Personifying Your Organization as the Hero/Heroine in a Story of Recovery
Vice President Kim Horton, as part of Donor Search's "Masterminds" series, recently presented about how a non-profit can position itself toward successful, response messaging in our current environment. The presentation is built upon data our firm collected in 2020, when we spoke to almost 1,000 individuals about philanthropy and how it's been impacted by COVID-19, and is supplemented by information gathered from our national partners.
Thirty-five years of experience in philanthropy has taught me that the last ten weeks of the year is the most consequential time for the non-profit sector, as donors respond to increased needs for funding in their communities. Given our current environment, we want to make sure that this generosity continues regardless of whatever else is happening in the world this December.
I hope this finds you safe and healthy as we move into the second half of 2020. As you likely know, Giving USA recently released its numbers which showed that in 2019, Americans donated almost $450 billion to charity. Furthermore, in comparison to 2018, individual giving increased by 2.8%. As good as this news is, most in our industry are deeply curious and even concerned about the outlook for 2020. I am optimistic about this year, and am reaching out to share with you some data The Hodge Group has been tracking, as well as some anecdotal information from our clients.
Americans donated almost $450 billion to charities in 2019. Giving from individuals was up 2.8% compared to 2018. Through the data and our own experiences as practitioners with philanthropists, we are seeing that the American spirit of philanthropy is continuing to soar and thrive.
As we continue to monitor information regarding the not-for-profit sector, the most recent data from a Fidelity Charitable Survey backs multiple data points coming from Indiana’s School of Philanthropy and real-time information we’ve gathered from our clients and webinars across the not-for-profit sector over the last several weeks. Below are six key takeaways from this survey, but we encourage you to go directly to the report here.
The Hodge Group is a national leader in facilitating public-private partnerships. Through our work with dozens of libraries, we’ve seen how private philanthropy can unlock government funding and vice versa. In our experience, the most exciting library projects are successful with a good mix of both public and private support. It was heartening, then, to see this week’s election results in Ohio.
As we all continue to work from home amidst this new normal, we at The Hodge Group feel it's important to celebrate the great successes we're seeing around the country, and there are many. Despite all the bad news on TV, people are proving they are more hyper about philanthropy than ever before. We trademarked that term, Hyper-Philanthropy, because we believe the American spirit of generosity endures and thrives during even the darkest times, and we want to share some of our observations from the last month with you now.
As we settle into a new normal, The Hodge Group recognizes that nonprofits are facing enormous challenges in the current environment. Our team is monitoring best practices in the field, listening to webinars and reading blog posts. We’re also advising clients about a number of new opportunities presented in the current environment, including virtual tours and opportunities for “viral” video creation. Donor communications is no longer about reading the room, you have to be able to read the Zoom.
The Hodge Group recognizes the need to rely on best practice and steady leadership during tumultuous times. That is why we wish to share with you some lessons learned from our experience practicing philanthropic fundraising during two prior significant economic events (9/11 and the Great Recession).
The Hodge Group recognizes the urgency of the philanthropic sector to address the continued issues of income inequality and racism facing America. Philanthropy has always tried to ameliorate these issues, but in recent years the community has redoubled its efforts to address barriers of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA).
A Capital Campaign is a dedicated effort by a nonprofit organization to raise money for a large capital expenditure (like buildings, property, or something physical that is going to last a long time). A capital campaign will have a specific dollar goal to be raised within a specific amount of time.
Hyper-Philanthropy begins with a good strategic plan
The Hodge Group leads organizations towards the strongest philanthropic response possible by tying that response directly to an organization’s strategic plan. Furthermore, we coordinate that plan with the strategic alignment of resources, messaging, and outreach, in order to customize our trademarked methodology of Hyper-Philanthropy™ for our clients.
Driving hyper-philanthropy through new technologies
Experts tell us that the face of philanthropy is changing rapidly. The Giving Institute’s data reveals that individual giving makes up less than 70% of our $400 billion industry for the first time ever, and online/mobile giving rates are up almost three times the rate of overall giving. Despite these changes, though, it’s crucial to remember that the fundamentals of this field remain constant.
Though the economy expanded at a rate of 2% in Q2 2019, there is emerging evidence that economic growth is slowing, causing many to brace for another recession. Considering that our non-profit industry makes up 2% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, we need to pay attention.