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.
This week: Elon Musk Wants Your Help Giving Away His Money, 10 Ways to Avoid Philanthropy Fumbles, and Newsom Rejects Tuition Increases For UC and Cal State Schools.
One of the first things that Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, did upon climbing to the top of American capitalism last week was to ask for any advice about how to climb the ranks of philanthropy. Now that he has more money than anyone else on the planet, Musk is likely to come under far greater scrutiny than he ever has about how he gives it away — or doesn’t.
Analysis: Despite being the richest person in the world, Musk still could help deciding where his money should be donated. This should be a sign to fundraisers that not all philanthropic dollars are claimed already, and that they do have influence over the decision to support certain missions.
10 Ways to Avoid Philanthropy Fumbles (Via The Street)
There is a reason spouses often have disagreements around where to make more sizable charitable donations. Often, one spouse is leading from their heart, and the other is more focused on measurable impact. Each person must decide for themselves what’s important. Many would do well to consider a more middle-ground approach to major charitable giving.
Analysis: There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to philanthropy. Every donor has different goals and objectives. But there are red flags for every donor to help identify what organizations to avoid. This comprehensive list is full of reminders that fundraisers can use to show donors how much their gift is appreciated.
California governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal provides a 3% increase in base funding for UC and Cal State, which would help the two public university systems recover from substantial financial losses and added expenses triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both systems were hit with state budget cuts of about $300 million each, massive losses in revenue from housing and dining, added expenses for technology as campuses shifted to online learning, and additional outlays for coronavirus testing and tracing, cleaning and protective equipment.
Analysis: Despite the increased funding, this proposed budget would restore only about a third of the deep cuts implemented last year and does not account for mandatory annual cost increases for many schools. Provisions in the CARES Act limit how those funds can be used to help close up the deficit, creating a gap that can only be filled through additional revenue outside tuition.
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