As 2015 gets well underway, we here at The Imprint have noticed some significant fundraising trends that we believe will be important to the success and longevity of your organization. From who is giving, to what they are giving and why, we will help inform your fundraising strategies for the coming year.
1. Big Gifts are Back
Overall national giving rose by 4.4 percent in 2013 and individual donors accounted for 72 percent of that, according to Giving USA. People are feeling more secure after the financial crisis in this country. Although giving is not up to what is was before the fiscal crisis, individual donors have upped their game over the last few years. In 2007 (before the crisis), gifts by living individuals totaled $254 billion and sank to $214 billion in 2008. But donations have been steadily growing since 2010, reaching $240 billion in 2013. Giving levels are still not what they were before the economic downtown, but data suggests they are getting there.
2014 saw its share of large gifts from individual donors to youth-related causes, and we believe large individual gifts will continue to thrive in 2015.
Some examples of large gifts to youth serving organizations in 2014 include:
- Curt Chergotsky made a $4 million pledge of farmland to support college scholarships and for programs throughout Minnesota and in Jackson County.
- Albert Hanna gave $3 million to the Boy Scouts of America Foundation in Irving, Texas.
- John Wallis Rowe gave the YMCA of Greater N.Y. $1.5 million for a college-readiness program that begins in sixth grade. Mr. Rowe is former chief executive officer of Aetna.
- Evelyn Witter left a $1 million bequest to refurbish a Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco gym.
- Derrick Rose, point guard for the Chicago Bulls, gave $1 million to Afterschool Matters in Chicago to provide after-school apprenticeships to local teenagers.
- The Pomerleau family gave $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, Vt., to provide college scholarships and support a tutoring center for children. Tony Pomerleau is a real-estate developer.
2. Non-Cash Donation Growth
For the past several years, corporations have been steadily increasing their non-cash donations. These include in-kind gifts, property, pro bono services and volunteer hours.
Among the companies that increased their total giving by 10 percent or more in 2013, the average non-cash contribution increased by 66 percent, according to the latest data from CECP (formerly known as the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy).
More companies have instituted formal paid release time volunteer programs. In 2013, 59 percent of companies offered employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours, up from 51 percent in 2010.
One reason companies offer this charitable option is employee morale boost, according to CECP. Corporate giving professionals “ranked volunteer time off as the most effective socially motivated tactic for increasing employee satisfaction with their company.”
What does this mean for you? Now may be the time to develop an organized service program within your organization. Many of these volunteers have skills and talents that could serve your organization well.
Also, the more time people give, the more invested they are in your organization which could lead to increased donations, new board members, help in fundraising activities, and much more.
3. Impact Investing
The growth of social impact investing is undeniable. Social impact investing is loosely defined as investments in socially responsible ventures that provide a return to the investor and target a specific social need.
JP Morgan Chase conducted a survey in 2012 in which impact investors reported contributing $8 billion to the field and committed to invest an additional $1 billion in 2013. When JP Morgan Chase analyzed 2013 data, respondents actually contributed an additional $2.5 billion to the 2012 numbers. What’s more, impact investors reported they planned to invest 19% more in 2014.
The country has also seen the rise of Pay-for-Success (PFS) projects, also known as Social Impact Bonds, over the last several years. Pay-for-Success initiatives are performance -based contracts between a municipality and an intermediary private organization. Investors are responsible for fronting the money to implement the interventions delivered by a community-based organization to a specific population.
Funders invest in social services with a chance of a return on their investment if predetermined outcomes are met. This is a new and budding field in the U.S. This type of impact investing started in 2011 domestically with one project in NYC addressing recidivism.
2015 will see at least six PFS projects in various implementation stages, with a potential for many more in the next few years, largely thanks to a federal grant through the Social Innovation Fund. This grant enables eight recipients to develop numerous Pay-for-Success projects around the nation.
The Social Innovation Fund estimates “the investments have the potential to lead to nearly a hundred Pay for Success deals across the country. ”
Impact investing relies heavily upon outcomes, transparency and bottom lines. This form of social financing uses business practices to guide social services. It has its critics, but will no doubt be relevant to the way services are delivered to vulnerable populations in this country.