USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – August 2023

on August 5, 2023 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

Welcome to August’s Fundraising Talks. As fall approaches, most higher education institutions across the U.S. have welcomed students to their campuses for another academic year. Relationships with these incoming students began to form when they started researching and applying to our institutions. Strong relationships are cultivated by positive experiences at a student’s chosen institution and continuous engagements during and beyond their years of study. 

The 2023 Geography of Giving report by Fidelity Charitable explores how geography plays a role in shaping American philanthropy. How people give in different cities is an interesting data point to explore since one’s location may be based on the needs and characteristics of their lifestyle. Additionally, we should consider how giving shapes the communities people live in and how people contribute to make their communities better. The trends identified can be used to drive discussions on giving priorities and innovative giving approaches. Knowing the priorities and needs of communities will help donors determine how to create impactful charitable giving in areas where they live.

Fidelity Charitable’s grant-making activities were examined in order to rank the top 30 metropolitan areas in the United States. The top cities for giving in the Mid-Atlantic region are Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Of the eight popular charitable sectors (art and culture, education, environment and animals, health, human services, international affairs, religion, and society benefit), the three most popular charitable sectors were human services, education, and religion. Human services emerged as the new most charitable sector in the majority of the top 30 cities for giving, especially in the East and West Coast regions. Research indicates that more donations were directed to nonprofits that focused on hunger and food insecurity. The top charitable sector in most cities in the Central and Southern regions of U.S. was religion. Education was the top charitable sector in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk region in Connecticut. 49 percent of donor-advised funds of Fidelity Charitable were directed to education in 2022. The Baltimore-Towson area ranked as ninth in giving for education sector.

Geographic location of constituents and other demographic data that we have in our databases can provide valuable insights for fundraisers to create outreach strategies. The Fidelity Charitable report can be used to locate areas where our donors reside and understand what charitable sectors donors in those areas are interested in supporting. We can help them understand how they can contribute to causes that help improve the communities they live in. On a different and final note, August is “National Make-a-Will Month” – an excellent time to reach out to your donors and invigorate planned giving programs.

I hope all of you had a wonderful summer. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments, or any assistance with fundraising research!

Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
Read more in this issue of Fundraising Talks>>

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