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2006 Trends of the Week

December 31, 2006 - January 6, 2007

The United States Nonprofit Sector: Key Trends

“The United States Nonprofit Sector: Key Trends”, a report published by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, summarizes the most current data available on the nonprofit sector and highlights the breadth and scope of the sector. This report, published in2006, is based on the most recent available (Fiscal Year 2003) data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute. While this report focuses on reporting nonprofits – those charitable organizations that are required to file annually with the IRS and provide much of the data available on the sector – it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of registered charitable nonprofit organizations (66 percent or 548,777) are small in size and often volunteer-led. They are not reflected in the data because their revenues did not exceed $25,000 in 2003. Among the key findings, the U.S. nonprofit sector is the sixth largest economy in the world, when comparing its asset base to that of other countries and total assets of all reporting nonprofits were $1.76 trillion. To download the report as a .pdf file, go to: Go to: www.ncna.org

December 24 - 30, 2006

Fund Raisers Urged to Overhaul Approaches in Wake of Major Societal Changes

According to speakers at the 2006 annual meeting of the National Committee on Planned Giving, big changes sweeping across society and the financial world will require fund raisers to overhaul their approaches to seeking planned gifts or risk major losses in donations. Two trends were singled out: The first trend affecting fund raisers is the evolution of the “self-directed consumer.” According to an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy Update newsletter, “before the Internet became widely used, people who were thinking about setting up a gift annuity or charitable trust relied almost strictly on the advice of a fund raiser. But the Internet and other forces have made information about these tools much more accessible to potential donors. As a result, today's donors typically conduct considerable research before they are ever approached by charity fund raisers.” The second trend is the emergence of for-profit companies that are offering wealthy clients advice on their charitable options – usually without the involvement of traditional fundraising professionals. The third major force affecting planned giving is the fear of terrorist attacks that has promoted uncertainty among many potential donors, prompting some donors to put gift commitments on hold. For the full article, go to: philanthropy.com

December 17 - 23, 2006

Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations

Grant Thornton provides this annual survey on an annual basis. Since the firm began this survey in 2003, demand by various constituencies for fiscal transparency, strong governance and proper stewardship have encouraged not-for-profit organizations to focus on governance issues and policy. According to survey findings, today, almost one-third of all organizations have a governance committee in place. Many organizations have also been engaging in enterprise-wide risk assessments over the past several years to evaluate risks, including environmental, regulatory, governance, financial, and programmatic. Assessing reputational risk, specifically, has become more common to safeguard an organization’s good name and reputation. In addition, not-for-profit boards are ensuring their independence by forming an audit committee (64 percent) and assigning the audit committee the responsibility for hiring and terminating the audit firm, as well as determining the scope of work (40 percent). To download a copy of the survey summary as a .pdf file, go to: www.grantthornton.com

December 10 - 16, 2006

Foundation Giving Trends 

Education and health remained the top priorities of private and community foundations included in the Foundation Center’s grants sample in 2005. Support for most major subject areas grew, with international affairs and the environment posting the largest gains. By type of support, the share of foundation grant dollars allocated for capital projects rose to 18.5 percent, following five consecutive years of decline. These findings are based on all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by 1,154 of the largest foundations. The $16.4 billion awarded by the sampled funders represents roughly half of overall U.S. foundation giving. This “Preview” highlights key patterns of giving in 2005 by subject area, type of support, population group, geographic focus, and foundation type. A full analysis will be published in Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities in February 2007. To download this preview as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

December 3 - 9, 2006

Charitable Giving Rises 6 Percent to More than $260 Billion in 2005

Estimated charitable giving reached a record high in the United States with contributions totaling more than $248 billion, according to a 2006 Giving USA report.. Giving USA reports giving from four sources of contributions—individual (living) donors; bequests by deceased individuals; foundations; and corporations. Individual giving represents the single largest source of donations, accounting for three-quarters of the total charitable contributions made. It rose by 6.4 percent. (2.9 percent adjusted for inflation) to an estimated $199.07 billion. It accounts for 76.5 percent of all estimated giving in 2005. To download this report as a .pdf file, go to: www.aafrc.org

November 26 - December 2, 2006

School-Age Child Care Arrangements

This trend published by the National Center for Children in Poverty summary looks at school-age children, who spend time in a greater array of care arrangements than younger children, who are primarily in center care, relative care, or nonrelative care. While the majority of children are in parental care before and after school, in the summer a majority of children are in relative care. Key findings include:


The most common nonparental care arrangements for school-age children are center- or school-based programs, relative care, and self-care.


Younger children are more likely than older children to be in relative care before and after school, and in the summer.


Older children are more likely than younger children to be in self-care before and after school and in the summer.


