Letter from the Director
‘Tis the season of giving, which means fundraising professionals are doing their final outreach to potential donors at all levels to maximize year-end giving at their organizations. Furthermore, it’s the perfect time to demonstrate the value of existing donors by showing the impact of their gifts in creative ways. A report from Give.org affirms that Americans are willing to be solicited for gifts more than before, but there is still room for nonprofits to build trust with donors. While keeping momentum with individual and major gifts, nonprofit organizations should also seek grants from other funding sources such as corporations and foundations.
The Giving and Investment Trends Within Private Foundations report by Foundation Source provides insights into how wealthy families are pursuing philanthropy. The report examines approximately 1,000 private foundations with assets between $1 million and $500 million from 2020 and 2021, and it is worth noting that all private foundations granted more than their minimum distribution requirement of 5 percent in 2021. According to cof.org, private foundations are required to pay out at least five percent of their assets each year in the form of grants and operating charitable activities. Here are some other results found in the report:
1. Accelerated giving: Private foundations increased giving in 2021, up about $40 million from 2020. This increase was aided by growth in their endowments, which is likely due to strong market performance during recent years.
2. In 2021, foundations returned to giving to their core missions, while in 2020, their giving was directed to emergency assistance. There was growth in giving to education, the arts, and the environment in 2021.
3. Larger foundations improved their giving in 2021, while there was a slight decrease in giving by smaller foundations.
4. Grants were directed to recipients in the U.S. and thirty-two other locations around the world over the past two years.
5. In 2021, grant-making activities by private foundations increased at the end of the calendar year, especially during the months of November and December.
The report provides promising evidence that foundations will continue to support education, the arts, and human services. Based on the report, foundations increased their grant-making activities at year-end. Institutions should take this into account as we near the end of 2022 and reach out to foundations that align with their mission for engagement and support. Each of us have so much to be grateful for and as we celebrate the season with an “attitude of gratitude,” let’s remember all those that may be going through difficult times this season and shower kindness and love on everyone.
Have a wonderful holiday season! As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with fundraising research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
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