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2007 Trends of the Week

December 30, 2007 - January 5, 2008

Nonprofit Governance Policy Changes

The governance landscape of the not-for-profit community has changed dramatically since the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley. Today, 87 percent of not-for-profit organizations have created new governance policies compared with 20 percent in 2003, according to Grant Thornton LLP's fifth annual National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations. Some notable board governance policy changes that organizations have made include:


92% of respondents have implemented new accounting policies and procedures, compared to only 59 percent in last year's survey.


Almost nine out of 10 (87 percent) respondents have adopted a written investment policy, compared to 63 percent in 2006.


Only 30 percent of survey respondents have a policy in place requiring the board or one of its committees to review the organization's Form 990, but this remains an emerging trend.

Go to: www.grantthornton.com


December 23 - 29, 2007

Fundraisers More Committed to Causes Than Organizations?  

Fundraisers might be more committed to the causes their organizations serve than the organizations themselves, according to new research sponsored by the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. The Revolving Door: A Study on the Voluntary Turnover (Intent to Stay) of Fundraisers in the Nonprofit Sector examined how long fundraisers are staying at their current position and their primary reasons for leaving. The research was conducted by Aleah Horstman, Ph.D., director of major and planned gifts for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver.

The average length of service for the participants in the study was 3.6 years. Females averaged 3.50 years, while males averaged 4.17 years. As the study notes, problems with frequent fundraiser turnover can be more acute than other professions given the donor-fundraiser relationship and the amount of contributions that could be lost as new fundraisers are trained and brought up to speed. The survey found seven key variables that can help predict fundraisers’ intent to stay at their current jobs:


Job satisfaction


Commitment to mission


Distributive justice, equity (i.e., rewards and promotions are perceived as equal for all employees)


Promotional chances


Job involvement


Support of supervisor


Search behavior

Go to: www.afpnet.org


December 16 - 22, 2007

Individual Gift Size and Online Giving Habits 

American Express, in partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, released of the American Express Charitable Gift Survey, the first nationally representative study to address two frequently-asked questions in the charity world: "How do people give online?" and "How much do they give per donation?" The study uncovered a surprising finding regarding online donations -- although nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans in this study gave to a charity in the past year, only one in every ten donors takes advantage of the convenience of giving online. This research examined the motivations and impediments to giving online and found that a charity's online presence (or lack there-of) influenced whether donors give online. When asked why they did not give online, the single largest reason -- after not having a computer -- that people offered is that they were unaware of online contribution options. More than one quarter (28 percent) of offline-only donors said that they did not give online because they could not find an online giving site, they did not know they could make a gift online, or they did not think of giving online. To download the American Express Charitable Gift Survey, please go to www.americanexpress.com

December 9 - 15, 2007

The Health Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others, according to a study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service that reviews a compelling collection of recent scientific research. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research has found a significant connection between volunteering and good health. The report shows that volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease. The Health Benefits of Volunteering documents major findings from more than 30 rigorous and longitudinal studies that reviewed the relationship between health and volunteering, with particular emphasis on studies that seek to determine the causal connection between the two factors.

The studies, which were controlled for other factors, found that volunteering leads to improved physical and mental health. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes. To download a copy of the report, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

December 2 - 8, 2007

Rise of Direct Charitable Programs 

The Foundation Center has released a new report, More Than Grantmaking: A First Look at Foundations' Direct Charitable Activities which tracks the growing role of operating programs — known as direct charitable activities — as a part of the work of U.S. foundations. The first of its kind, this free report sheds light on the often overlooked non-grantmaking programs of foundations. Examples of direct charitable activities of several foundations are included. Findings are based on results of a 2007 survey of more than 900 of the nation's 3,000 largest foundations in terms of total giving. Foundations engage in these activities mainly to promote organizational and field-wide effectiveness. The goals are to build capacity and to encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration among grantees as well as among grantmakers. Among the report's key findings:


Most respondents said that this expanded role of foundations is growing: 60 percent of independent and family foundations involved in direct charitable activities increased their levels in the last five years, and 75 percent believe that this practice is becoming more widespread.


Large foundations are the ones most likely to operate their own programs. Of the 684 independent and family foundations surveyed, half of those with annual giving of $10 million or more conduct direct charitable activities, compared with one quarter overall. Nearly all foundations that operate such programs (95 percent) are staffed.

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

November 25 - December 1, 2007

Rise of Direct Charitable Programs 

The Foundation Center has released a new report, More Than Grantmaking: A First Look at Foundations' Direct Charitable Activities which tracks the growing role of operating programs — known as direct charitable activities — as a part of the work of U.S. foundations. The first of its kind, this free report sheds light on the often overlooked non-grantmaking programs of foundations. Examples of direct charitable activities of several foundations are included. Findings are based on results of a 2007 survey of more than 900 of the nation's 3,000 largest foundations in terms of total giving. Foundations engage in these activities mainly to promote organizational and field-wide effectiveness. The goals are to build capacity and to encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration among grantees as well as among grantmakers. Among the report's key findings:


Most respondents said that this expanded role of foundations is growing: 60 percent of independent and family foundations involved in direct charitable activities increased their levels in the last five years, and 75 percent believe that this practice is becoming more widespread.


