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2005 Trends of the Week

December 18 - 31, 2005

Drivers of Change in the Governance of Nonprofits

“Drivers of Change in the Governance of Nonprofits”, a chapter in Improving Board & Organizational Effectiveness, published by the Southern Rural Development Center, provides a comprehensive overview of trends affecting nonprofit boards. Trends are organized into the following categories: Board Governance; Generational and Demographic Patterns: Regulation, Legislation, and Legal Liability Trends; Finances, Accountability, and Fund-raising Trends; Ethics, Image, and Public Relations; Diversity, Specialization and Collaboration; and Technology and Data Management. To download a .pdf file, go to: srdc.msstate.edu/nonprofit/module01.pdf
 

December 11 - 17, 2005

Trends that are Changing Grantwriting

The world of grants is changing rapidly, along with most of modern society, and the grants professional needs to be aware of these changes. Some are minor trends which may or may not last, such as "social venture philanthropy," which grew out of the high-tech bubble of the late 1990s. Major trends, like the use of the Internet, are just beginning to show their impact. Go to: charitychannel.com/enews
 

December 4 - 10, 2005

What Does It Mean to the Sector When the “Boomers” Move Out?

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released the results of the largest-ever study that examines the tenure and future plans of nonprofit executives. The survey covers 2,200 respondents and the key findings point to potentially disruptive implications in nonprofit leadership, as the Baby Boomer generation transitions out of the sector. Some of the key findings of the survey are:

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Representatives of the large Baby Boom generation now in their 40s and 50s make up 72.5 percent of all nonprofit leaders.

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Today, 72 million Baby Boomers are in the overall workforce, with only about 38 million Generation X-ers to take their place.

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There is limited leadership diversity in the sector, as people of color lead just 16 percent of the organizations surveyed.

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The Baby Boom generation of leaders will transition out of the sector in two waves. The first is already beginning to occur and will continue through 2010. The second wave will peak in 2020, as all Baby Boomers approach traditional retirement age.

How will this impact your nonprofit? You can view the full survey on the Annie E. Casey Foundation Web site. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.aecf.org/publications
 

November 27 - December 3, 2005

The Geography of Corporate Giving

Where a company is headquartered influences the types of social programs it supports, such as housing assistance, disease research, and the arts, according to new research by professor Christopher Marquis and his coauthors. The authors ask “Is social spending too confined by geography?” As part of their research, they have interviewed more than fifty people in two cities and collected data on some 1,000 communities since the late 1980s. They observe that organizations in different cities seem to have different foci when it comes to their community involvement. Companies in Cleveland are focused on housing, those in Columbus are oriented toward children's' issues, and Minneapolis firms put much of their efforts into the arts. The goal for Marquis and colleagues is to explain these systematic differences across locales. Understanding the forces that drive corporate giving on a local level provides important lessons for executives, policymakers, and the groups who benefit. But such knowledge also suggests more work to be done in order to learn how global business trends, such as industry consolidation and globalization, might influence local philanthropy efforts Go to: hbswk.hbs.edu

November 20 - 26, 2005

The 21st Century NGO: In the Market for Change

“The 21st Century NGO”, published by SustainAbility, an independent think tank and strategy consultancy, explores questions around the relationships between NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) AND businesses as well as questions around the operation of NGOs AS businesses. The research involved input from over 200 experts from NGOs, businesses, foundations and other organizations, and concluded that, while markets and business engagement represent an enormous opportunity for NGOs, in order to exploit this NGOs will have to address critical challenges around their accountability, financing and partnerships. The publication argues that many international NGOs stand on the edge of a huge opportunity space to massively increase their impact by focusing their efforts on reforming market systems, rather than simply confronting them. The same can be said for nonprofits operating within the US. Go to: www.sustainability.com
 

November 13 - 19, 2005

Gaps Between The Views Of Typical Donors And Those Who Lead The Philanthropic Sector