During the school year, black children, children from single-parent households, and children whose mothers work full-time are more likely to be in self-care.


90 percent of parents rate reliability as “very important” in selecting after-school arrangements.

To download this summary as a .pdf file, go to: www.nccp.org

November 19 - 25, 2006

U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Trends

The teenage pregnancy rate in this country is at its lowest level in 30 years, down 36% since its peak in 1990. U.S. Updated in 2006, Teenage Pregnancy Statistics: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity by the Guttmacher Institute summarizes a growing body of research suggests that both increased abstinence and changes in contraceptive practice are responsible for recent declines in teenage pregnancy. Key findings include:


The teenage pregnancy rate among those who ever had intercourse declined 28% between 1990 and 2002.


The teenage birthrate in 2002 was 30% lower than the peak rate of 61.8 births per 1,000 women, reached in 1991.


Between 1988 and 2000, teenage pregnancy rates declined in every state and in the District of Columbia.


Among black women aged 15–19, the nationwide pregnancy rate fell by 40% between 1990 and 2002.


Among white teenagers, it declined by 34% during the same time period.


Among Hispanic teenagers, who may be of any race, the pregnancy rate increased slightly from 1991–1992, but by 2002 was 19% lower than the 1990 rate.

 To download a copy of the study as a .pdf file, go to: www.guttmacher.org

November 12 - 18, 2006

The Nonprofit Sector and the Federal Budget:
Analysis of President Bush’s FY 2007 Budget

The budget proposals that President Bush recently submitted to Congress, covering fiscal year 2007 and beyond, would put new demands on the nation’s private, nonprofit organizations at the same time they would reduce the federal support going to these organizations to provide services. This analysis of the president’s FY 2007 budget prepared by Alan J. Abramson, Lester M. Salamon, and John Russell and published by the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund highlights the following:

bullet Over the five years, FY 2007-2011, the Bush Administration’s latest budget proposals would reduce federal spending on programs of interest to nonprofits, outside of Medicare and Medicaid, by a cumulative total of $78.6 billion below current FY 2006 levels, after adjusting for inflation.
bullet If the president's proposals were enacted, federal funding of nonprofits, excluding support of nonprofit health organizations through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, would decline during the five years, FY 2007-2011, by a cumulative total of $14.3 billion below FY 2006 levels after adjusting for inflation.
bullet The impact of the president’s proposed spending plan on the nation’s nonprofit organizations would be even more severe were it not for the projected continued growth of the Medicaid program, which now delivers important assistance to nonprofit organizations outside of the health field.

Go to: www.jhu.edu

November 5 - 11, 2006

Community Foundation Giving Trends

Estimated giving by the nation's 700 community foundations rose to a record $3.2 billion in 2005, according to the Foundation Center's new report, Key Facts on Community Foundations, the first ever report to exclusively highlight the Center's most current research on the size, scope, and giving interests of this segment of U.S. grantmaking foundations. Double-digit asset gains, increases in the level of new gifts, and exceptional disbursements from donor-advised funds contributed to this growth. Key findings include:

bullet In 2005, community foundations' estimated giving rose 10.9 percent—roughly twice as fast as independent and corporate foundations.
bullet Well over half (59 percent) of community foundations responding to the Center's latest forecasting survey expected to increase giving in 2006, while 30 percent expected to reduce giving.
bullet The community foundations in the Center's grants sample gave proportionately more for human services and the arts than did independent and corporate foundations in 2004.

To download the report as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

October 29 - November 4, 2006

Vulnerable Youth: Recent Trends

Vulnerable Youth: Recent Trends A Report to The Annie E. Casey Foundation By Richard Wertheimer Astrid Atienza Vulnerable updates and extends information from previous Annie E. Casey Foundation studies by providing national and state-level trend data on an expanded set of groups of vulnerable youth. Trends include:

bullet The number of 15-to-17-year old victims of maltreatment, for the 47 states and the District of Columbia that reported data for each year, steadily increased between 2000 and 2003.
bullet While nationwide the number of foster children age 15-to-19 increased from 131,206 in 2000 to 137,060 in 2003, there were 17 states with increases in their foster children caseload of at least 20 percent and 2 states with decreases of at least 20 percent.
bullet Both nationwide and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, there was a steady decline in the number of teen mothers between 1999 and 2003.
bullet Nationwide and in 37 states plus the District of Columbia there was at least a 20 percent decline between FY 1998 and FY 2002 in the number of youth receiving TANF pay but there were 2 states in which the number of recipients increased by more than 20 percent. ments,