Large foundations are the ones most likely to operate their own programs. Of the 684 independent and family foundations surveyed, half of those with annual giving of $10 million or more conduct direct charitable activities, compared with one quarter overall. Nearly all foundations that operate such programs (95 percent) are staffed.

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

November 25 - December 1, 2007

Volunteering Among Older Adults: Population Projections, 2007-2050

The Baby Boomer generation has the potential to change the face of older adults living in America simply due to their unprecedented numbers. Using population projections from the Census Bureau and survey data from the Current Population Survey, the Corporation for National Service has estimated how this population shift will affect the number of older volunteers in America in the near future. These volunteer projections are based on two data sources: the September CPS Volunteering Supplements from 2003 through 2005, and interim projections of the U.S. population developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. To download these projections as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

November 18 - 24, 2007

The Role of Strategy in Foundation Decision-making 

A recent study from the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that most foundation employees believe that strategy enhances the impact of grantmaking, but only 25 percent consistently use it to inform their funding decisions. Key findings include:


All respondents talked about their goals primarily in terms of creating external social impact.


Respondents believe that strategy provides significant benefits to private foundations, and they overwhelmingly describe the use of strategy in positive terms.


Although respondents acknowledge — and often extol — the advantages of having a strategy, the majority of frameworks they describe do not meet our basic definition of a strategy. Four distinct categories of decision makers emerged from our analysis of individual respondents’ descriptions of their decision-making frameworks.


Respondents from the same foundation frequently fall into different decision-making categories.

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

November 11 - 17, 2007

Fundraising Trends

The November 12, 2007 edition of the New York Times includes a collection of articles describing the changing fundraising landscape. The articles explore a number of fundraising trends that will be interest to nonprofit leaders. Go to: www.nytimes.com

November 4 - 10, 2007

Volunteer Retention Trends

For the first time, as part of the release of the report, Volunteering in America: 2007 State Trends and Rankings in Civic Life, the Corporation for National and Community Service (the Corporation) is able to report the retention rate for volunteers. While the good news is that most volunteers choose to continue volunteering, in recent years roughly one out of three volunteers did not continue to volunteer the following year. Key findings include:


1 out of 3 volunteers who volunteer in one year do not volunteer the next year, a


66 percent volunteer retention rate.


Volunteer retention rates, similar to volunteer rates, increase with age.


The higher a volunteer's level of education, the more likely the volunteer is to continue volunteering.


Volunteers who devote more time to volunteering have the highest volunteer retention rates.


Volunteer retention is related to the type of organization where a person volunteers and to the activities that the volunteer performs.

Implications of this research include:


Since higher levels of volunteer commitment (whether increased volunteer hours or increased number of weeks contributed) have a positive impact on a volunteer's willingness to return the following year, encourage volunteers to get more involved with your organizations by finding opportunities for them to serve more regularly.


Offer volunteers more challenging opportunities or multiple activities that provide a variety of volunteer assignments (perhaps mixing popular and less popular assignments).


Partner with religious organizations because they maintain a stable volunteer base, more so than any other type of organization.

To download a report summary as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

October 28 - November 3, 2007

Giving in the Aftermath of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes

U.S. foundations and corporations have committed more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind giving for relief, recovery, and rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to the Foundation Center's new report, Giving in the Aftermath of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes. Key findings include:


Corporate giving accounted for the majority of cash giving by institutional donors — $519 million, or 57 percent.


Corporate giving focused more on immediate relief, while foundations focused more on recovery and rebuilding.


The South rallied to take care of its own: grantmakers in just five Southern states — Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, and Louisiana — collectively accounted for over one-fifth or 21.6 percent of the institutional response to the disaster.


Most giving (83 percent) went to intermediary organizations outside of Louisiana and Mississippi.


Religiously affiliated organizations received over one-fifth of total disaster response contributions from institutional donors whose giving was tracked in this study.

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

October 21 - 27, 2007

The Gender Wage Ratio: Women’s and Men’s Earnings

According to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, progress in closing the gender wage gap has slowed considerably since 1990. The ratio of the annual averages of women’s and men’s median weekly earnings was 80.8 for full-time workers in 2006, about the same as the ratio’s high of 81.0, reached in 2005. The median weekly earnings ratio has hovered around 80.0 since 2003. The ratio of women’s to men’s median annual earnings was 77.0 in 2005 (the latest available data) for full-time, full-year workers, statistically the same as in 2004 (76.6) and virtually unchanged from 2001 (76.3). Women’s real (inflation adjusted) earnings fell 1.3 percent from 2004 to 2005, to $31,858, while men’s declined 1.8 percent, to $41,386. This was the third consecutive annual earnings loss for women and the second for men. Go to: www.iwpr.org

October 14 - 20, 2007

Technology Changes and Implications for Nonprofits

Peter Brinckerhoff, the well-known consultant to nonprofits has published a list technology related trends on his blog Mission Based Management. The post is quoted below:


Peer Review/participation. Peer review and participation is one of the huge strengths of the web. Nonprofits in the main have not grasped this yet--but need to, and quickly. Wikis are a great way to allow for participation as well.