The Charitable Impulse, published by Public Agenda and conducted in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation and the Independent Sector, explores gaps between the views of typical donors (those who contributed at least $300, volunteered, or were members of organizations) and those who lead the philanthropic sector. Donor sentiment about charitable organizations is "enthusiastic and positive," especially when it comes to smaller, local charities and human service organizations, and typical giving tends to be based on personal experience and emotional connections. But givers also have a long memory for scandal and waste. Glossy brochures, unsolicited gifts, telephone solicitations and high-pressure appeals "all came in for criticism and generated a high level of annoyance." The 33-page report is available for free download.  Go to: www.publicagenda.org
 

November 6 - 12, 2005

The Future of U.S. Community Foundations

On the Brink of Promise: The Future of U.S. Community Foundations predicts that community foundations will have to look outward for opportunities for growth and partnership and, in some cases, will be subsumed by other foundations or organizations. The report, which was written by Lucy Bernholz, founder and president of San Francisco-based Blueprint Research & Design, Katherine Fulton, president of the the Monitor Institute in Emeryville, California, and Gabriel Kasper, a strategist with Monitor, also notes that while community philanthropy, which historically has focused on specific geographical regions, has evolved over the years, geography has become just one way in which people identify with their communities. Click here to download the full report as a .pdf file. Click here to download the executive summary as a .pdf file.
 

October 30 - November 5, 2005

Driving Forces Behind the Rise in Youth Volunteering

It has been well documented by numerous surveys that young people today are volunteering at unprecedented rates. A new report by Lewis A. Friedland and Shauna Morimoto examines the motivating factors behind volunteering. Young people are facing higher stress, greater uncertainty and risk (although coupled with opportunities for some), and looser connections among family, friends, and communities. While parents' occupation may still predict the broad income band that children will occupy in adulthood, it will not necessarily predict educational achievement, occupation, or lifestyle. Students recognize that their future life chances rest on college attendance. Anxiety resulting from this recognition has suffused both the lives and future life-planning of all sectors of high-school-aged youth. Under these circumstances, young people of all classes are approaching service as (in part) an instrumental price to pay for college admission. Go to: www.civicyouth.org
 

October 23 - 29, 2005

Nonprofit Governance and Accountability

Responding to concerns about nonprofit governance and accountability surfaced in a discussion draft1 issued by the Senate Finance Committee, the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project conducted a survey, or Sounding, of its nationwide sample of nonprofit organizations in five key fields (children and family services, elderly housing and services, community and economic development, theaters, and museums) to examine the governance and accountability practices of the nation’s nonprofit organizations. The report includes key findings in the following six areas: Board roles, financial disclosure, ethics protections, best-practice standards, organizational changes; and nonprofit awareness. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.jhu.edu
 

October 16 - 22, 2005

The Federal Budget's Impact on Nonprofits

New five-year budget plans developed by President Bush and the Congress for fiscal year 2006 and beyond suggest that tough times may be ahead for many-although not all-of the nation's private, nonprofit organizations. This report by Alan Abramson, Director of the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, and Lester Salamon, Director, Center for Civil Society Studies of the Institute for Policy Studies of Johns Hopkins University, examines the most recent presidential and congressional budget proposals and their potential impact on our country's nonprofit organizations. Go to: www.nonprofitresearch.org

October 9 - 15, 2005

The New Nonprofit Almanac IN BRIEF: Facts and Figures on the Independent Sector

A user-friendly booklet of quick facts and figures on the size, scope, finances, and employment of the nonprofit sector, revealing that the number of 501(c)(3) organizations has experienced extraordinary growth of 74 percent in little more than a decade. The booklet is available as a free pdf download. Go to: www.independentsector.org; then scroll down to the link toward the bottom of the page
 

October 2 - 8, 2005

Signs of Promise: Stories of Philanthropic Leadership in Advancing Regional and Neighborhood Equity

The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities has just released this report which documents the diverse ways that foundations can support better planning and decision making to improve communities and regions. It includes 21 case study profiles that are designed to inspire and inform new efforts to advance social, environmental, and economic justice in neighborhoods and regions across North America. The 21 stories highlight not only specific projects and organizations, but also share lessons learned by the grantmakers who have been involved in and are committed to supporting them. To download a .pdf file, go to: fundersnetwork.org
 

