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: Trusting Relationships Advance Philanthropy During Times Of Crisis, Bill Ackman Donates His More Than $1 Billion Stake in Coupang To Charity, A Look At the Changing Landscape of College Admissions for Small Private Institutions, Melinda Gates Says Philanthropy & Government Work Best United, and Nonprofit Jobs Down 7.4% In Year Since Pandemic.
Regardless of who you’re trying to help or who your potential collaborators are, we’re all human and we need to know that we can count on people to show up and do what they say they’re going to do. In times of difficulty, relationships get tested, stress levels rise, and resources become taxed. But if you’ve spent the days, months and years leading up to this moment being a solid and reliable presence and good philanthropic partner, then you’ll be a leader people trust. And you’ll also have no shortage of allies at the ready to support you in return, making the act its own reward.
Analysis: For ages, the fundraising community has heard the same saying: "people give to people". It seems as though no matter what strategies are implemented, even during the most trying times, they all come back to the most fundamental aspect of fundraising. At its core, the work we do is rooted in the relationships we built and maintain with our donors.
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said Monday he donated his entire stake in Coupang — worth more than $1 billion — to charity following the South Korean e-commerce company’s IPO last week. Coupang, often called the Amazon of South Korea, saw its shares nearly double during its first trading day, before closing more than 40% higher. The stock was up around 5% to $51 on Monday, valuing Ackman’s gifted 26.5 million shares at more than $1.3 billion.
Analysis: Giving can take many forms, and for some of our wealthier donors, this might not be an uncommon gift. What strikes me about this story is the growth potential of these stocks rather than giving a lower volatility option like bonds.
A Look At the Changing Landscape of College Admissions for Small Private Institutions (Via Inside Higher Ed)
In a world where college admissions hasn’t changed in over 50 years, the pandemic may have modified the course forever. When the tried and true, reliable test scores are no longer available or grade point averages are missing critical high school semesters and on-site visits are down, innovation is required. For years, students have been crying out that they are more than test scores and GPAs; they are people with personalities, dreams and possibilities.
Analysis: The shift in college admissions will change the trajectory of higher education in the short term. However, what is still yet to be seen is how this will impact alumni participation. How much more likely is it that an alum will give a gift to their school that provided them with an opportunity they otherwise would not have gotten under the old paradigm?
Philanthropy is in a unique position to speed global change, but government action is necessary to implement it, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said Wednesday. "Philanthropy can often take risks,” said Gates, speaking at the Bloomberg Equality Summit. “They can try innovations that sometimes work and sometimes fail. They can look for new solutions. They can help us collect the data. But ultimately, it’s always up to government to scale up these innovations to create a change.”
Analysis: The past couple of years have seen a number of calls to increase philanthropic giving from the top down. The Giving Pledge was something done outside of government regulation, but as Gates argues, the effect of something like the Giving Pledge on a broader scale would be beneficial to the nation's nonprofits.
Nonprofit Jobs Down 7.4% In Year Since Pandemic (Via The NonProfit Times)
The nonprofit sector lost almost a million jobs over the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, with losses in the health care and education fields accounting for almost three out of five job losses. The Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS) at Johns Hopkins University has been tracking job loss in the nonprofit sector since the pandemic was declared, estimating job losses based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data and comparing it to pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.
Analysis: While the initial wave of job losses in the early stages of the pandemic rocked every industry, nonprofits have struggled to recover. Even while organizations have seen an uptick in demand for services, the phrase "doing more with less" has never been more relevant.
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