Podcasts: Incredibly cheap to develop, podcasts have revolutionized marketing and education. I think we're on the edge of thousands of nonprofits doing podcasts to educate, to train staff and volunteers, and to market better.


Instant Net feedback. If you want to be aware of what's going on online (about your organization, your issue, your mission, your funding) there are a number of free tools to do that. Whether it's Google Alerts or RSS feeds, search has never been easier, and more timely.


Blogs. A terrific way to get engaged with the community, to find out what the community is saying about your issue


Software. There is a ton of good stuff out there now--and this includes open source applications.


Fundraising. Sites like DonorsChoose and Kiva have changed the game: they are P2P fundraisers. Here's the future right in your face. 

Go to missionbased.blogspot.com and click on “Showing posts with label nonprofit trends” for additional blog posts on nonprofit trends.

October 7 - 13, 2007

New Estimate for Value of Volunteer Time

According to a study by Independent Sector, the 2006 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour has reached $18.77 per hour. Such an estimate can be used to help organizations quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. The 2006 estimate increased from $18.04 per hour in 2005. Independent Sector calculates the hourly value of volunteer time based on the average hourly wage for all non-management, nonagricultural workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 12 percent increase to estimate for fringe benefits. Go to: www.independentsector.org

September 30 - October 6, 2007

Senior Executives’ Views on the Future

Talent, innovation, collaboration, and globalization dominate the minds of today’s senior-level executives—from Nairobi to Nevada, Malaysia to Minnesota. When researchers at the nation’s leading executive development institute, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), surveyed nearly 250 global leaders and asked them to forecast the 10 most important leadership trends in business, they zeroed in on several critical themes:

bullet Talent Creation and Development: organizations must create pools of candidates with high leadership potential and give them the space to reach their personal goal.
bullet Competitive dominance and organizational success: flexibility in recruiting, developing, and retaining talent is the key.
bullet Authenticity in leadership: a critical skill needed to build camaraderie and foster a collaborative workplace.
bullet Internal organizational changes, market dynamics, a shortage of talent, and globalization: key drivers of the increasing complexity of business challenges.
bullet Nearly 92 percent of the executive surveyed believe the challenges their organizations face are more complex than they were just five years ago.

To explore in more detail the 10 key leadership trends in business identified by CCL’s groundbreaking research report, read the Research White Paper (PDF). To download this report as a .pdf file, go to: www.ccl.org

September 23 - 29, 2007

Volunteers with Arts and Cultural Organizations

According to a research report by the National Endowment for the Arts, more than 1.6 million Americans volunteered with arts or cultural organizations in 2005. More than 7 million Americans, meanwhile, provided free artistic services to non-arts groups such as schools or churches. In 2005, roughly 65.4 million people of 16 years or older volunteered with organizations in the U.S. Although only 1.6%, or 1 million people, volunteered primarily with arts or cultural groups, the data portray these Americans as older, better educated, and more giving of their time than volunteers with other types of organizations. Arts volunteers put in more hours with their respective organizations than volunteers with most other types of groups, and they often assist by engaging in music or other performances or by fundraising. Compared with all volunteers, a considerably higher percentage of arts volunteers are asked to help by a relative, friend, or coworker—suggesting an element of social networking among arts volunteers. To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.arts.gov

September 16 - 22, 2007

Nonprofits Using New Media to Engage

According to a report in the Philanthropy Journal, with technology more widespread and easily accessible, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to use it to spread their message and engage constituents in fundraising, advocacy and the delivery of services and information. With mobile phones in the hands of 87 percent of adults in the U.S., nonprofits have an unprecedented opportunity to engage, educate, mobilize and seek support from constituents. Mobile devices such as personal digital assistants, or PDAs, also make it easier for nonprofits to collect information from clients in the field and transmit it to a central database, saving the time and effort formerly required to take hand-written notes and then type the information into a nonprofit's computer database. New technologies offer big opportunities for nonprofits to raise money, enlist volunteers and mobilize support for causes, but tapping that potential will require thinking in new ways while integrating new technologies into tried-and-true fundraising and advocacy strategies. But new technologies also pose challenges for nonprofits, which can be slow to change the way they do business or to wed traditional fundraising methods with social-networking strategies. Go to: www.philanthropyjournal.org