September 25 - October 1, 2005

Financial Resources and Charitable Contributions of Retired Households

Retired households, on average, own 58% more wealth but earn 35% less income than non-retired households. On average, they also contribute substantially more (69%) to charitable causes than do non-retired households. These are the initial results of a work in progress at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College. The work is based on data from the 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances, sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. A summary of the preliminary findings is posted on the CWP web page. The summary and its tables will be expanded into a working paper as the analysis proceeds. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.bc.edu
 

September 18 - 24, 2005

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance and Nonprofit Organizations

As corporate CFOs and CIOs struggle with the provisions of the American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002 (otherwise known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) many of their counterparts in the non-profit sector are bracing for similar legislation to be passed for non-profits. This article examines how Sarbanes-Oxley applies to the non-profit sector and what types of financial oversight requirements for the non-profit sector are being considered. The article also offers suggestions on how non-profit organizations should prepare for this increased scrutiny. Go to: www.onphilanthropy.com
 

September 11 - 17, 2005

Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service

A new report from INDEPENDENT SECTOR and Youth Service America illustrates the strong impact of youth service on the giving and volunteering habits of adults. Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service reports that adults who engaged in volunteering in their youth give more money and volunteer more time than adults who began their philanthropy later in life. Key findings include: Forty-four percent of adults volunteer and two-thirds of these volunteers began volunteering their time when they were young; and adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger. Go to: www.independentsector.org
 

September 4 - 10, 2005

2005 KIDS COUNT Data Book

According to the latest edition of the foundation's annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, nearly four million children live with parents who had no job in the previous year, an increase of one million since the beginning of the decade. The report also notes that nearly thirteen million children were living in poverty in 2003 — half a million more than in 2000. The report also showed an increase in the percentage of low-birth-weight babies between 2000 and 2002; an increase in infant mortality for the first time in forty years; and a slight rise in the teen death rate. Over roughly the same period, the high school dropout rate fell significantly, the teen birth rate continued to fall, and the percentage of children in single-parent households leveled off. Still, the report concludes that five out of ten child well-being indicators have worsened since 2000. An important feature is State Level Data Online. This system contains state-level data for over 75 measures of child well-being. This easy-to-use, powerful online database allows you to generate custom reports for a geographic area or to compare geographic areas on a topic. To browse the KIDS COUNT Data Book online, Go to: www.aecf.org
 

August 28 - September 3, 2005

Social Justice Philanthropy: The Latest Trend or a Lasting Lens for Grantmaking

A new report that defines and discusses the concept of social justice philanthropy and provides an assessment of its future in philanthropy. Social Justice Philanthropy: The Latest Trend or a Lasting Lens for Grantmaking? explores how grantmakers define and apply the concept of social justice to their work. The report’s findings indicate that social justice philanthropy is fraught with many definitional variations, as well as disagreements on how to apply social justice concepts to grantmaking. While many agree that social justice philanthropy is somehow concerned with a more equitable redistribution of economic, political, and social power, there is little consensus on what a more just society would look like, or if philanthropy is capable of fostering these changes. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.ncrp.org
 

August 21 - 27, 2005

Looking Out for the Future: An Orientation for Twenty-First Century Philanthropists

This report by the Donors Forum of Chicago explores long-term trends affecting the philanthropic sector and discusses the range of giving vehicles available to today's philanthropists. Go to: www.futureofphilanthropy.org
 

August 14 - 20, 2005

American Teens: A Special Look at 'What Works' in Adolescent Development

Published in 2002 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this report of the foundation's Child Trends research is presented as a reference to identify the approaches that are most likely to succeed or fail in reaching the adolescents of a community. Child Trends undertook a comprehensive review of more than 1,100 research articles on adolescent development and the factors- both positive and negative- that affect it. Seven specific areas were covered in this review: reproductive health; physical health and safety; social skills; education; mental and emotional health; and civic engagement. Child Trends synthesized findings from this body of research first in seven lengthy and fully-referenced reports. Then, the reviews were summarized in a series of seven short research briefs, collectively called the American Teen series, which were published in 2002. These briefs "translate" research findings into language that is easily accessible for policy makers and service providers in the field of youth development and other individuals who are concerned about adolescents.  To download a .pdf file, go to: www.childtrends.org
 

August 7 - 13, 2005

The State of E-Philanthropy

While online giving still accounts for only a small amount of total funds raised by U.S. nonprofits, people today are much less skeptical about the importance of the Internet. Some estimates show that online giving among large nonprofits grew at an estimated rate of more than 50 percent between 2003 and 2004. Although success varies, some organizations are beginning to raise substantial funds online. Success correlates by type of organization and fundraising model.
 

