News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research
A Letter from the Director
Summer is finally here. As we get ready to tackle a challenging second half of 2020, we would like to take a moment to commend you on successfully navigating through the first half during these unforeseen times. Although our circumstances have drastically changed over the last six months, it is worth taking a quick look at the Giving USA 2020
report that was released last month. Giving USA is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Data from the report reveals that in 2019, individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $449.64 billion to U.S. charities.
Giving USA 2020 reports that charitable giving in 2019 reached its highest point ever. This record was possible because of positive economic conditions and economic growth in the U.S. Data indicates that giving by wealthy individuals to education and cultural institutions was strong in 2019. “Giving by individuals totaled an estimated $309.66 billion, rising 4.7% in 2019.” Although 2019 data show that individual giving increased the most in dollar amounts, it may have been largely influenced by mega-gifts by few wealthy donors. The trend of “dollars up and donors down” continues. Also of note, foundation giving totaled $75.69 billion, an increase of 2.5% in 2019.
While this report is heartening, it doesn’t speak to our current circumstances. A June 2020 article from NonprofitPro
describes some ways to optimize fundraising operations in the midst of Covid-19 and economic uncertainty. Suggestions include: cleaning and maintaining the database, supplementing internal data with external information, conducting prospect research on potential supporters, continuing to make the ask, and targeting potential donors and volunteers strategically. Using this time to improve your data and strategies will position your program for success as we emerge from this crisis.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer! As always, please feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!