September 9 - 15, 2007

Foundation Giving Trends

Inflation-adjusted estimated giving by foundations reached a new record high in 2006, according to Foundation Yearbook: Facts and Figures on Private and Community Foundations (2007 Edition). All four major regions reported growth in number of foundations, assets, and giving in 2005. Giving by grantmaking operating foundations surpassed community foundations for the first time and nearly equaled corporate foundations. Key findings in the report include:

bullet Overall foundation giving rose 11.7 percent in 2006 to an estimated $40.7 billion
bullet Giving by the nation's more than 71,000 grantmaking foundations increased 14.3 percent in 2005 to $36.4 billion
bullet Assets of all active U.S. foundations were up 7.8 percent to $550.6 billion in 2005
bullet The South posted the fastest rate of growth in number of foundations and assets in 2005
bullet Corporate foundation giving rose by 16.5 percent in 2005

To download highlights of the study as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

September 2 - 8, 2007

Nonprofits Overcome Hiring Challenges

In the face of concerns about a workforce crisis in the nonprofit sector, a recent survey by the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project found that nonprofits have been surprisingly successful in recruiting professional and support staff despite significant challenges. Nearly 85 percent of organizations reported recruiting for such positions in the preceding year, and well over 80 percent of these reported satisfaction with the qualifications and commitment of the candidates they attracted. In addition, a substantial majority also indicated satisfaction with the salary requirements of their recruits. The survey covered a nationwide sample of nonprofit organizations in five broad fields of nonprofit action (children and family services, community and economic development, elderly housing and services, museums, and theaters) and addressed recruitment of the nonprofit sector's professional and support staff—its front-line service workers, programmatic staff, and administrative and other support personnel. To download a copy of the full report "The Nonprofit Workforce Crisis: Real or Imagined?” go to: www.jhu.edu

August 26 - September 1, 2007

Insular Boards Guide Many Nonprofits

According to a new study from the Urban Institute, many nonprofit boards are cut off from the public they serve by an ethnically homogenous membership and a failure to engage in externally oriented activities, says a new Urban Institute study. Fifty-one percent of nonprofit boards have only white, non-Hispanic members. Eighteen percent of nonprofits whose clientele is more than 50 percent black have no black trustees, while 32 percent of their Hispanic counterparts have no Hispanic board members. On average, researcher Francie Ostrower reports in "Nonprofit Governance in the United States: Findings on Performance and Accountability from the First National Representative Study," 86 percent of board members are non-Hispanic whites, 7 percent are black, 3.5 percent are Hispanic, and the balance are from other ethnic groups. For more findings, go to: www.urban.org

August 19 - 25, 2007

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Facts and Figures from the Nonprofit Almanac 2007

This brief highlights key findings from the Nonprofit Almanac 2007, prepared by the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute. The Almanac is the latest in the Urban Institute's series of statistical profiles of the nonprofit sector, most recently produced in conjunction with Independent Sector in 2002. Accoring to the report, approximately 1.4 million nonprofit organizations are registered with the IRS. The figure includes a diverse group of organizations, both in size and mission, which range from hospitals and human service organizations to advocacy groups and chambers of commerce. When compared to other sectors of the economy, the nonprofit sector accounts for 5.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 8.3 percent of wages and salaries paid in the United States.While these figures shed light on the size and scope of the sector, a complete picture cannot be obtained without considering two critical components of the sector, voluntarism and charitable giving. In 2005, individuals, corporations, and foundations gave $260 billion in charitable contributions to nonprofits and 29 percent of Americans volunteered through a formal organization.

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

August 12 - 18, 2007

Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations

Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in strengthening our nation’s economy. This study, published by Americans for the Arts, demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences. The study documents the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 156 communities and regions (116 cities and counties, 35 multicounty regions, and five states), and represents all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The $166.2 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, generating the following:

bullet 5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs
bullet $104.2 billion in household income
bullet $7.9 billion in local government tax revenues
bullet $9.1 billion in state government tax revenues
bullet $12.6 billion in federal income tax revenues

To download copies of the study highlights, the summary report with background, scope, and methodology, as well as the full national report with data tables and survey instruments, go to: www.americansforthearts.org

July 29 - August 11, 2007

Slipping Economic Conditions for Children

National trends in child well-being taken together have improved slightly since 2000, according to a report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The 18th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book indicators show:


Four areas of improvement: child death rate, teen birth rate, high school dropout rate, teens not in school and not working;


Two areas of slight improvement: infant mortality rate, teen death rate; and


Four areas have worsened: low birth weight babies, children living in families where no parent has fulltime year-round employment, children in poverty, and children in single-parent families.

These national trends are not on par with the well-being improvements that were seen at the end of the 1990s, with economic indicators taking a downturn in 2005. The report also examines America’s child welfare system and challenges the country to make lifelong family connections for children and youth in foster care a national priority. Go to: www.kidscount.org

July 22 - 28, 2007

The Civic Engagement of Baby Boomers

The Saint Paul Foundation contracted with Wilder Research to conduct a study on the civic engagement of Baby Boomers in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The report The Civic Engagement of Baby Boomers: Preparing for a New Wave of Volunteers includes a literature review which turned up the following key findings:


The current state of volunteer management across the US indicates that nonprofit agencies have limited organizational capacity to support volunteers.