July 24 - August 6, 2005

Leadership Crisis Looms For Canadian Nonprofits

A new report by the Calgary Centre for Non-Profit Management that confirms trends noted in recent studies of US based nonprofits concludes that approximately 41% of Calgary’s Executive Directors surveyed plan to leave their current leadership position within the next 2 years. Over the next 5 years, 84% of Executive Directors surveyed predict they will be seeking new employment

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86% of Executive Directors surveyed stated their Board of Directors have not created a succession plan for their position

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62% of Executive Directors surveyed have not identified a staff member experienced enough to lead the organization upon the departure of the current Executive Director

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42% of non-profit organizations surveyed have had two or more Executive Directors over the past 5 years

To download the full report as a .pdf, go to: www.thecentre.ab.ca
 

July 17 - 23, 2005

Latest Data on U.S. Foundations 

The Foundation Center’s 2005 Foundation Yearbook provides the latest data on U.S. foundations overall and by region and type. Some highlights: Giving by the nation’s over 66,000 grantmaking foundations slipped 0.4 percent to $30.3 billion in 2003, following a 0.2 percent dip in the prior year. Nonetheless, foundations in the Northeast raised their level of giving 3.1 percent in the latest year, led by strong growth in funding by foundations based in Maine and New Jersey. Similarly, grantmakers in the West managed a 1.3 percent increase in their giving, buoyed by gains in giving by foundations in Wyoming and California. In contrast, Midwestern and Southern foundations registered declines of 5.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. By share of overall giving, the Northeast continued to lead, followed by the South. The West ranked third, surpassing the Midwest for the first time on record. While the pattern of giving was mixed, foundation assets rebounded in all four regions. This upturn reflected the stock market recovery and the improved economic climate. Overall, foundation assets rose 9.5 percent in 2003, ending two consecutive years of decline. Still, total assets remained below the peak level reached in 2000. To download a .pdf file, go to: http://www.fdncenter.org/research/trends_analysis/pdf/fyhiltes05.pdf
 

July 10 - 16, 2005

Survey Finds That A Worthy Cause May Not Be Enough

A consumer perceptions survey released today by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) reveals that for 78% of Americans, trust in a nonprofit organization is the most important factor when considering a donation. Organizational trust far outweighs personal experience, with factors such as personal knowledge of others having donated and receiving support from an organization trailing all other factors that could influence an individual’s reason for giving. When asked about other factors affecting organizational perceptions, having a celebrity endorser appears to carry little weight – 58% of those surveyed found a celebrity endorsement to be “not at all important,” with just 16% of respondents calling it “very important.” The survey was used by AMA and AMAF to inform the focus and content of the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 2005 event: The Business of Trust: Marketing Integrity and Value Through Accountability, Constituency Focus and Relationship Marketing. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.marketingpower.com
 

July 3 - 9, 2005

Online Giving on the Rise, Study Finds

Online donations to the biggest U.S. charities grew 63 percent last year from 2003, a study from the Chronicle of Philanthropy reveals, with the value of Internet fundraising underscored by the tsunami relief effort and Howard Dean's presidential campaign, USA Today reports. The Chronicle surveyed 164 groups, including Doctors Without Borders USA and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Together, they raised $166.2 million online. This was less than 1 percent of the total raised by most of the charities, but Chronicle editor Stacy Palmer said the big growth from 2003 will spur more online fundraising as donors grow more comfortable with e-charity. Go to: www.fdncenter.org
 

June 26 - July 2, 2005

Five Nonprofit Trends and Their Implications for Capacity Builders

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management asked Bryan Barry, principal consultant with Wilder Center for Communities, and author of Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations,  to identify trends that will affect how capacity building work is done in the future and the implications for capacity builders (i.e., how might we respond?). Following are the trends that Bryan presented at the Alliance's 2004 Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago. Go to: www.fieldstonealliance.org

If you'd like more in-depth information or have questions for Bryan Barry, he has invited your contact at: bwb@fieldstonealliance.org
 

June 19 - 25, 2005

Prospective Peak Giving Years by Generation

Gary Hubbell, author of Forces of Change: The Coming Challenges in Hospital Philanthropy, has analyzed the prospective peak giving years by generational cohort. The peak giving years are ages 55-75: 

Generation Cohort

Birth Years

Years of Peak Giving
(Ages 55-75)

Silent Generation

1925 - 1942

1980 - 2017

Boom Generation

1943 - 1960

1998 - 2035

Generation X

1961 - 1981

2016 - 2056

Millennial Generation

1982 - 2003(?)

