USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – October 2022

on October 18, 2022 by Micaela Cameron
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News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

October brings us closer to the year-end fundraising season and we are all thinking of ways to optimize year-end fundraising results. The past nine months reveal that philanthropy is evolving and is molded by opportunities and challenges posed by the new normal. The 2022 Philanthropic Landscape report by CCS Fundraising assesses philanthropy among different charitable sectors. The report shows which trends are here to stay and what the future may bring. Additionally, insights from a recent report by Altrata may be beneficial to universities, as it provides information on wealthy and influential alumni.

First, let’s look some of the key findings from CCS research, which also incorporates insights and data points from the Giving USA 2022 report:

  • Six out of ten charitable sectors saw an increase from 2020 to 2021. The education sector received $70.79 billion, which was a 7.2 percent decrease from 2020. The religious sector received the largest amount of charitable gifts.
  • The total number of donors declined, while individual giving amounts rose. This shows that individuals had a higher disposable income in 2021. However, the decline in donors emphasize a need to focus on building major gift donors by providing personal relationships with existing donors.
  • Nonprofits can engage volunteers as fundraising ambassadors to build a stronger culture of philanthropy.
  • The number of ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals in the United States increased 13 percent. This means that nonprofits should understand the changes and demographics of these UHNW individuals when creating strategies to build relationships with them.
  • Corporate giving was the fastest growing giving source that contributed $21.08 billion. Education received 26 percent of charitable giving by foundations, where 40 percent of the dollar amounts from foundations supported program development. Nonprofits should continue to maintain existing corporate relationships by demonstrating the impact of those gifts made in 2021.
  • There has been a decrease in the bequest giving, which declined by 11.4 percent to $46.01 billion.

Universities tremendously rely on alumni support and philanthropy. Wealthy individuals are valuable since they are potential major gift donors, enablers of corporate partnerships, and may provide new networking opportunities for students and new alumni. In the report from Altrata, ultra-high net worth individuals are defined as those with a net worth of over $30 million. Additionally, Altrata defines senior executives as directors of publicly listed companies. Some interesting findings from the report are that Harvard University “stands in a league of its own, with an estimated 17,660 UHNW alumni” and Harvard also leads among US universities to have the most senior executive alumni. University of Maryland, College Park is mentioned in the report as one of the top universities in the US to have the most share of self-made UHNW alumni.

Based on the two reports, we can conclude that it is important for development professionals to continue to develop relationships with individuals. Data indicates that the disposable income of individuals increased in 2021, which likely impacted the positive increase in charitable giving. However, as we have discussed in previous newsletters, in 2023 there is the potential for an economic downturn that might impact giving trends negatively. In order to prepare for the future, development professionals can utilize prospect research to identify new donors and learn about existing donors to create successful fundraising strategies. It is also imperative to consider innovative ways to communicate with donors and engage with them more effectively. 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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