There are many barriers preventing older adults from volunteer and civic engagement activities, including ageism, underestimating the abilities of older adults, lack of public awareness of opportunities, lack of resources for volunteer training, and lack of transportation.

The report also examined the interests and motivations of baby boomer as they near retirement. Some key findings include:


Recruitment occurs best through already established connections such as churches and other places of worship.


Barriers to civic engagement of minority older adults include language, literacy, computer literacy, and transportation. These were particularly true for Hmong respondents.


Barriers to civic engagement of low-income older adults include transportation and financial stressors.


Adaptive volunteer opportunities should be developed for older adults with disabilities.


There is value in helping non-profits build and maintain capacity to engage and support volunteers, particularly in the areas of marketing, recruitment, and volunteer management.

For a copy of the report, go to: www.wilder.org

July 15 - 21, 2007

Volunteering in America: 2007 City Trends and Rankings

Produced by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Volunteering in America: 2007 City Trends and Rankings uses volunteer data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2004-2006. It ranks and includes profiles for 50 of the largest cities including the volunteer rate; the types of organizations through which residents serve; their main volunteering activities, the average hours per year and volunteer rates for age and gender demographic groups, and key trends and highlights. The report also analyzes social and demographic trends affect city volunteer rates and finds that there are four key drivers of volunteering: community attachment; commuting times, high school graduation levels and poverty; and the prevalence of nonprofits and their capacity to retain volunteers from year to year. The information on volunteering at the local level can help nonprofits develop a volunteer growth strategy, set goals to increase the level of individual engagement in volunteer activities, and build the infrastructure of nonprofits and communities to support more volunteer opportunities. For links to an executive summary, the full report, and related resources, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

July 8 - 14, 2007

Financial Reliance of Nonprofit Health Care Organizations on Medicaid

According to a new study, nonprofit health-care providers—including hospitals, nursing homes, and home-health organizations—received between $85 billion and $105 billion in Medicaid funding in fiscal 2004, roughly a third of total Medicaid spending. This study was commissioned by the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program and conducted by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public-policy research arm of the State University of New York system. “The financial relationship between Medicaid and nonprofit organizations has significant implications for their missions, management, and budgeting tactics,” the study concludes. The study also concludes that Medicaid funding has changed the character of some nonprofit groups by leading them to hire more professional staff and otherwise raise their operating standards to meet government requirements. “In some cases, adjusting organizational management and mission in pursuit of Medicaid funding has increased the capacity of nonprofit organizations,” the study found. But in other instances, nonprofit groups without the capacity to meet Medicaid reimbursement criteria have had to rely on other funding sources with less robust spending growth, making it harder for the nonprofit providers to sustain their income and programs. Small nonprofit organizations, such as those providing care for people in home- and community-based settings, are among the most dependent on Medicaid money and also among the most susceptible to changes in Medicaid funding policies, the study concludes.

The 2001 fiscal crisis among state governments led many states to reduce Medicaid coverage, disproportionately affecting nonprofit groups that provided mental-health care and some other Medicaid services, the study found. In more recent years, many states have cut or frozen Medicaid spending. That has led to financial instability among some nonprofit and for-profit health-care providers and negatively affected people seeking services under Medicaid, including those with severe and persistent mental-health problems requiring ongoing psychiatric care, the study found. Overall, the study asserts that Medicaid spending is stable or expected to stabilize soon for nonprofit hospitals and managed-care groups, volatile for mental-health providers, slowing for nursing homes, and increasing for home- and community-based providers, especially those serving the elderly. To download a copy of the study as a .pdf file, go to: www.nonprofitresearch.org. For a brief summary, go to: www.nonprofitresearch.org

July 1 - 7, 2007

Wealthy Expect To Give More In 2007

The Philanthropy Journal reports that more than 9 million American households have $1 million or more, and almost all of them say they will give the same or more to charity this year than last, according to a new study by the American Affluence Research Center. One in four rich people, defined as the wealthiest 10 percent of households by the Center, plan to donate more next year, and two in three plan to give the same amount. As the wealthy contemplate their spending priorities for the coming year, charitable contributions rank second only to domestic vacations, the latest "American Affluence Tracking Study" says. While spending in 11 of 17 areas is expected to decline next year, giving is predicted to increase, as it has every year since 2003. And as the number of millionaires grows, with an average income of $356,000, average home value of $1.2 million and average net worth of $3.5 million, charities stand to benefit. Go to: http://philanthropyjournal.org

June 24 - 30, 2007

The High Cost of Fundraising Through Direct Marketing

According to an article written by Rosaline Juan and appearing in the Summer 2007 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, nonprofits actually lose money—at least in the short term—when they try to raise funds through direct marketing. This funding is based on research reported in a recent paper in the Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing. The researchers show that over a one-year period, United Kingdom (U.K.) nonprofits earned just 39 cents in donations for each $1 they spent on direct mail. Altogether, fundraising through direct marketing, which includes direct mail, television and print advertisements and face-to-face solicitation, generated just 44 cents for every $1 invested. The research was conducted by Adrian Sargeant, the study’s lead author and an adjunct professor of philanthropy at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy and co-authors Elaine Jay, a U.K.-based fundraising consultant, and Stephen Lee, the director of the Centre for Voluntary Sector Management at Henley Management College (U.K.)  Sargeant states that although he and his colleagues conducted their study in the United Kingdom, their findings are relevant to U.S. nonprofits, where fundraising techniques have “remarkably similar” performance. Go to: www.afpnet.org