To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.aecf.org

October 22 - 28, 2006

Sharp Increase in College Student Volunteering 

The “College Students Helping America” report released by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service found that college student volunteering increased by 20 percent between 2002 and 2005, more than doubling the growth in the adult volunteering rate.  It found that 3.3 million college students volunteered in 2005 – nearly 600,000 more students than three years ago -- building strong momentum toward a national goal of five million college student volunteers by 2010. The report finds a growing trend of "episodic" volunteering, in which students participate in different projects but devote less than two weeks at a time to each, rather than regularly contributing to one project or organization. Among the report's other findings: Thirty-three percent of female college students volunteer, compared with 26.8 percent of males; Among volunteers, tutoring (26.6 percent) and mentoring (23.8 percent) are the most common activities;  Students who work part time (1-15 hours per week) volunteer at higher rates than students who don't have jobs; About 23 percent of college-student volunteers serve with religious organizations, compared with about 35 percent of volunteers overall. To download a copy of the full report as a .pdf file, www.nationalservice.orgTo download a copy of the executive summary as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.org.

October 15 - 21, 2006

The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering

The Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau and Independent Sector, conducted the Youth Volunteering and Civic Engagement Survey, a national survey of 3,178 American youth between the ages of 12 and 18. The survey collected information on teen volunteering habits, experiences with school-based service-learning, and other forms of civic engagement. This report presents key findings from the survey, including an analysis of the relationship between the level of volunteer commitment among youth and three major social institutions: family, religious congregations, and school.

According to the survey, the state of youth volunteering in America appears robust: an estimated 15.5 million teenagers participated in volunteer activities through a formal organization during 2004, contributing more than 1.3 billion hours of service. That translates into a rate of 55 percent – more than one and a half times the adult rate of 29 percent as established by the Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2004 Current Population Survey. To download the survey as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

October 8 - 14, 2006

Food Insecurity and Hunger Among Latino Children

According to Key Facts on Food Insecurity and Hunger Among Latino Children published by the National Council of la Raza, Latino families face disproportionate levels of food insecurity and hunger, threatening their health and well-being. Food insecurity affects 21.7% of Hispanic households compared to 8.6% of non-Hispanic households. This problem is particularly acute in Hispanic households with children, where the rate of food insecurity is more than double that of non-Hispanic Whites (25.8% vs. 12.7%, respectively). Further, while hunger is often narrow in scope in the U.S., of those households with children experiencing hunger, nearly one in four (24.0%) is Hispanic. Go to: www.nclr.org.

October 1 - 7, 2006

Public Confidence in Charities Rebounds Slightly

According to a new study, public confidence in U.S. charities has risen slightly since 9/11, but still has not returned to the level of trust experienced before that day. The study Confidence in Charitable Organizations, 2006, conducted in July 2006 by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, found that 69 percent of Americans expressed a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in charities. That figure represents a 5 percent increase from the July 2005 survey and a 9 percent increase from the September 2002 survey. While the responses suggest that public confidence is beginning to rebound, the current level of trust is still dwarfed by the 90 percent of respondents who expressed a great deal of trust in charities pre-Sept. 11. Whether the current numbers reflect a solid, long-term increase in public confidence is unclear. The survey suggests that the 2006 figures may indicate “a significant turning point” as the nation neared the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.  Go to: www.afpnet.org

September 24 - 30, 2006

Children of Immigrants: Facts and Figures

The Urban Institute has published a new fact sheet that presents a statistical portrait of the children of immigrants. While Congress and the administration debate the future of the 11-12 million unauthorized immigrants, it is important to look also at the more than 5 million children in families with unauthorized parents. Two-thirds of these children are U.S.-born citizens, a share that increases to 93 percent among those under age 6. To download this fact sheet as a .pdf file, go to: www.urban.org

September 17 - 23, 2006

Recent Changes in Child Poverty

Over the past 10 years, U.S. child poverty rates took two sharp turns: a major reduction from 1993 to 2000 followed by a slight hike from 2000 to 2004. Both shifts have been even more dramatic for black and Hispanic children. This brief published by The Urban Institute shows that economic conditions, together with parental education and work, are the dominant factors behind recent changes in child poverty. Changes in the share of families headed by single parents seem to have played almost no role in the recent changes in child poverty. According to the analysis, the 1993 to 2000 drop in child poverty is largely due to improvements in the job market, especially for less-educated workers. The economic downturn beginning in 2000 hit all families, even those with more education, but the families of black children were hit hardest. To download this brief as a .pdf file, go to: www.urban.org

September 10 - 16, 2006

Hispanic Teen Pregnancy and Birth Rates

The study Hispanic Teen Pregnancy and Birth Rates: Looking Behind the Numbers published by Child Trends, Inc., reveals that teen pregnancy and birth rates for U.S. teens have declined dramatically in recent years. Yet for Hispanic teens, reductions in teen pregnancy and childbearing have lagged behind that of U.S. teens overall. This is of special concern because Hispanics represent the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. The rapid growth in the Hispanic population is expected to be even more dramatic for teens in the next 20 years. 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. This Research Brief presents data from several sources to draw a picture of the reproductive behaviors and outcomes of Hispanic teens. These analyses reveal both troubling and encouraging trends. To download this Research Brief as a .pdf file, go to: www.childtrends.org

