Campbell & Company presented the Giving USA 2012 report to more than 800 attendees at events around the country and an internationally-attended webinar. The report found that, while giving continues to increase in the wake of the Great Recession, recovery remains flatter compared to periods after previous downturns. Nonprofit leaders reacted to the data, not only sharing their organizations’ experiences but also recommending strategies for the year to come. Many emphasized opportunities to better identify, engage and steward potential supporters in this environment.
Fostering the Next Generation
Speaking about higher education fundraising, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) President John Lippincott described the, “enormous debtload that students are graduating with. This not only worries me because of the loss of their immediate gifts, but because those earlier gifts set up a pattern for a lifetime of giving.” Although retiring Baby Boomers promise to be a robust source of philanthropy in the near term, Lippincott’s comments underscore the importance of engaging younger prospects and volunteers in order to cultivate philanthropic habits going forward.
Making the Case
Many of our event participants emphasized the fundamental importance of a articulating a compelling case for support. Clear, concise messages regarding an organization’s mission, work, impact and philanthropic appeal should form the basis of a range of communications vehicles. Judy Belk, a Senior Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Associates, described how nonprofits often overlook basic opportunities to share their case, “I sometimes find that nonprofits are not telling their stories in a compelling enough way. You often see critical information such as work summaries, giving opportunities and impact data missing from websites and other communications.”
Using a Personal Touch
Northwestern Memorial Foundation President Steve Falk expressed concern that manyfundraisers “are hiding behind technology and have dropped personal interactions.” While interactions with constituents. Personal contacts play a crucial role in determining individuals’ giving potential and serve as key steps in advancing philanthropic relationships. analytics resources have grown increasingly sophisticated, nothing can replace one-on-one
Effectively Stewarding All
Maintaining donor relationships and engaging new friends demands that nonprofits effectively steward supporters, thanking them profusely and communicating the impact of their gift on the organization and those it serves. Charles L. Katzenmeyer, Vice President of External Affairs at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, describes how “this isn’t the time to take chances with stewardship. We’ve doubled our stewardship over the last two years. We live by the maxim that we need to thank donors seven times before we ask again, but seven is not enough anymore. It’s really ten.”
Ultimately, John Lippincott summarized reactions to Giving USA 2012’s findings: “Last year when we did this panel, I felt that the outlook of its members was cautiously optimistic with an emphasis on the cautious. This year, I think the emphasis is on optimistic.”
Click here to listen to Campbell & Company’s Giving USA 2012 webinar.
Click here to download the free executive summary of the Giving USA 2012 report.
Giving USA 2012 Chicago photography credit: Ruzanna Tantushyan
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-six years and more than a thousand engagements, we helped our clients anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. Our offices are located in Chicago, Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC. For more information, please call toll-free (877) 957-0000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.campbellcompany.com.
About Giving USA Reports
Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is published by Giving USA FoundationTM and is a public service initiative of the Giving Institute. Giving USA is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. For more information, visit www.GivingUSAReports.org.
About Giving USA FoundationTM
Advancing the research, education and public understanding of philanthropy is the mission of Giving USA Foundation, founded in 1985 by the Giving Institute. Headquartered in Chicago, the Foundation publishes data and trends about charitable giving through its seminal publication, Giving USA, and quarterly reports on topics related to philanthropy. Visit www.GivingUSA.org for more information.
About The Center on Philanthropy
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide through research, teaching, training and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising and management of nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.philanthropy.iupui.edu.