June 17 - 23, 2007

Global Trends in Skill-based Volunteering

The National Australia Bank has released a report on global trends in skill-based volunteering. The report is an up-to-date analysis of how corporations are tapping into skills they hold in areas such as marketing, IT, financial planning, accounting and human resource management, and transferring those skills to help community organizations develop their operations. The public policy and economic consultancy firm Allen Consulting Group has undertaken the research. Key findings include:

bullet A rapid increase in community sector demand for volunteers with business skills and expertise
bullet A desire by corporate volunteers to apply not only their general skills, but their work skills in particular to assist the community and
bullet Skill-based volunteering being able to engage employees in a manner far more powerful than general volunteering activity

To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.nab.com.au

June 10 - 16, 2007

Giving Circles Provide Opportunities, Challenges for Fundraisers

A new study has found that while giving circles have much to offer charities, in some cases the funding relationships can be uneven and have yet to reach their full potential. The report, Giving Circles and Fundraising in the New Philanthropy Environment, was based on interviews with 17 leaders of charitable organizations that had received funding from giving circles and looks at the challenges and opportunities that this new type of funding mechanism presents. Giving circles are groups of like-minded individuals who each contribute a certain amount of money to join the circle. Members then discuss how the pool of money should be used and which charities should be supported, often asking for applications from prospective charities and going on site visits.

The report was developed by Angela M. Eikenberry, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va. Go to: www.afpnet.org

June 3 - 9, 2007

Corporate Foundation Trends

Giving by corporate foundations rose an estimated 6 percent in 2006 to a record $4.2 billion, according to a new study by The Foundation Center, Key Facts on Corporate Foundations. Increased giving is expected in 2007 as well: 57 percent of those surveyed said they expect to give more again this year. In a separate development, a handful of pharmaceutical manufacturers continued to ramp up their giving through operating foundations, with support from these and other corporate-sponsored operating foundations totaling nearly $3.2 billion in 2005. Key findings include:

bullet Corporate foundations accounted for 11% of all foundation giving, but that figure nearly doubles to more than 20% when combined with giving by corporate operating foundations.
bullet Close to three-fifths of corporate foundations surveyed expect to increase giving in 2007, surpassing the share that anticipated higher levels of giving last year.
bullet Among funding priorities, corporate foundations targeted a total of nearly half of their giving to education (25%) and public affairs/social benefit (22%), including support for community development, federated funds and other philanthropy, public affairs, and civil rights.

To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: http://foundationcenter.org

May 27 - June 2, 2007

Nonprofits Report Less Fiscal Stress In 2006

Despite continuing fiscal challenges, the percentage of nonprofits reporting severe fiscal stress fell between 2003 and 2006, according to a recent survey by the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project. Reflecting this, a substantial majority -- 76 percent -- of nonprofit organizations in all fields, and of all sizes, reported generally successful financial performance during 2006, the survey showed. The nearly 750 organizations surveyed are involved in children and family services, elderly housing and services, community and economic development, and culture and the arts. The study followed up on similar surveys of nonprofit fiscal trends and challenges conducted in 2003. The major source of replacement revenue reported by respondents appears to have been fees and charges. Despite this increased reliance on fees, however, more organizations reported increased services to the poor than reported reduced services (40 percent versus 8 percent). To download the full report, "Nonprofit Fiscal Trends and Challenges,"  as a .pdf file go to: www.jhu.edu/listeningpost.

May 20 - 26, 2007

Existing Donors Ripe For Planned Gifts

While few people who make charitable donations name charities in their wills, those who do tend to have been steady donors during their lifetimes, according to a new study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and funded by Campbell & Company. Those with charities named in their wills donated an average of $2,000 more annually, or more than twice as much overall, than those without bequests. Of those who haven't structured a planned gift, one in three say they would consider it. The best targets for planned gifts, according to the survey, are "community core" members, or people ages 40 to 60 who are employed, with household incomes of $50,000 to $75,000. To download as a .pdf file, go to: www.campbellcompany.com

May 13 - 19, 2007

Donor Retention Challenges

A new Association of Fundraising Professionals-sponsored study shows that while charities are effective in attracting new donors, improvements in donor retention could affect their fundraising revenue dramatically. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), a collaboration between the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, examines giving by measuring increases and decreases in new, upgraded, recaptured, downgraded and lapsed donors. Cosponsoring organizations include the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Council for Resource Development (CRD), the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG). According to the study, fundraising revenue increased in 2005 by 10.5 percent, led by a 62.4 percent increase in revenue from new, recaptured and upgraded donors. However, the overall figure could have been much higher, but charities also suffered a 51.9 percent loss in donor revenue due to downgraded and lapsed donors. Similarly, the FEP found that for every six donors whom charities are attracting, five other donors stop supporting the organizations. In 2005, the donor population increased by a total of 13.1 percent. New and recaptured donors increased by 60.4 percent, but this gain was offset by a loss of 47.4 percent of the donor population from 2004. Go to: www.afpnet.org

