NonProfit Sector Out of the Woods in 2014 Giving Growth Report?



Non Profit Consultant in Saint Louis, MO

A column in the July 1, 2015 The NonProfit Times is chock full of “Good NewsBad News” about giving for nonprofits.  Giving USA data shows 2014 increased in giving levels–that’s Good News for the NonProfit sector.  Right?

But look closer…this article should give nonprofit leaders and their Boards of Directors a reason for pause.   The new data signals the need for a prudent conversation about the impact of demographic changes, etc., on your nonprofit’s funding outlook.  Nonprofit executives, Board members need to roll up their sleeves to sustain/grow funding for their NonProfit’s specific organization and mission.

Paul Clolery’s NonProfit Times General Ramblings column titled:  “Text To Not Give.  Giving increases temporarily mask larger issues”.

Several key points from the article:

Good News:  a 7.1 percent increase in giving during 2014 gets us back to the neighborhood of the 2007 level of giving.  Hooray!

Bad News: of the 4 sources of giving–only foundation giving reached its prior high.  (Giving results from the other big sources: individuals, bequests and corporations did not yet exceed their previous peak levels.)

Good News and Bad News:  population is growing (Good); current donors give more (Good, too)…..but the core number of donors continues to decline (Bad News).

Mr. Clolery offered some possible answers to the donor decline:

• Donors see and buy food items and other retail products that support a charity.  They buy and support a cause in one fell swoop.(Good News).

So the donor feels good, but may stop there–go no further in giving to support the need (Bad News).

Mr. Clolery also points out…

• small non-recurring gifts just won’t do the job

• Social media tweeting and retweeting to advocate support for a charitable cause/nonprofit mission is growing (Good News). But…does it stop there?   Substantial financial support is still required to operate and do the work and Mission.

Here’s my recommendation:

Get started on that “where-will-our-funding-come-from-now?” conversation at your NonProfit.  Contact us to talk.  There is a lot at stake for everyone.

Sorry, I was unable to link you to the full article…it’s not yet posted online.



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