As the HBG Book Club group read about tax-free zones called freeports last week in Jake Bernstein’s page-turner, Secrecy World, it was a perfectly-timed coincidence that this fascinating Planet Money podcast came out on that very topic. [Read more…]
The new EU data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25th and it brings with it an entirely new set of rules that nonprofits world-wide – not just in the European Union – will have to abide by. I’m not seeing a lot of discussion about it here in the US fundraising community* and that concerns me. [Read more…]
Creativity abounds everywhere in the Third Sector, from service providers in the field, to fundraising offices managing more on a shoestring, to a new breed of funders (and well-established funders, too) thinking up new ways to engage with, spur forward, and support their philanthropic priorities. In this week’s article, HBG Senior Researcher Grace Chandonnet shares some of the interesting and creative ways funders are having an impact in the world today. ~Helen
Lately I’ve been thinking about the innovative ways that young entrepreneurs are actively engaging in philanthropy. As my colleague Elizabeth Roma writes, the philanthropy landscape is ever evolving and innovating and appears to be picking up the pace of change exponentially in recent years in what is being referred to as the New Gilded Age. Elizabeth touches on innovative philanthropic vehicles such as the Emerson Collective and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, as well as B-Corps and impact investing. [Read more…]
When I read this week’s featured article by Kathy Mills on the Apra-Carolinas website, I knew I had to ask share it with you today. Kathy is Senior Donor Identification Analyst at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and I wanted you to read her description of the way that their prospect research and annual giving teams partner together.
They’re making relationship magic – joining their talents to give sincere thanks to donors, and it’s a great lesson – for this season and all year round.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and warm thanks to Kathy and the kind folks at Apra-Carolinas for allowing us to re-share this!
The Impact of Thanking Annual Fund Donors
When I was younger, my mother forced me to write thank you notes to anyone who had given me a gift for my birthday. It seemed like a chore at the time, but as an adult, I came to appreciate when I was thanked for sending a gift – and I certainly remembered those that never thanked me. Today, sometimes a simple “thank you” seems like a dying art.
As nonprofit organizations, it’s critical that we thank our donors promptly. That $25 annual fund donor could turn out to be a $25,000 donor in the future if he or she feels appreciated right from the start. But every organization sends a thank you letter. What if you took it one step further? [Read more…]
When we try to estimate a potential donor’s gift capacity, the fundraising tradition has been to use statistics from the IRS that show that, on average, Americans give around 2-5 percent of their income annually to charitable organizations.
That average is derived from people who itemized charitable deductions. Even though that’s an average, for those of us in prospect research that’s been a reliable percentage to use because, by and large, only people who benefit from itemizing actually bother to do it – and that’s wealthy people. [Read more…]
This week on The Intelligent Edge, HBG senior researcher Rachel Dakarian provides a window into the ongoing discussion that members of the HBG Book Club have had recently over our first shared book. I think in the beginning we thought that we’d all read this useful book, share our thoughts weekly, and then go back to our work. What’s actually happened has been a lively, ongoing, daily chat-room discussion as we toss articles to each other with comments of “hey, read this! It’s *just* what we were talking about yesterday!” punctuating our times between book club meetings. Rachel expands on our latest discussion beautifully in this week’s article. We’re interested to hear your thoughts as well! ~Helen
As you may have noticed, ours is the era of the mega-gift. This trend of non-stop blockbuster giving has left many reeling or salivating – not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, nor will this trend be ending any time soon. Wealth and philanthropy are often perceived to fit hand in glove, but we prospect researchers know firsthand how difficult it can be to verify wealth and encourage charitable giving. [Read more…]
Very innocently. But making you feel guilty.
That work-book you bought.
I’ve got a few books like that on my office shelf. Some that I’ve started and abandoned after an interested afternoon, and others that I haven’t even cracked open yet. (but I will! I swear!)
But now, a solution.
Last week, some of my HBG colleagues and I – independent of each other – watched a vidcast of David Callahan and Emmett Carson in a fascinating, spirited, and sometimes provocative debate sponsored by Philanthropy New York. Callahan is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, and author of the new book The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. Carson is president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world, with $8 billion+ in assets. [Read more…]
As a researcher, one of the things that has been most interesting to me over the recent few months is that I’ve noticed an increase in the number of articles relying on investigative journalism. Many larger newspapers have some sort of investigative unit, like the Boston Globe’s deservedly celebrated Spotlight Team.
But it’s been historically unusual to see skimcoat newspapers – that are more commonly slipped under hotel bedroom doors for business travelers – begin to do deep investigative research projects. It’s another reminder that that the information geeks of the world – we researchers – are the most important players speaking truth to power. [Read more…]
Have you been following the emergence and exponential growth of giving collaboratives? Giving collaboratives can be individuals, foundations, NGOs, and others that join forces (and their finances) around a particular cause or toward a shared goal.
This is an emerging phenomenon in philanthropy that caught the attention of two HBG team members, Elizabeth Roma and Angie Stapleton, who deeply researched and presented on the topic at the 2017 Apra Regional Conference (ARC). Part of their presentation included an 18-page companion guide to Giving Collaboratives, now available in the Learning Media Library here on our website.
I sat down with Elizabeth and Angie yesterday to ask them to tell me more about Giving Collaboratives and the resource they compiled, and recorded our conversation in this podcast so that you can hear as well:
Whatever it is that you are looking to fund…there is a group of people out there who are looking to fund it” – Elizabeth Roma
Elizabeth and Angie will also lead an Apra Best Practice Webcast on the topic called “Collective Giving: Philanthropy as a Team Sport” on Monday May 15th at 1:00 PM ET. If you can’t make that day and time, look for the recording on the Apra website under Apra University.
For further reading:
The number of gifts of $10 million-plus at universities are at an all-time high, according to a Marts & Lundy study. Beyond lending just their names or faces to events, an increasing number of celebrities are putting in volunteer time and money for the causes they care about. And new forms of giving vehicles like LLCs are emerging to meet donors’ needs for flexibility. Articles about philanthropy are increasingly in the main stream news, describing how giving is changing our society – in fractal patterns. This week I’m delighted to welcome HBG Assistant Research Director Elizabeth Roma to the blog to help share her thoughts and expertise on our new Gilded Age.
When I started college in the mid-1990s, I had no idea what I wanted to study, but I knew that I liked to read and think. After taking a variety of core liberal arts classes during my freshman year, I concluded that majoring in English would allow me to spend four years doing just that, and I loved (almost) every minute of it.
I still like to read and think (and I bet you do too if you’re reading this blog), and it turns out that I managed to stumble into a job that allows me to do just that—and even get paid for it! (Side note for those soon-to-be liberal arts graduates—and their parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, etc.: maybe prospect development is the career for you!) [Read more…]