May 6 - 12, 2007

Vulnerable Youth: Recent Trends 

A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation summaries key trends in recent years in the number of vulnerable youth ages 15-19 (15-17 for victims of maltreatment). According to the report, there were substantial differences in trends among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Highlights include:


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. There were 9 states with increases of at least 20 percent and 7 states with decreases of at least 20 percent.


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.


While nationwide the number of youth in juvenile justice residential placement facilities decreased from 105,055 in 1997 to 96,655 in 2003, there were 7 states with increases of at least 20 percent and 12 states with decreases of at least 20 percent.

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

April 29 - May 5, 2007

Six Generational Trends that Will Affect Nonprofits

Peter Brinckerhoff, in his new book, Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit, has identified six major trends that reflect the impact of baby boomers on nonprofit organizations. The six trends are:


Financial stress


Technological acceleration


Diversity of population


Redefining the family




Work-life balance

The trends and their impact on nonprofits are summarized in the most recent issue of the Fieldstone Alliance’s "Tools You Can Use" page. Go to: www.fieldstonealliance.org

April 22 - 28, 2007

Foundation Giving Posts Second Year of Double-Digit Growth

The Foundation Center’s latest research report shows that giving by the nation’s 71,000 grantmaking foundations rose to $40.7 billion in 2006, marking the second consecutive year of double-digit growth. The Foundation Center estimates that giving totaled $40.7 billion in 2006, up from the previous high of $36.4 billion recorded in 2005. This 11.7 percent increase followed a 14.3 percent gain in foundation giving in the prior year. Adjusted for inflation, giving by foundations grew 8.2 percent in 2006. U.S. foundations last reported consecutive years of double-digit annual giving increases during the period 1996 to 2001, and multiple factors contributed to this growth. A return to strong gains in the stock market in 2006, following minimal increases in 2005, helped to boost the resources of existing foundations and raise the level of new gifts coming into foundations. To download this report as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

April 15 - 21, 2007

Decreasing Federal Spending on Children

This Urban Institute study reports on trends in federal spending on children from 1960 to 2017, looking across over 100 major federal programs, including tax credits and exemptions. Children's spending increasingly shifted from broad-based programs to programs targeting low-income or special needs children over the 1960 to 2006 period. Thirteen major programs enacted between 1960 and 2006, which include Medicaid, the earned income tax credit, and Food Stamps, comprised 65 percent of federal spending on children in 2006. Overall, federal children's spending increased in real terms from $53 billion in 1960 to $333 billion in 2006, or from 1.9 to 2.6 percent of GDP. Yet as a share of federal domestic spending, children's spending declined from 20.1 to 15.4 percent. Meanwhile, spending on the automatically growing, non-child portions of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, nearly quadrupled from 2.0 to 7.6 percent of GDP ($58 billion to $993 billion) over the same time period. Over the next ten years, children's programs are scheduled to decline both as a share of GDP and domestic spending, because they do not compete on a level playing field with these rapidly growing entitlement programs. To download the study as a .pdf file, go to: www.urban.org

April 8 - 14, 2007

State Volunteering Rates

The Corporation for National and Community Service compiled the results of the volunteering supplement in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey (CPS) to create a report breaks down volunteering statistics for each state from 2002-2005. Some key trends and highlights include:

bullet Slightly more than 65 million people volunteered in the U.S. during 2005. From 2002 to 2005, the number of volunteers increased by about 5.6 million persons.
bullet While the number of volunteers has increased each year, the volunteering rate, after increasing from 2002 to 2003, has remained at a constant rate of 28.8% from 2003 to 2005.
bullet In 2005, women volunteered at a higher rate than men and married persons had a higher volunteering rate than nonmarried persons. This trend was true in every region and state.
bullet In 2005, persons 35 to 44 years old were the most likely age group to volunteer (34.5%). This is consistent with the trend observed in most cases among regions and states.

