Philanthropy’s global footprint creates new opportunities

An American concept is growing rapidly in different parts of the world, innovating itself and finding new meaning in new markets. The art and science of philanthropy is now growing faster in regions outside the United States.  According to Penelope Cagney, international fundraising consultant and president of  The Cagney Company, a few trends that are shaping global philanthropy include:

  1. An affluent middle class in emerging markets is now greatly involved in philanthropic giving.  According to monthly giving data tracked by the Big Mac Philanthropy Index, the top three countries engaged in giving the most were Singapore, Hong Kong and India. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index 2012 now ranks Australia as the #1 country in giving, including both monetary gifts and volunteer hours.
  2. The surge in philanthropy in foreign markets is creating a new wave of innovation in method and practice.  A newly published book on Indian philanthropy “Revealing Indian Philanthropy,”  describes how the new Indian rich are taking sophisticated approaches to giving. Planned giving is hot in Japan, Chile raises more than 10% of it’s donations through door to door giving and direct mail is doing well in Australia. Microfinance and telefacing(telephone call and face to face meeting) are widely used in India, while social impact bonds in the UK and fair trade networks in Africa are enriching philanthropic practice in foreign markets.
  3. Alongside, huge NGOs are growing in emerging markets and some like the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) are more creative than counterparts in Western societies.

As the world adapts to more advanced fundraising  here are a few things to watch for:

  1. India’s Companies Bill of 2011 expected to be passed later this year will make India the first country  in the world to introduce a 2% Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. A major proposal seeks to have businesses spend 2 percent of their net profits in CSR initiatives. This will have a profound impact on corporate giving and will also affect the bottom line of multinational companies doing business in India.
  2. More and more emerging markets are now collecting data on philanthropy.
  3. A formal culture of philanthropy is yet to evolve, but giving is taking different forms and shapes in outside countries. These innovations could enrich the practice of philanthropy.
  4. Tactics like the “Giving Pledge” might work in Western markets, but in emerging markets, the super rich may not easily part with their wealth. They will seek newer ways of parting with their wealth.

As newer markets expand their philanthropic initiatives, thought leaders like Cagney have provided their perspectives in books like Global Fundraising: How the World is Changing the Rules of Fundraising. Overall, there is no better time for philanthropy to emerge as an important topic of discussion in international markets.


Are you in Development or in Sales?

Are you in development or in sales? Fundraisers ask this perennial question as they raise money for non-profit organizations. Recently, a senior corporate business development leader highlighted major similarities between development and sales:

  1. In development and in sales, we have to bring solutions to our clients and donors. Those with good listening skills bring the sale to a close.
  2. Sales has targeted sales plans that track revenue from clients; development plans yield gifts from donors.
  3. Validated sales bring new  revenue to the sales team while new pledges bring in new income to a non-profit agency.
  4. We strive to convert new sales into ongoing sales while in development we move first time donors into annual giving.
  5. Metrics are key  in both areas. In sales we quantify substantial meetings that move a sales forward, in development we constantly monitor our pipeline. How many proposals do we have that can yield results in the short and long-term?
  6. In sales, marketing determines opportunities while in development, research provides key donor data.
  7. In sales, we track time spend with customers while in development we track visits.
  8. Sales teams track velocity- how many days did it take to close the sale? Development teams track the number of interactions that occur before we make an ask.
  9. In sales, we check signed bids while in development we look at signed gift agreements.

Since there are so many similarities, why is development different from sales? Development professionals believe that their task often involves selling an emotion that sometimes will not fall into a progressive, well-documented, predictive closing system. Do you think this is true?