2037 - 2078

His conclusions, which will be useful for planning by nonprofits in general, include:

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As we enter the 2010 decade, the last cohort of the silent generation will be reaching the end of their peak giving years.

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Early Boomer cohorts have already entered their peak which will continue for the next twenty years.

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Generation X donors will just begin to enter their peak giving in the middle of the next decade, continuing to the middle of this century.

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At least 30 years from now, Millennials will enter their prime giving years.

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Futurists anticipate longer life spans for each successive generation so peak giving years may represent spans that start later in life and/or last longer than what is known today.
 

June 12 - 18, 2005

Wealth Transfer Estimates Among African American Households

A study from the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy sheds light on trends in African-American household income, wealth and philanthropic giving, including charitable bequests and transferred wealth. To download a .pdf file, go to: bc.edu/research
 

June 5 - 11, 2005

Experience at Work: Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over

The American Baby Boom generation represents the largest untapped pool of potential volunteers for the nonprofit community in recent history, according to a new study entitled Experience at Work: Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over, by INDEPENDENT SECTOR and AARP. As Baby Boomers begin to approach retirement age, nonprofit organizations will be faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges to engage this population. Experience at Work gives an analysis of the over-50 population in the United States by examining the current giving and volunteering patterns of this age group and comparing the philanthropic habits of Americans still in their working years, aged 50 to 64, and those who are retired, aged 65 and over. Key findings include:

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The over-50 population is expected to grow by 18.3 million people over the next ten years;

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Those in the 50 to 64 age group will show the largest increase of 13.9 million people. These 50- to 64- year-olds will still be employed, earn the most and become the most generous givers;

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Nonprofits can expect an increase in the number of high givers from this age group; and

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More of this population will be available to volunteer more often.

To order the report, go to: www.independentsector.org
 

May 29 - June 4, 2005

Online Giving Survey Show Donors May Have Contributed $2 Billion

While the World Wide Web has been among the most significant new fundraising tools in the past decade, it has not nearly reached its full potential. Both in terms of the dollars raised and the number of organizations using Web sites for fundraising, year-to-year growth continues at more than 50 percent -- with the expectation that billions will be given online in the coming year.

Online fundraising reached an estimated nearly $2 billion in 2003, which was more than 60 percent above the amount raised in 2002, according to an online survey of readers of The NonProfit Times. There was also a projected greater than 55 percent increase in the percentage of organizations that attempted to raise money online when the first half of 2003 is compared to 2002.

These are among the findings of a survey recently conducted by The NonProfit Times and San Diego-based software as a service provider Kintera, regarding the adoption and success of online fundraising by the nonprofit community. Kintera officials described the online amount raised estimates as “conservative,” given the relative dearth of large nonprofits in the sample size. Some large nonprofits tend to be major users of online donation technology. Go to: www.nptimes.com
 

May 22 - 28, 2005

Nonprofit Financial Disclosure

According to research, 93 percent of nonprofits distribute financial statements to their boards at least on a quarterly basis. Ninety-seven percent of organizations have undergone audits over the past two years. Eighty-one percent of chief executives sign the organization’s IRS Form 990. Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with numerous nonprofit infrastructure organizations, studied the financial practices of charities and found comforting news in this era of financial scrutiny.  To download the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.jhu.edu/listeningpost/news/pdf/comm04.pdf
 

May 15 - 21, 2005

Trends in Evaluation - Where We've Been and Where We're Going: Experts Reflect and Look Ahead

This article features the opinions of six evaluation experts who discuss how evaluation has changed in the last ten years and where they see the field going. Go to: www.gse.harvard.edu
 

