In 2017, charitable giving in the United States reached a new milestone, surpassing $400 billion for the first time and recording the highest inflation-adjusted level ever. Responding to a growing economy, Americans contributed $410.02 billion to organizations across the nonprofit sector, according to Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy.
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According to Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, Americans set a new giving record in 2016, contributing $390.05 billion to a wide range of nonprofit organizations. This outcome is remarkable, if more modest than some anticipated, as there were fewer mega-gifts of more than $200 million and bequests dropped 9.0 percent in current dollars. While the 2016 growth rate in total giving—2.7 percent in current dollars—was below the five-year average, the results reflect broad-based philanthropic support in smaller amounts that culminated in a record year of giving.
In 100 short days, President Trump’s administration set off an unprecedented whirlwind of activity and headlines, resulting in widespread speculation about the attendant political, social, and economic consequences. Across the nonprofit sector, many organizational leaders continue to wonder how enacted, proposed, and future changes could impact their fundraising efforts and what steps they should take to safeguard their missions.
Nonprofit leaders are wondering how to take on 2017 with a new presidential administration. With Trump wasting little time to sign Executive Orders and alter pre-existing policies, more changes are sure to come. For now, Campbell & Company assembled the following recommendations to help nonprofit leaders respond and push for success. Moving forward, we will maintain a close eye on new developments and relay additional recommendations as necessary.
CHICAGO, IL (June 14, 2016) - In 2015, charitable giving in the U.S. reached a total of $373.25 billion - an increase of 4.1 percent in current dollars between 2014 and 2015, according to Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. The increase in charitable giving by all sources marks consecutive, record-setting years in total giving, a direct reflection of both economic improvement and the dedication of hardworking philanthropists driving Americans to record levels of giving.
“The results this year—milestones for giving in the USA—are truly inspiring. The total of $373.25 billion is 2.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a watermark reinforcing Americans’ commitments to organizations that impact both their lives and those of their fellow citizens,” says Peter Fissinger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company, a national fundraising consulting and executive search firm for nonprofits. “The continued upward trend is heartening, and those of us in this industry will strive to help the organizations we serve build upon such generosity, further advancing their missions in the world.”
CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2015) - In 2014, charitable giving in the U.S. reached a total of $358.38 billion – an increase of 7.1 percent in current dollars between 2013 and 2014, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. This increase in total charitable giving exhibits the generosity of Americans and the hard work and commitment of dedicated philanthropists across the nation. It is a testament to our constantly evolving sector and a clear demonstration of the opportunities for growth.
“These are very positive results for giving in the USA. The total of $358.38 billion is 2.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which equals the highest water mark in the 60 year history of the research. In addition, it is easily the most growth we have seen in one year since the end of the great recession," says Peter Fissinger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Campbell & Company, a national fundraising consulting and executive search firm for nonprofits. “Now we can build on this momentum by focusing on how donors impact the mission of the organizations we serve, communicating this to our donors and asking them to continue their generosity.”
On a recent trip to Ireland with my wife, we were able to meet some of her relatives for the first time and visit the family farm on which her grandfather was born. We learned her cousins are all on Facebook, so my wife has since connected with them permanently through social media. When she first visited two of her cousins’ pages last week, she found a video of each of them pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads in support of ALS, proving the immense power and reach of social media.
An organization’s board is a key ingredient to increasing a nonprofit’s impact in its community – and having the right people on the board is critical to the success of the organization.
During Campbell & Company’s 38 years, we have debated whether nonprofit boards should have term limits. And in the larger nonprofit community, this is a widely debated topic. Essentially, I favor term limits. I believe that by having term limits, an organization is forced to have to continually work on building and developing its board, and as a result this leads to stronger board development and engagement practices. Among the many benefits of having term limits include: fresh energy and perspectives from new board members, avoiding “board member burnout”, and expansion of constituency and expertise.
I recently found myself in a discussion with an experienced and generous philanthropist about younger donors. This person was frustrated with some younger entrepreneurs in his community who have significant wealth but are not involving themselves in the community the way he and other civic leaders believe is responsible. And so he asked me how philanthropic values are taught, and whether young people today hold the same philanthropic values found in prior generations.