September 3 - 9, 2006

Trends and Strategic Issues Affecting the Development of Volunteering Worldwide

In an article entitled “An Overview of Trends and Strategic Issues Affecting the Development of Volunteering Worldwide”, author Foster Murphy describes ten global trends that need to be understood, both in substance and in implications, by 'national volunteer centers' - or others interested in policy, practice and research around volunteering as they consider both their individual and collective roles in leadership for volunteering in the future. Go to: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk

August  27 - September 2, 2006

The New Poor: Regional Trends in Child Poverty Since 2000

Child poverty in the United States has increased dramatically since 2000. This new report reveals which children - and therefore which families - have been most affected region by region and finds a startlingly high increase in child poverty in the Midwest. In 2004, approximately 18 percent of all children in the United States lived in poverty. Over the last five years, child poverty has risen substantially, increasing by 12 percent. After hitting a low of 12.1 million children in 2000, more than 1.4 million children have been added to the poverty rolls, becoming members of this country’s “new poor.”  During the last five years, children living in the Midwest experienced the biggest increases in child poverty, accounting for 43 percent of the national rise in the number of poor children. At the same time, poverty did not increase among children living in the West. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.nccp.org

August  20 - 26, 2006

Boomer Trends

Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company (CMS) has just released its landmark study on Baby Boomer trends in fundraising and advocacy, and is offering an Executive Summary of its findings at no charge.    Created in partnership with PrimeGroup, this study provides the first in-depth look at Boomer’s giving habits and preferences, comparing them to generations ahead and behind. The CMS study is designed to provide crucial information that will help nonprofits tap into this important generation of prospects, donors and activists.   It provides a unique look at generational giving in a number of ways:


It is research based and donor centered.


41% of the sample consisted of Baby Boomers, in direct proportion to their population in society.


It effectively compares the giving trends – both similarities and differences – between WWII, Boomers and Post Boomers.


It is practical, instantly usable market research, with implications for your planned giving, major gift fundraising and direct response marketing programs.

Go to: www.cravermathewssmith.com/boomertracking to download the Executive Summary.

August  13 - 19, 2006

Project-Funding Trends

According to an article published by GrantStation, in the early 1990s, funders began to de-emphasize projects that dealt with intractable problems on a grand scale, in favor of projects that address more manageable problems on a local level. That trend is holding solid as we move into first decade of the 21st Century. Funders continue to favor giving to small, grassroots nonprofits rather than to large, national organizations. Funders continue their interest in funding:  Evaluations that document methodology in solving problems; Projects to build intellectual capital at the regional level; Advocacy and projects that bring people together to discuss major issues.  Go to: www.grantstation.com

August  6 - 12, 2006

The Status of Online Giving in America

Keep Your Postage Meter: The Status of Online Giving in America examines responses on online giving is based on an online survey of 2,333 American adults conducted in July 2005 by the DonorTrends Project, a collaboration of Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company (CMS) and Prime Group. Key observations include:

bullet The vast majority of donors have yet to make an online contribution. Online “penetration” is greatest for political campaign giving, disaster relief, and issue advocacy.
bullet Important generational differences exist; however the most significant characteristic associated with online giving is higher education.
bullet Going forward, the best donors – those who give the most today – are also the most inclined to make online contributions. 

For a copy of the study, go to: cms.convio.net

July 23 - August  5, 2006

The State of Black America

The National Black United Fund contains trend data on the state of Black America in the following categories: philanthropy; education, employment and economics; the digital divide, health disparities; and the justice system. Go to: www.nbuf.org

July 16 - 22, 2006

Charitable Giving Rises 6 Percent to More than $260 Billion in 2005

Giving USA, the yearbook of philanthropy, estimates Americans gave total contributions of $260.28 billion for 2005, growth of 6.1 percent (2.7 percent adjusted for inflation). The year 2005 saw extraordinary philanthropic response to three major natural disasters. About half of the $15 billion increase in total giving from the revised estimate of $245.22 billion in 2004 is attributable to disaster relief giving. The other half reflects donors’ commitments to other causes that matter to them. Giving USA is published by the Giving USA Foundation and researched and written by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.aafrc.org

