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: How Jeff Bezos' Philanthropy Could Provide a 'Halo Effect' for Amazon, 12 Myths About Nonprofits That Need To Be Dispelled, and How Much Has Covid Cost Colleges?
How Jeff Bezos' Philanthropy Could Provide a 'Halo Effect' for Amazon (Via MarketWatch)
Jeff Bezos built a world-changing e-commerce and technology empire with Amazon, and now he says he’s turning his time and energy to another realm where he can have a global impact: philanthropy. As he steps down as CEO of Amazon, he’ll trade running a business where success is measured in the speed of delivery and outcomes are tabulated in earnings reports for a world where progress happens over years, not minutes, and targets and goals can be elusive.
Analysis: Bezos is relatively new to the game of big philanthropy compared to some of his peers, setting the stage for a fierce competition for donor dollars. As one of the world's wealthiest individuals, it is unlikely he focuses on one area of giving and winds up spreading his gifts over a larger area. The world will also be watching how he decides to give in contrast to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, who has taken an aggressive approach to philanthropic giving.
12 Myths About Nonprofits That Need To Be Dispelled (Via Forbes)
There has never been a time with more accurate data about nonprofits before now. Despite this, many misconceptions about nonprofits still exist, from the belief that nonprofits “aren’t really businesses” to “nonprofit workers should be working for peanuts.” Dispelling misconceptions takes effort since people are more likely to hold to their beliefs than change them. Misinformation, if it persists, can lead to poor decisions from the public.
Analysis: Just as giving can often times be seen as entrepreneurial, so can running a nonprofit. Leaders must always be cognizant of innovative ways to bring the best possible service to the community it serves. And most importantly, its okay for nonprofits to be proud of its success. In order for donors to make informed decisions, they should know about the ways in which that organization is successful in serving its communities and constituents.
How Much Has Covid Cost Colleges? (Via Chronicle of Higher Education)
Higher ed came into 2020 facing its share of financial challenges: a negative outlook for the entire sector, widespread operating deficits, stark enrollment challenges. Enter Covid-19, along with its attendant declines in enrollment, net tuition, and auxiliary revenue — to say nothing of Covid-related expenses. The institutions tracked in this study averaged an estimated 14-percent aggregate decline in revenues across fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and further losses loom as drops in enrollment, tuition freezes, and Covid-related expenses continue.
Analysis: Colleges and universities are all too aware of the challenges that lay ahead in this Covid recovery. While they are being asked to do more with less every day, leaders should still look to support the staff in their goals and invest in its future. With the entire sector already in a hole, treading water will ultimately leave institutions that fail to innovate behind.
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