The arrival of new data from Giving USA each year is an always an important moment for those of us who rely on philanthropic revenue to build and sustain our organizations. It's a time when those who study charitable giving draw conclusions based on how much was given last year, from whom, and what cultural factors or trends should warrant consideration in planning for the future. Giving to charity continued to grow in 2018, but not as robustly as in the past. Overall giving increased by less than 1%, but the growth between 2016 and 2018 was a meaningful 7.1%. As has always been the case, individuals and families contributed the lion's share of giving at 68%, but their total giving declined 1.1% from 2017. The most significant increase in the percent given came from foundations, including gifts from family foundations and distributions through donor advised funds. Foundation giving increased to 18% of overall giving, a 7.3% increase over the previous year. Giving to the arts essentially held steady from 2017 and continued to represent some 5% of total overall giving. Giving USA 2019 offers several important insights into the trends uniquely affecting museums and performing arts organizations. Here are a few takeaways to consider in planning for the upcoming year: Larger gifts from high net-worth individuals should continue to be a focus. According to the 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, 90% of high-net worth households gave to charity, with a quarter of them giving to the arts. The Quarterly Report, also referenced in Giving USA, found that the overall increase in giving in 2018 was driven by a 2.6% increase in gifts of $1,000 or more; gifts under that size declined by around 4%. While maintaining efforts to increase gifts at all levels, arts organizations should prioritize their [...]
Do you feel like giving was up last year? Do you feel like it was down? Well, either way you could be right. According to the findings of Giving USA, 2018 was an uneven year for philanthropy, with some subsectors experiencing significant increases, while others saw significant decreases. It was also a year that saw three unprecedented things: 1) a record year for giving at $427 billion, 2) for the first time since Giving USA began in 1954 individual giving was less than 70% of all giving, and 3) giving to Religion reached its lowest point in more than 40 years, falling to 29%. Total giving increased in 2018 in current dollars, but just barely, at a rate of 0.7%. Adjusted for inflation giving actually decreased by 1.7%. Five subsectors saw giving decline, while four saw increases. The biggest increase came in giving to International Affairs, while the largest decrease was in giving to Foundations. As in previous years, giving by Individuals is the number one source of gifts at 69%, but declined by 1.1% from its 2017 level. Giving from Foundations, many of which are family foundations, increased 7.3%. While Religion continues to be the number one recipient of gifts, giving to Religion continues to lose market share, reaching an all-time low of just 29% of the pie and actually decreased by more than 1.5% in current dollars. While the trend of a declining percentage of giving to Religion has been ongoing for years, the actual decline in current-dollar giving to Religion is a unique phenomenon; one that has never happened in a non-recession year. Below, is a quick look at the numbers. We will share more in-depth information in our upcoming sector newsletters. Sincerely, David H. King President & CEO Quick Look At The Results The Numbers for 2018 Charitable [...]
Colleges and universities strive to identify that donor who will be so passionate about the mission that he or she is inspired to provide a transformative gift. Some universities refer to these benevolent individuals as unicorn donors, an apt name, as they may be as rare as, or perhaps as elusive as the mythical creature. In 2017, institutions of higher education received more than $1.8 billion from America’s wealthiest donors according to The Chronical of Philanthropy. It is no surprise that the list of top donors to higher education includes Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Charles Butt. All made substantial contributions in 2017 to educational institutions. Giving by the wealthiest donors to higher education declined in 2017, primarily because $900 million, given by Penny and Phil Knight in 2016, produced a significant spike that year. One institution in the Southeast, North Carolina State University announced such a transformative gift for its College of Textiles this past fall. A $28 million gift, from alumnus Frederick “Fred” Eugene Wilson Jr. and the Wilson family will fund an endowment for the College. The College is now known as the Wilson College of Textiles. As is often the case, this gift did not arise by accident, but through active communication with the donor and a genuine willingness to connect the donor with the opportunities and needs of the institution. Mr. Wilson’s grandson, Rede Wilson, 2016 alumnus, responded to a direct mail appeal six months after graduation with a $1000 gift. When asked why, he said it was because the dean asked him. The dean had been one of Rede’s professors. The development office was quick to connect Rede with his grandfather, who had given $10 million to High Point University. Michael Ward, Senior Director of Development, asked Rede to serve [...]
Do you feel like giving was up last year? Do you feel like it was down? Well, either way you could be right. According to the findings of Giving USA, 2018 was an uneven [...]
Colleges and universities strive to identify that donor who will be so passionate about the mission that he or she is inspired to provide a transformative gift. Some universities refer to these benevolent [...]
Futures in Fundraising consists of interviews with leading and emerging fundraising, development and nonprofit professionals.
James Hackney, Senior Director of Development for Yale Divinity School, details how previously being a fundraising consultant at Alexander Haas prepared him for his current position and fundraising journey.
Charity Charge Founder and CEO, Stephen Garten joins the Futures in Fundraising podcast to share insight on the new way of giving in 2017.
Founding Partner of the Aspen Leadership Group, joins Futures in Fundraising podcast to share tips for advancing your career in development. Ron explains how the transferable skills from his background in the arts set him up for success in fundraising.