July 9 - 15, 2006

2006 KIDS COUNT Data Book

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2006 KIDS COUNT Data Book is now available. The 17th annual national and state-by-state study profiles the well-being of America's children, and seeks to enrich discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all kids. Overall the Foundation found that nationwide, fewer teenagers are having babies or dropping out of high school since the start of the decade, but slightly more live in poverty with parents who don't work year round. The annual Data Book ranks states on 10 key measures and provides data on child health, education, and the economic condition of families. This year, the Casey Foundation also looks at the critical role that early childhood development plays in preparing millions of American children for success in school and life. Casey also discusses ways to support family-based child-care providers. The 2006 KIDS COUNT Data Book materials can be downloaded at www.aecf.org/kidscount

July 2 - 8, 2006

Charitable Pay: A Growing Disparity

The gap between CEOs' salaries and the wages of other employees at nonprofit organizations is increasing significantly. The pay of chief executives at nonprofit organizations is growing twice as fast as the wages of other workers at such groups, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy analysis of compensation at more than 3,770 organizations. The median increase in pay for chief executive officers rose by 16 percent from 1998 to 2003, after adjusting for inflation, while wages of other workers rose 8 percent. By 2003, nonprofit leaders were paid an average of nearly five times what other employees received. Go to: www.businessweek.com

June 25 - July 1, 2006

The Nonprofit Sector and the Federal Budget: Analysis of President Bush's FY 2007 Budget

Alan Abramson and John Russell, Aspen Institute and Lester Salamon, John Hopkins University, authors of Nonprofit Sector and the Federal Budget: Analysis of President Bush's FY 2007 Budget, provide an analysis of the federal budget changes on nonprofit sector.  According to the authors, President Bush’s FY 2007 budget portends a return to an era of fiscal constraint like the 1980s and 1990s for many of the nation’s nonprofit organizations. While federal spending continues to increase in the areas of health and income security, spending in other areas of interest to nonprofits would decline over the FY 2007 though FY 2011 period. As a consequence, federal support of nonprofits would also fall significantly, at least outside of the health field. To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, visit www.nonprofitresearch.org.

June 18 - 24, 2006

The Changing Nature of the Volunteering Field

Research conducted by the Points of Light Foundation shows that those in the volunteering field believe the biggest change in the nature of volunteering relates to significantly more interest in short term or episodic opportunities. In addition to episodic volunteering, the rise of the Internet as a resource for promoting opportunities and engaging volunteers, a rising number of organizations seeking volunteers, and the fact that volunteering has become a requirement (i.e., for high school graduation) were significant trends observed by those in the field. To download as a .pdf file, go to: www.pointsoflight.org

June 11 - 17, 2006

Volunteers and Non-Profits Overlooking Opportunities to Maximize Impact

Despite a need for more resources, the vast majority of non-profit organizations are not capitalizing on the valuable professional skills of their volunteers, a new study has found. More than three quarters of non-profit leaders (77 percent) believe that skilled volunteers could significantly improve their organization’s business practices.  Yet just 12 percent of non-profits actually put volunteers to work on such assignments.  That’s among the findings of the 2006 Deloitte / Points of Light Volunteer IMPACT Study, released today by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and the Points of Light Foundation to coincide with National Volunteer Week. Go to: www.pointsoflight.org

June 4 - 10, 2006

Nonprofit IPOs? New Nonprofit Funding Mechanisms Emerging

Though philanthropic giving has increased by 63 percent over the past decade, many of the nation’s more than one million nonprofit organizations still struggle to survive. What can be done to help them? To answer this question, the Manhattan Institute recently convened a panel led by two entrepreneurs who have entered the nonprofit world from Wall Street, and who are introducing innovative methods for directing capital to those who can use it effectively. George Overholser of NFF Capital Partners, a division of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Robert Steel, Senior Director, Goldman Sachs, believe that good nonprofits can “go to scale” with a new perspective on nonprofit finance. They argue that an effective capital market can be created for promising nonprofits, with help from financial intermediaries similar to those that encourage growth in the financial marketplace. Go to: www.manhattan-institute.org

May 28 - June 3, 2006

States Investing in Child Care Quality

A new report, Investing in Quality: A Survey of State Child Care and Development Fund Initiatives, finds that states are investing in child care quality, and not only exceeding the minimum funding requirements in many instances, but also launching initiatives with a set of objectives that research indicates can contribute to child care quality. There is substantial variation among states in terms of focus on specific objectives and target groups. However, this variation occurs within the framework of a relatively small set of objectives with grounding in research. Further, a consistent focus on certain goals emerges, such as improving health and safety and strengthening the professional development of the early childhood workforce.

