Nonprofit Leaders Respond to Giving USA 2014 Findings

Campbell & Company presented findings and analysis of Giving USA 2014, the annual report on philanthropy, to more than 1,200 nonprofit professionals at a national webinar, a Pacific Northwest webinar hosted by the Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company, and events in Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville, Washington, DC, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. 

The report found that American philanthropy continued its steady recovery from the Great Recession in 2013 and is on track to return to pre-recession levels as soon as 2014. Event panelists and participants shared success stories and challenges from the past year, focusing in on factors that may affect organizations’ success in the long-term as philanthropy continues to recover, such as navigating corporate giving programs, building membership and crafting strong cases of support that speak to donors on all levels.  

Below, we summarize key insights shared in our national webinar and events.

Common Challenges

While success stories were prevalent this year, many panelists and participants described the various challenges involved in organizational growth, including maintaining donor relationships, navigating new partnerships, communicating effectively with new constituents and continuing to build urgent and compelling cases for private support. Others described the difficult balancing act of aligning human capital with philanthropic goals, including appropriately leveraging different giving sources (individual, corporate, foundation, etc.) and not creating an over-reliance on one area of support.

Keys to Success

Organizational representatives described steps their institutions had taken to ensure their sustainability and growth over the past year, including:

  • Offering more opportunities than ever for donors to give, including layered initiatives

  • Maintaining a donor-centered focus in which organizations listen closely to their constituents and respond to their interests, motivations and needs

  • Building long-lasting philanthropic relationships with key individual and institutional donors to ensure mutual benefit—and ensuring these relationships are organizationally, not personally, held

  • Crafting a powerful yet flexible case for support, including concrete and relatable evidence of organizational impact, that can be tailored for distinct constituencies

A Look to the Long-Term

Panelists had encouraging words about philanthropy’s continued recovery as well as organizational and sector-specific growth. However, they cautioned their peers not to lose sight of the longer-term downward trend in government funding for nonprofits and implored attendees to continue focusing on cultivating strong donor relationships in the private sector.

Campbell & Company thanks all of the organizations and non-profit leaders for their involvement in the Giving USA events. Click here for a list of all of the events.

Click here to listen to Campbell & Company’s Giving USA 2014 webinar.

About Campbell & Company
Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, marketing communications and executive search services to nonprofit organizations in nearly every sector. Through thirty-eight years and more than a couple thousand engagements, we helped our clients anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. Our offices are located in Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.campbellcompany.com.  

About Giving USA Foundation™

Giving USA is a public outreach initiative of Giving USA Foundation™, which was established by the Giving Institute to advance philanthropy through research and education. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, which has documented who gives what to whom for more than 50 years, and quarterly newsletters on philanthropy-related topics. To learn more visit www.givinginstitute.org.

How to obtain Giving USA 2014

Giving USA is the most up to date and comprehensive report on American philanthropy. The Giving USA 2014 Reports Highlights can be downloaded FREE online at www.givingusareports.org. Other products include the complete report – now available in paperback; a “Giving USA Spotlight;” the Giving USA data tables; and a digital package, which includes a graph pack of PowerPoint slides for board meetings. Use code: GI1430 to receive 30% off. A limited run of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 complete report in paperback is also available!