Top 10 trends in philanthropy

Notes from a recent speech by Stacy Palmer, Editor, The Chronicle of Philanthropy at a CASE conference I attended in Chicago:
1)The economy
Foundation assets have fallen 17% and it’s hard to estimate trends in 2011.  A cautious outlook. There is optimism as there have been several gifts of $100 million and above that have come to Universities, especially USC. The Committee on Philanthropy showed an 18% increase in corporate giving but most of it has been through drug makers giving in-kind gifts to patients due to the sagging economy.  Top priorities for Foundations are job creation and scholarship opportunities.
2)Changing relationships with government
“What counts as a charity?” is being asked frequently. Position yourself well in the marketplace- why do you stand out? There is great emphasis on performance and innovation.
3)Threats to charitable deduction
The administration has been mulling a reduction in value of charitable deduction for wealthy people.
4)How fraud are non-profits? Issues that affected NPR; Fiesta Bowl and 3 Cups of Tea
5)Rise of feisty donors
  • Donor lawsuits
  • Gifts with strongs attached- review gift agreements
  • Anger about oversolicitation and lack of information
  • U-Con $7mn gift and donor asking it back
6)Changing demographics
  1. Women: give more, mid-level business owners are not being asked; give women more say in boards.
  2. Millenials: They are killing bequests; want to see results NOW through social enterprise mechanisms.
  3. Minorities: Underestimated; not being asked.
  4. Mid-level donors: The future
7)The Giving Pledge
Focus on millionaires in emerging economies and not just billionaires.
Online giving is faster and more secure.
9)Everybody is a fundraiser– however the once with experience and skills will be better off.
10)Are there enough good fundraisers?: Campuses need to keep them inspired.

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