In this series, we take a look at the current news impacting the nonprofit sector, specifically fundraising. Our intention is not to be reactive, but to be proactive in our analysis of the news and consider how fundraising and philanthropic efforts can improve outcomes and adapt to meet the times.
In this week's roundup: Philanthropic Giving Hits Low, California Cancels In-Person Classes, and Health Care Jobs.
Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who have given to charity in the last year has dropped to 73 percent, six points beyond the previous low of 79 percent in 2009, following the Great Recession. A deeper dive into the numbers does afford some encouragement, with 27 percent of donors planning to increase their giving.
Analysis: The competition for donor dollars is greater than we’ve ever seen and organizations are seeking to account for this huge variable with strategy. Prior years of giving statistics have prepared the social good sector for this new reality. Although overall philanthropic giving has been increasing year-to-year, those gifts are coming from fewer individual donors. The good news in this is that fundraising leadership already has the playbook to address these newly publicized statistics.
The California State University system said it plans to cancel all in-person classes for the fall and to continue instruction online, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Timothy White said researchers and health experts forecast additional waves of infection coupled with the flu season in the fall. He added the public immunity rate is very low, and it is not likely a vaccine will be developed during the academic year.
Analysis: With colleges and universities moving classes online to flatten the spread of COVID-19, it's likely that enrollment will decline, resulting in revenue losses. As the face of higher education changes, institutions will look to fundraising revenue to stabilize and adapt age-old business models.
Why 1.4 Million Health Jobs Have Been Lost During a Huge Health Crisis (Via The New York Times)
With the virus and its fallout deterring Americans from using the health system, job losses started in March and accelerated to 1.4 million last month. A sudden drop in health spending and employment amid a pandemic might seem like a paradox. But it reflects how the health industry tends to make its money: treating patients for a deadly illness is far less profitable than offering them elective surgeries.
Analysis: This pandemic has shown that even the health care staples of our communities and economy are not safe from a difficult economy. As health care organizations consider and implement layoffs, furloughs, and hiring freezes, there are growing needs that fundraising efforts can support.