The survey was developed at the initiative of the members of the National Association of State Child Care Administrators, an affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association. It was designed by Child Trends and NASCCA with the Bank Street College of Education and conducted by Child Trends. Go to: www.childtrends.org

May 21 - 27, 2006

Future Trends Affecting Education

The study, published by the Education Commission of the States, examines ongoing and emerging trends and explores how these trends may affect education in the United States over the next 20-30 years. Trends are grouped into the following areas:  education, demographic, technological, economic, political and social. Though the study was published in 1999, the findings remain very relevant with one possible exception (“Trend 15: Term limits on governors and state legislators are growing more common”). While the focus is on education, the study provides an excellent trends summary that will be useful for a broad range of nonprofits. Go to: www.ecs.org.

May 14 - 20, 2006

Federal Budget: Impact on Nonprofit Organizations

According to the Aspen Institute, “Even as they continue to shoulder a large part of the burden of meeting human needs in the wake of recent hurricanes, the nation's nonprofit organizations will soon begin to feel the impact of federal spending cuts enacted in the recently-completed FY 2006 appropriations process. Moreover, nonprofits will likely face additional funding cuts in the FY 2007 budget cycle, which begins with the release of the president's budget next week.” In a recent report, the Institute analyzed the recent federal budget and found that discretionary federal spending on programs of interest to nonprofits will fall by $4.6 billion, or 2.8 percent, between FY 2005 and FY 2006, after adjusting for inflation. To download a .pdf file, go to: www.nonprofitresearch.org

May 7 - 13, 2006

Latest Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates

According to the Foundation Center, “Giving by the nation’s 68,000 grantmaking foundations grew to $33.6 billion in 2005. This estimated 5.5 percent increase followed the 5.1 percent gain recorded in 2004. The moderate increase reflected continued, albeit slower stock market growth, higher levels of new gifts into corporate and community foundations, the giving of newly established foundations, and exceptional grantmaking in response to the South Asian tsunami and Gulf Coast hurricanes. The lingering impact of the economic downturn in the early 2000s, continued variability in market performance, and a lack of strong and consistent growth in assets will limit increases in foundation giving in 2006. Overall, assets of U.S. foundations increased by an estimated 2 to 4 percent in 2005, down substantially from a 7.1 percent gain in 2004 and a close to 10 percent rise in 2003.”  To download as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

April 30 - May 6, 2006

Nonprofits Face Obstacles to Accessing Investment Capital

Nonprofits are facing pressing needs for investment capital but report widespread obstacles to accessing that capital, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins University's Nonprofit Listening Post Project. The survey found that:


Technology (telecommunications, computers, and software) led the list of investment capital needs of responding organizations with more than 90 percent reporting a need for investment capital for this purpose. However, only 37 percent of these organizations reported success in raising the needed capital.


Eighty percent of organizations reported capital investment needs for "program development," while just 25 percent reported success in raising the needed capital.


When asked about accessing major pools of investment capital in our country, such as insurance companies and pension funds, overwhelming proportions of respondents (94-99 percent) reported either a complete lack of knowledge about or significant degree of difficulty in securing investment capital from these sources.


Although other sources, such as commercial banks, government, foundations, and individual donors, are more familiar to nonprofits, some (e.g., government) are quite difficult to access for investment capital purposes and others (e.g., commercial banks, foundations, and individual donors) are limited in their areas of interest.


Although there were some variations, the findings were quite similar among the different types of nonprofit organizations surveyed.

To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.jhu.edu

April 23 - 29, 2006

Border Area Nonprofit Trends and Perception of Corporate Giving

A recent study released by the Institute of the Americas indicates that while there are currently 5,600 registered civil society organizations working in Mexico, the country needs at least 20,000 of these nonprofit organizations to efficiently cover the nation’s needs. Part of the reason for this gap lies in the fact that Mexico does not have an established culture of philanthropy that can support the development of an effective civil society. Nevertheless, regardless of the lack of philanthropic support, within the last ten years NGOs have taken on significant responsibility on a wide array of issues ranging from community development, human rights, and democracy, as well as health and human services, the environment, and education, among others. Not only are NGOs serving as a complement to the government, they are also acting as agents of checks and balances, holding the government accountable for its activities. Go to: www.icfdn.org

April 16 - 22, 2006

640,000 New Nonprofit Executive Leaders Needed by 2015

The Bridgespan Study, “The Nonprofit Leadership Deficit,” reports that the nonprofit sector will need 640,000 new executive leaders over the next ten years and makes recommendations on how to mobilize and develop the talent needed. The Bridgespan Group, an organization founded by Harvard Business School professors and affiliated with Bain & Company, is one of the nation’s premier nonprofit consulting firms. The study includes an Executive Summary as well as a white paper and commentaries by leading nonprofit and management gurus (Jim Collins of Good to Great fame, Geoff Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone, etc.). Go to: www.bridgespangroup.org

