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: Does Place-Based Giving Make It Harder for Funders to Get Reliable Feedback, How to Tell Your Philanthropy Money Story, Artificial Intelligence Could Transform Fundraising if It’s Used Effectively and Ethically, Five Emerging Nonprofit Trends In 2021, and New York Boosts Funding for Nonprofit Arts Groups.
Does Place-Based Giving Make It Harder for Funders to Get Reliable Feedback? (Via Education Week)
An eternal question in the philanthropic community is how to learn from past missteps. One currently popular tack is to shift toward “place-based philanthropy,” in which funders eschew sweeping policy agendas in favor of working more closely with a given community (ideally allowing them to better understand and address local needs and challenges).
Analysis: With more donors moving towards "place-based" giving, developing close relationships with donors is even more important to ensure that your organization is on a donor's list. Communicating the impact of a donor's gift is an important step in laying the foundation for longer-term suport.
How to Tell Your Philanthropy Money Story (Via Worth)
It’s important for families to come together with an understanding of what having a philanthropic strategy entails and the differences in various kinds of charitable giving. When we think about much of our charitable giving, it involves providing immediate relief and is often driven by an emotional response to particular events or situations. The cadence here is usually short-term or until the need subsides. Strategic philanthropy, on the other hand, is more long-term in nature because it seeks to target the root causes of social issues.
Analysis: Akin to communicating impact in place-based giving, donors want their philanthropic dollars to tell a story of who they are and what they support. Donors should be celebrated for the impact they have on the community rather than the amount of dollars given. That impact is what makes donors feel good and give again year over year.
Artificial Intelligence Could Transform Fundraising if It’s Used Effectively and Ethically (Via Chronicle of Philanthropy)
Zoom meetings and virtual fundraising events became ubiquitous, and a growing number of organizations accelerated the adoption of increasingly inexpensive artificial intelligence tools aimed at improving the quantity and quality of giving. Research indicates that AI is creating opportunities to not only increase the amount of money raised but to significantly improve the relationship between donors and organizations.
Analysis: For years, fundraisers have been saying the same thing: people give to people. Tech in the nonprofit space seems to directly contradict that mantra, but advances in AI are allowing human fundraisers to become more human in a sense by allowing them to focus their time on donors rather than administrative work. Expanding fundraiser capacity leads to more relationships, deeper relationships, and ultimately, more giving.
Five Emerging Nonprofit Trends In 2021 (Via Forbes)
Recent weeks have brought good news regarding vaccination distribution but many Americans are still braced for uncertainty and the uncharted “new normal.” Last year, most nonprofits successfully pivoted to virtual engagement, increased services to meet demands and grappled with fundraising declines. In 2021, these emerging trends and others will have critical implications that extend well beyond fundraising and stewardship.
Analysis: It would be an understatement to say that the past year has been unpredictable. However in the wake of the pandemic, a number of trends arose and proved to be here for the long term. A number of these trends existed pre-COVID, but were accelerated by the need to innovate in the face of adversity.
New York Boosts Funding for Nonprofit Arts Groups (Via NonProfit Times)
As New York’s arts groups continue to grapple with the pandemic’s economic impact, the state is providing a measure of relief with its largest cultural financial commitment in recent years. The state will funnel $100 million in grants and assistance to nonprofit arts organizations over the coming year as part of the $212 billion annual budget that was approved earlier this month. That is in marked contrast to the cultural funding over the past decade, which was around $40 million a year, according to state officials.
Analysis: Arts & culture organizations were hit with a double whammy: lack of support because they are not a COVID related cause, and continuing to have operations shuttered because of restrictions. All of this compounds into an industry in desperate need of support, making this relief absioliutely critical to the survival of these organizations.
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