May 8 - 14, 2005

Rural Children at a Glance

This report provides the latest information on the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural children in families. Child poverty in 21st century America is higher (18 percent in 2003) than the rate for the general population (12.5 percent), as well as above the rates in most other industrialized countries. Although rural child poverty rates declined in the 1990s, they remain higher than the rates for urban children (21 percent vs. 18 percent). In 2003, 2.7 million rural children were poor, representing 36 percent of the rural poor.. The geographic distribution of child poverty—heavily concentrated in the South—is important for targeting poverty reduction policies and program assistance such as child nutrition programs, food stamps, and health insurance coverage in rural areas. Go to: www.ers.usda.gov

May 1 - 7, 2005

Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Transitions Survey 2004: Milwaukee

The impending wave of executive transitions in the nonprofit sector has received much attention in the last few years. A new study has just been released: "Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Transitions Survey 2004: Milwaukee" provides the full report of the 2004 survey of nonprofit executives in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. To download this file as a .pdf file, go to: www.nonprofitmilwaukee.org/transitions/mketransitions.pdf. The April 2005 issue of Research and Opinion, a publication of the UW-Milwaukee Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, provides an excellent "executive summary" along with local commentary on the results of the survey. To download this file as a .pdf file, go to: www.uwm.edu/Dept/CUIR/rando/RandO3_05.pdf

April 24 - 30, 2005

Teens and TANF: How Adolescents Fare Under the Nation’s Welfare Program

This issue brief describes the history and main provisions of TANF, focusing on those that relate directly to teens, and describes what is currently known about the program’s impact on three different groups of adolescents: TANF teen parents, teenagers living in TANF households, and teens who are involved in TANF-funded initiatives. Go to: www.kff.org/womenshealth
 

April 17 - 23, 2005

The New Unaffiliated Volunteers

The following Excerpt from this article by Mary Merrill. “Call them serendipitous, entrepreneurial, spontaneous, unofficial, out of the box, under the radar, independent or unaffiliated. These are the new volunteers that do what they want, when and how they want to do it. They do not feel obligated to do their volunteer work through established channels. They see a need, or something that peaks their interest and they are off and running. I call them the vigilante volunteers. The term vigilante refers to a self-appointed doer of justice. The justice for them is doing “right actions.” These volunteers see themselves as self-appointed doers of good.” Go to: www.worldvolunteerweb.org

April 10 - 16, 2005

New Estimate for Value of Volunteer Time

Independent Sector has announced that the 2004 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour has reached $17.55 per hour. This is a tool that can be used to help organizations quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. This year’s estimate increased from $17.19 per hour in 2003. Nationally Independent Sector estimates in 2004 the total value of hours volunteered was equivalent to approximately $272 billion of contributed service, assuming the total number of volunteer hours held constant from previous years. Go to: www.independentsector.org
 

April 3 - 9, 2005

Internet Impact: Latest Trend Findings

The Pew Internet & American Life Project produces reports that explore the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The project website contains charts and excel data files of a selection of the Pew Internet Project’s latest trend findings including: current demographics of Internet users, percentage of Internet users who have “ever done” an online activity, percentage of Internet users who do a given activity on a "typical day", change in U.S. Internet penetration over time, and Internet user demographics over time. Go to: www.pewinternet.org. For additional trend data and tips for businesses that use the internet, view a PowerPoint Presentation at: www.pewinternet.org.
 

March 27 - April 2, 2005

Hispanic Teen Pregnancy and Birth Rates: Looking Behind the Numbers

Given the current and projected growth in the Hispanic teen population, combined with the relatively high rates of teen pregnancy and births within this population, Hispanic teens represent an important target group for pregnancy prevention programs. But very few pregnancy prevention programs have been designed specifically to address the needs of Hispanic teens. A broader understanding of the sexual, contraceptive, and relationship behaviors of Hispanic teens can help program providers and others address these needs more effectively. This Research Brief provides that broader context. It presents data from several sources combining findings from recently collected data with new analyses of data from the 1990s to draw a picture of the reproductive behaviors and outcomes of Hispanic teens. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.childtrends.org/Files/HispanicRB.pdf
 