April 9 - 15, 2006

Nonprofit Leaders Eager To Move On

The latest survey by the Meyer Foundation and CompassPoint describes present nonprofit leaders as eager to move on to new endeavors. Some of the reasons for this tumult during the next several years are worrisome: Chief executives are unhappy with their boards and their funders. Low pay, lack of support, and the absence of strategic partnerships create stress and burnout — enough to send three-fourths of nonprofit leaders into the job market during the next five years, diverting the organizations’ attention from mission-focus to replacing their executive. To download this survey as a .pdf file, go to: www.compasspoint.org

April 2 - 8, 2006

Foundation Funding for Arts Education

From the Foundation Center, the first in-depth study on foundation funding for arts education finds that giving in this area grew faster than arts giving overall between 1999 and 2003. In the latter year, programs serving children and youth received over 40 percent of the $208.8 million given for arts education by the largest U.S. foundations. According to Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Overview of Recent Trends, arts education funding nonetheless targets all age groups and a wide range of purposes—from incorporating the arts into school curriculum, to expanding arts education facilities, to supporting the education of emerging artists, to advancing programs that foster a life-long appreciation of the arts for all age groups. To download this study as a .pdf file, go to: www.fdncenter.org

March 26 - April 1, 2006

Foundation Giving for Most Fields Up

According to a new report from The Foundation Center, Foundation funding for most major program areas rebounded in 2004, following a two-year slump in giving. Among the close to 1,200 larger private and community foundations included in the Foundation Center’s annual grants sample, grant dollars rose 8.1 percent between 2003 and 2004 to $15.5 billion. The number of grants awarded increased a more modest 4.8 percent, from 120,721 to 126,497.

Among major subject areas, science and technology and health experienced the fastest growth. Health’s share of overall giving reached a record 22.3 percent in the latest year, boosted by a $750 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Only three major subject fields failed to register increases in funding. Nonetheless, across all fields, growth in grant dollars continued to lag behind the dramatic gains realized in the late 1990s. To download the highlights of the report as a .pdf file, go to: fdncenter.org

March 19 - 25, 2006

Five Trends to Watch in 2006

IAPPS, a full-service Internet consulting firm specializing in online solutions for the philanthropic sector has identified five trends the leaders of nonprofit organizations should know about as they plan for the year ahead. Go to: www.iapps.com

March 12 - 18, 2006

Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations

In January 2004, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation commissioned the Bridgespan Group to study growth in U.S. youth-serving organizations: the prevalence of growth, the factors that were critical in shaping how these organizations grew, and the major consequences of growth. One of the chief components of the study was an in-depth look at 20 youth-serving organizations that had experienced significant growth in recent years. This research produced a wealth of information about the experience and effects of growth in youth-serving organizations — far more than could be encompassed in a single document. As a result, the Foundation presented the material in two forms: a series of 20 case studies, which capture the particulars of each organization’s growth story; and a white paper, which calls out the observations that emerged most consistently across the interviews and data-gathering process. Go to: www.bridgespangroup.org

March 5 - 11, 2006

Grantmakers Information Technology Survey Report

Published in 2005 by the Council on Foundations, this survey discusses the challenges and issues foundations face with electronic communication, technology spending and technology staffing and training. Some of the “Top 10 Observations” include:


Foundations do not have the internal capacity for technology planning and have fallen behind with respect to technology adoption.


Technology staffing has decreased in foundations since 2005.


Foundations are not using electronic communication tools (blogs, RSS feeds, etc.) as effectively as they could.

To download the full report as a .pdf file, go to: www.tagtech.org

February 26 - March 4, 2006

U.S. Nonprofit Sector Continues to Grow in Size

The National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA) released United States Nonprofit Sector, a report featuring the most current information and statistics (2003) on America’s charitable organizations. The goal of the report is to better inform the public to about the size and scope of the charitable sector in our society. Highlights from the report include the following: There were 837,027 charitable nonprofits in the United States, excluding foundations and religious congregations in 2003. This is an increase of 68 percent from 1993. Total assets of all reporting nonprofits were $1.76 trillion in 2003. Total expenditures of all reporting nonprofits were $945 billion in 2003. Human services organizations made up the largest group of nonprofits at 34 percent. The full report is available as a .pdf file on the NCNA Web site at www.ncna.org/_uploads. In addition to the national report, NCNA also published state specific reports. They are also available to download from the Web site. Go to: www.ncna.org

February 19 - 25, 2006

Online Fundraising Jumps in 2005

In 2005, online fundraising continued to grow at an accelerating rate. Just like the late 2004 Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina illustrated not only that Americans are philanthropic in times of need, but that they also increasingly prefer to give online. For example, the American Red Cross raised 22 percent of funds online during the tsunami and 45 percent of funds online following Hurricane Katrina. And it was not just relief agencies that experienced a surge in online fundraising during 2005. Even after factoring out the impact of Katrina, a large number of nonprofit organizations – large or small and with varying missions – experienced more than a 100 percent increase in funds generated through the Internet throughout the past year. Go to: www.onphilanthropy.com

