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The Nonprofit Strategist

Posts in Philanthropy
Why the Nonprofit Sector Needs More Accelerator Programs

We frequently talk with founders of tech and nonprofit startups, and we see a lot of similarities. Both nonprofit and tech founders are entrepreneurial, passionate about their ideas and face countless challenges ranging from the strategic to the tactical and mundane--any of which can rise up to bite the founder in the behind.  Interestingly, the management literature* largely confirms our observations.

You might ask, what’s the biggest challenge facing nonprofit entrepreneurs?  Money, money, MONEY! That’s right, it’s a lack of access to capital. No surprise, but we’re here to say and the literature confirms it:

Nonprofit founders face more challenges in raising capital than their tech founder brethren.  

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2.6% Increase in Giving Masks Accelerating Small $ Donor Slide

The trade press headlines stemming from the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Report are mixed at best. The good news is that giving has increased by 2.6% so far this year, driven primarily by wealthy donors.

The bad? So far, the number of US donors has declined by 4.3% through September 30th. The overall donor retention rate is down by 5.6%. In particular, new donor retention and lapsed donor recovery rates are down. These negative trends have now continued for several years, and in fact appear to have accelerated.

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Working with Good People Leads to Good Things

The headline seems self-evident, but many of us might admit that the idea is sometimes honored in the breach; not so for us in this recent case.

We’re just back from a six day workshop in London that we designed to help community-based women’s organizations from around the world increase the impact of their anti-slavery, anti-trafficking work. This is an under-appreciated problem—didn’t we solve that in the 19th century? Not quite. Global estimates suggest there are between 20 and 40 million people who are victims of modern slavery, most often as a result of forced labor or marriage, with profits from this sordid business of as much as $140 billion annually.  

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Let's Hope They're Wrong: New Study Predicts Decline in Philanthropy Due to Tax Law

A new analysis featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy predicts that individual giving will decline by 4% or about $16 billion in 2018, with almost all of it attributable to the loss of the charitable deduction and the increase in the standard deduction. Authors Alex Brill and Derrick Choe further show that the most significant impact will be on giving by those with higher income levels, mainly due to the increase in the standard deduction.  Their study is in line with several other estimates projecting a decline.

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The Case for Developing an Annual Fundraising Case

Most of the professionals we talk with usually think of case statements in a capital campaign context. But what about when you’re not contemplating a capital campaign? Although it is less common, it’s also very much worth investing in a fundraising case statement for your annual program--one designed to lay out what you're doing this year and over the next couple of years, too.

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