March 20 - 26, 2005

Grandfamilies: An Unsupported Safety Net

In Grandfamilies: An Unsupported Safety Net, an article in a recent issue of The Next American City, author Bobbi Pinkert reports that 2.4 million grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren, and the number is growing rapidly. According to the 2000 census, 4.5 million children live in grandparent-headed households, a 30 percent increase from the last census, and 69 percent are in urban households headed by a single grandmother with less than a high school education. This phenomenon is creating a "silent epidemic" because these families are largely overlooked by programs that could provide physical and emotional support, and access to housing. (Summary from PND News)  Go to: www.americancity.org
 

March 13 - 19, 2005

State of the States in Family Caregiver Support: A 50-State Study

The majority of disabled or elderly adults who are cared for at home receive their care exclusively from unpaid family members or friends. State of the States in Family Caregiver Support: A 50-State Study examines the publicly funded caregiver support programs in all fifty states and the District of Columbia since 2000 and the passage of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. A joint project of the Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Conference of State Legislatures, the study provides state profiles, key findings, challenges and issues for the future, and a description of the distinct needs of family caregivers.  To download .pdf files, go to www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content/pdfs/50_state_report_complete.pdf for the full report; go to: www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content/pdfs/executive_summary.pdf for the executive summary.
 

March 6 - 12, 2005

Sarbanes Oxley Act and Implications for Nonprofits

Authored by BoardSource & Independent Sector, this report discusses provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance act. It examines provisions of the law and makes recommendations for nonprofits to voluntarily comply with certain provisions. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.boardsource.org/clientfiles/Sarbanes-Oxley.pdf
 

February 27 - March 5, 2005

Foundation Giving Trends

According to Foundation Giving Trends: An Update on Funding Priorities 2005, a new report from the New York-based Foundation Center, overall giving by the largest private and community foundations decreased 10 percent between 2002 and 2003. Reductions in funding cut across most major fields. Nonetheless, certain areas—such as voter education, disaster preparedness, national security, and arms control—realized substantial growth in funding. In addition, operating support claimed a new record-high share of foundation giving. At the same time, foundations continued to reduce the volume and size of their very largest grants, especially capital grants. Education ranked first by share of foundation grant dollars in 2003; Human Services led by share of grants. Go to: fdncenter.org/research/trends_analysis/index.html
 

February 20 - 26, 2005

R U Ready? Donating via Cell Phone Emerges

According to Brian Walsh of Changing Our World, at least three U.S. phone companies, Verizon Wireless, All Tel, and Cingular Wireless, have offered their customers the ability to send text message donations to relief agencies assisting with the tsunami disaster.  As with other major communication tools - letters, television, phone calls, and emails - text messaging has the potential to become a major tool for fundraising, even beyond the tsunami relief efforts. Whether this remains as a one-time opportunity or emerges as a new trend in fundraising remains to be seen. Go to: www.onphilanthropy.com
 

February 13 - 19, 2005

The Pro-Am Revolution: How enthusiasts are changing our economy and society

This document, published by Demos, which describes itself as an independent think tank based in the UK, chronicles the growth and impact of organized professional volunteer activity in society. The data and analysis come from the UK but is applicable in the US where much is being written these days about the anticipated impact of aging baby boomers. Here’s the abstract from the Demos website:

“From astronomy to activism, from surfing to saving lives, Pro-Ams - people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards - are an increasingly important part of our society and economy. For Pro-Ams, leisure is not passive consumerism but active and participatory, it involves the deployment of publicly accredited knowledge and skills, often built up over a long career, which has involved sacrifices and frustrations. The 20th century witnessed the rise of professionals in medicine, science, education, and politics. In one field after another, amateurs and their ramshackle organizations were driven out by people who knew what they were doing and had certificates to prove it. The Pro-Am Revolution argues this historic shift is reversing. We're witnessing the flowering of Pro-Am, bottom-up self-organization and the crude, all or nothing, categories of professional or amateur will need to be rethought. Based on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of Pro-Ams and containing new data about the extent of Pro-Am activity in the UK, this report proposes new policies to support and encourage valuable Pro-Am activity”. Go to: www.demos.co.uk
 