February 12 - 18, 2006

Congressional Cuts Will Decrease Appropriations to Nonprofits by $1 Billion, Study Finds

By enacting nearly two-thirds of President Bush's proposed spending cuts, Congress will trim appropriations to programs of interest to nonprofit organizations by $1 billion after adjusting for inflation, a new report from the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program of the Aspen Institute finds. Written by NSPP director Alan Abramson, Lester M. Salamon, and John Russel, the report, FY 2006 Federal Appropriations Recap: Impact on Nonprofit Organizations, estimates discretionary appropriations for education programs of interest to nonprofits will fall by $2.2 billion (3.8 percent) in the current fiscal year, with most of the reduction affecting elementary and secondary education. Go to: www.fdncenter.org.

February 5 - 11, 2006

Generational Changes and Leadership: Implications for Social Change Organizations

The Generational Change project was designed to investigate and understand differences between older and younger people working in progressive social change organizations in the nonprofit sector with a special emphasis on building young leadership. The project is a qualitative study of thirty-seven directors and staff in sixteen nonprofits located in Boston and New York. The findings of the study seem to refute the notion of large generational differences. Older and younger people involved in these organizations have many of the same qualities: commitment, concern, energy, interest, and a strong belief in justice. However, there are differences between those who were born in the Baby Boom generation and those who identify more with Generation X.  To download a .pdf file, go to: www.buildingmovement.org

January 29 - February 4, 2006

Community Service in the Transition: Shifts and Continuities in Participation from High School to College

Findings from recent annual surveys of first-year college students reported in a study published in the Journal of Higher Education have documented their participation in community service as high-school seniors at record high levels. 81% percent of the 2000 respondents reported volunteering during senior year, although only 24% expected to continue their volunteer work in college. Because other recent data indicate that 64% of undergraduates actually do volunteer, the college experience may involve students in the community in ways they do not anticipate when they enter. For the majority of students, these findings suggest, involvement in community service may be episodic and contextually driven—not so much a deeply motivated value-oriented choice as an occasional activity that personal circumstances may dictate, encourage, support, or deter. The study includes recommendations for policy and practice.  To download this paper as a .pdf file, go to: www.mavanetwork.org

January 22 - 28, 2006

Nonprofit Tech Predictions For 2006

The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (N-TEN) works to support the diverse people and organizations that help nonprofits understand and employ technology effectively. They started off the year by asking nonprofit techies from across the country what predictions and hopes they had for the upcoming year, and got an earful of ideas and attitude. Here are their top picks. Go to: nten.typepad.com/newsletter; then scroll down to the 4th story headline.

January 15 - 21, 2006

Enterprising Nonprofits: Revenue Generation in the Nonprofit Sector

Much has been written in the past twenty years about nonprofit organizations’ attempts to look beyond traditional funding sources and initiate earned-income ventures. At the same time, there is little data available that formally documents either the incidence or the character of these ventures. To address some of these questions, the Pew Charitable Trusts commissioned a study by Cynthia W. Massarsky and Samantha L. Beinhacker of the Yale School of Management - The Goldman Sachs Foundation. The survey results highlight a number of important trends in nonprofit enterprise activity: A significant number of nonprofits that responded to the survey are already operating business ventures, or say they wish to initiate an earned-income venture; Arts and culture organizations are more likely to operate earned-income ventures than other types of organizations; Service-related ventures are the predominant type of earned-income ventures operated by the nonprofit organizations responding to the survey; Nonprofit organizations operating ventures tend to be older, more experienced nonprofits; and more. Go to: ventures.yale.edu

January 8 - 14, 2006

Report Documents Growth and Power of Giving in Rural America

A new report by New Ventures in Philanthropy—an initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers—shows that philanthropy is growing and thriving in the nation's rural communities, despite population decline and economic uncertainty. Says Forum President Ellen Barclay: "Our report confirms that rural residents are now taking the lead to spur local giving and their efforts are garnering support from innovative foundations." To download a .pdf file, go to: www.givingforum.org/rural/resources/Rural_Report.pdf

January 1 - 7, 2006

Organizations Increasingly Adopt Advanced Internet Tools

As the nonprofit marketplace matures, organizations are increasingly adopting advanced internet tools to drive giving and support. Online donations raised by nonprofit organizations using Convio have increased by 250 percent in 2005 year-to-date compared to all of 2004 – suggesting that 2005 has been another watershed year for adoption and use of the Internet to accelerate giving, communicate with constituents, build support for their organizations and advance their missions.  Go to: www.convio.com

To view 2005 Trends of the Week, click here.

To view 2004 Trends of the Week, click here.

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