him.
4. Stop thinking that newer is better. We all love shiny new toys. Over and over, you tell us, “Bring us something new.” We just wish you’d get behind programs with proven track records so that we could focus on making them better, rather than coming up with a new gimmick to catch your eye. We know that much of what we do isn’t sexy, but it is important; think about funding the not-for-profit Ugly Bettys too.
On my end, I promise to stop calling “for advice” or “just to check in” when that’s never the point of the conversation. We both know what I really want: your check.
This final dashboard of 2009 reports on year end giving, changes in revenue and the planning assumptions of Utah's nonprofits as they continue to meet the cultural, social and educational needs of our communities in 'the great recession'.
We are all familiar with the traditional year-end giving campaigns that nonprofits of all sizes and missions conduct after Thanksgiving. These donations can be crucial to an organization's annual budget. National philanthropy pundits predicted that Americans would continue reach deep into their pockets at the end of 2009 knowing the hardships faced by their neighbors. They forecasted more frequent, yet smaller, gifts and a possible increase in new donors, particularly those agencies serving low income individuals.
Our study found this prediction to hold true in Utah where the dollar amount of individual gifts decreased more significantly than either the total amount of dollars donated or the number of people giving.
- 28% of the 133 agencies reporting said the total amount of giving at year end was significantly lower in 2009 than 2008; and
nearly as many - 21% - said it was significantly higher.
Utah does not, however, compare favorably to the rest of the United States. A Chronicle of Philanthropy poll conducted in early January found that 48% of 181 agencies saw an increase in holiday season giving in 2009 compared to 200 – more than twice that of Utah.
Down load the full report here. DashboardJan_2010.pdf