February 6 - 12, 2005

State of Philanthropy 2004

Published by National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, State of Philanthropy 2004 is a collection of analyses on the accomplishments and shortcomings of the grant making field, with a focus on the social justice arena. The second in a series of publications, the biennial presents diverse perspectives from nonprofit, academic, foundation and advocacy leaders, and discusses how philanthropic institutions can assist the nonprofit sector in securing social and economic justice for the nation. To order a copy, go to: www.ncrp.org/ncrpstore
 

Trend of the Week:  January 30 - February 5, 2005

Ten Emerging Principles of Governance of Nonprofit Corporations

This article attempts to help nonprofit boards stay ahead of possible future legislation by giving ten principles that boards can implement now and comply with Sarbanes-Oxley.

To download a .pdf file, go to: www.silklaw.com
 

January 23 - 29, 2005

U.S. Foundations Maintain International Giving Above $3 Billion, Study Shows

According to a new report prepared and published by the Foundation Center with the support and collaboration of the D.C.-based Council on Foundations, giving by the nation's foundations for U.S.-based and overseas international programs reached $3 billion for the fourth year in a row in 2003, despite an economic downturn, terrorist attacks, and the continuing war on terror. International Grantmaking III: An Update on U.S. Foundation Trends, (highlights, 4 pages, PDF) notes that as recently as 1998, grants to international projects totaled only $1.6 billion. A critical factor in the consistently high level of giving in recent years is the presence of new funders — ranging from the multi-billion-dollar Bill & Melinda Gates and Gordon and Betty Moore foundations, to numerous smaller independent and corporate foundations and an increasing number of community foundations — and increased giving by many established funders.  Go to: fdncenter.org
 

January 16 - 22, 2005

Nonprofits Weigh Effect of Tsunami Giving on Fundraising

While some nonprofit organizations are worried that the unprecedented charitable response to the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami may result in fewer donations at home, others are hopeful that an increase in new donors will result in more charitable giving over the long term. But where many see the possibility of adverse short-term consequences, others see opportunity. Go to: fdncenter.org 

January 9 - 15, 2005

The Changing Role of Nonprofits in the Network Economy

The new network economy presents fresh challenges to nonprofit organizations. Some of the relative advantages nonprofits now enjoy, compared to business and government, in providing services characterized by information asymmetry and public goods characteristics are likely to be eroded by changes in information technology. At the same time, the network economy also offers nonprofits special opportunities, including a role as trusted intermediaries to help people cope with a deluge of complex information. This article applies economic theory to derive expectations of the changing role of nonprofits in the information age and considers how nonprofits can respond effectively to the new circumstances. Go to: nvs.sagepub.com
 

January 2 - 8, 2005

Volunteer Management Practices

The Urban Institute has published the second in a series of briefs reporting on a 2003 survey of volunteer management capacity among charities and congregations. The findings in this report are based on conversations with a systematic sample of charities about their practices, challenges, and aspirations for their volunteer programs.

This report, titled "Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers" focuses on charities' adoption of nine recommended practices for volunteer management and explores the relationship between adoption of these practices, other organizational characteristics, and the retention of volunteers. The practices under study are supervision and communication with volunteers, liability coverage for volunteers, screening and matching volunteers to jobs, regular collection of information on volunteer involvement, written policies and job descriptions for volunteers, recognition activities, annual measurement of volunteer impact, training and professional development for volunteers, and training for paid staff in working with volunteers.

The study was supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, USA Freedom Corps, and the UPS Foundation. To download the PDF version of the 16 page report, go to: www.urban.org .  At this web site there is also a link for purchasing a hard copy.
 

December 19, 2004 - January 1, 2005

Donations Up, But So Is Demand

More than half of nonprofits say their donations increased during the first nine months of the year, but seven in 10 say demand for their services also rose. The results are part of the third annual nonprofit economic survey conducted by GuideStar, a nonprofit that gathers and disseminates information about charities. While the increase in donations was seen throughout the U.S. and across focus areas, the study shows that nonprofits with annual expenditures of $20 million or more are most likely to report an increase in contributions. It also shows that nonprofits in the employment/job-related and youth development fields were most likely to report an increase in demand for their services.

Go to: philanthropyjournal.org
 

To view 2004 Trends of the Week, click here.


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