To download this report as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.org

April 1 - 7, 2007

Giving Circles Provide Opportunities, Challenges for Fundraisers

A new study has found that while giving circles have much to offer charities, in some cases the funding relationships can be uneven and have yet to reach their full potential. The report, Giving Circles and Fundraising in the New Philanthropy Environment, was based on interviews with 17 leaders of charitable organizations that had received funding from giving circles and looks at the challenges and opportunities that this new type of funding mechanism presents. The report was developed by Angela M. Eikenberry, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va. The research was made possible by a grant from the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. The study also provides a number of suggestions for giving circles provided by the interviewees in the study. To access an executive summary, go to: www.afpnet.org. To download the full report as a .pdf file, go to: www.afpnet.org

March 25 - 31, 2007

Young Nonprofit Professionals Not Eager to Succeed Retiring Executive Directors

New survey from the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), a nationwide grassroots group representing roughly 10,000 of the sector’s 20- and 30-somethings, points to a trend that could be even worse than the exodus of seasoned leaders: Young people in the nonprofit world are not necessarily eager to take their place. According to the survey results, only 45% of the roughly 1,700 members who responded expect their next job to be in the nonprofit sector – “burnout” and low salaries being the two biggest reasons they cited – and less than 30 percent identified themselves as “highly likely” to become an executive director in a nonprofit organization. Go to: www.citylimits.org

March 18 - 24, 2007

Nonprofits Must Make Better Use of Baby Boomer Volunteers

The surge of Baby Boomers will increase volunteering by older adults by 50 percent by the year 2020 – and double the number of older adult volunteers by the year 2036, according to a report and projections released by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The first-ever study to track volunteering among a large sample of Baby Boomers from year to year, “Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering”, found that Americans born between 1946 and 1964 want higher-skill assignments to keep them engaged, and it advised nonprofit organizations to re-imagine roles for that emerging crop of volunteers. The report also found that Baby Boomers are volunteering at higher rates than their predecessors – including the Greatest Generation – and that those who volunteer 12 weeks or more annually are most likely to serve year after year. The Corporation’s “Volunteering Among Older Americans: Population Projections, 2007-2050,” released along with the report, forecasts that the number of older Americans will continue to rise sharply for decades because the youngest Baby Boomers will not reach age 65 until 2029. To download this study as a .pdf file, go to: www.nationalservice.gov

March 11 - 17, 2007

The Non-Profit Sector in Brief 2007

This 8 page brief highlights key findings from the Nonprofit Almanac 2007, prepared by the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute (Urban Institute Press, forthcoming). The Almanac is the latest in the Urban Institute’s series of statistical profiles of the nonprofit sector, most recently produced in conjunction with Independent Sector in 2002. Highlights: The number of nonprofit organizations recognized by the IRS grew by a modest 27 percent from 1994 to 2004. In this period, the number of reporting nonprofit organizations that completed IRS Forms 990 grew by a comparable 25 percent. In contrast, the number of public charities that were registered with the IRS, as well as the number that filed a Form 990, grew at more than twice that rate. The finances of nonprofit organizations also grew at a healthy rate from 1994 to 2004. While the U.S. GDP increased by less than 37 percent over this period after adjusting for inflation, all three of the major financial measures for nonprofit organizations increased by at least 56 percent—a difference of nearly 20 percentage points. Total assets, in particular, rose the most rapidly, with an increase of approximately 90 percent for both public charities and the sector as a whole. To download this brief as a .pdf file, go to: www.urban.org

March 4 - 10, 2007

Boomers on Track to Give 20% More to Charity than Average Donor

Baby Boomers report that they will give more to charity in 2006 than in 2005, with average total donations of $6,000. This is the highest level among all generations surveyed and about 20 percent higher than the overall donor average of $5,000, according to a new nationwide survey by the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund, which is one of the nation's largest public charities and has the largest donor-advised fund program in the United States. The Gift Fund's survey indicates that the 78 million Baby Boomers in the United States are on track to give approximately $100 billion to charity in 2006, a 25 percent increase over last year's estimated $79 billion in charitable donations by the Boomer generation. Go to: www.charitablegift.org

February 25 - March 3, 2007

Projected Corporate Governance Trends for Nonprofit Organizations

Michael W. Peregrine, a partner in the Chicago office of McDermott Will and Emery, has developed a list of ten governance trends that will affect nonprofits. Among the trends he cites:

bullet Focus on Mission. Boards will face increasing pressure to address fundamental issues that go to the heart of the organization’s charitable mission—chiefly, the IRS commissioner’s publicly expressed difficulty in distinguishing between not-for-profit and for-profit health care delivery systems, and looming battles over federal income, and local property, tax exemptions.
bullet It’s Not Going Away. Reports of Sarbanes-Oxley’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Continuing “front page” scandals in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors serve to remind the public and legislators that regulatory oversight of corporate governance remains necessary.
bullet More Attention to Executive Compensation. The board’s role in executive compensation decisions will be at the core of regulatory scrutiny in 2007. The focus on the compensation committee will continue to grow.

To download the full list of trends as a .pdf file, go to: www.mwe.com

February 18 - 24, 2007

Foundation Support for Most Program Areas Continue To Rise

Foundation giving for most program areas grew in 2005, and funders increased the number of exceptionally large grants they awarded, according to Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities (2007 Edition), published by the Foundation Center. Among major subject areas, international affairs and the environment experienced the fastest growth in funding. The share of grant dollars allocated to capital projects rose, following five consecutive years of decline. Key findings in the report include:

bullet Foundations awarded a record 308 grants of $5 million or more in 2005.
bullet Grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations rose 6.1% in 2005, following an 8.1% gain in the prior year.
bullet Grant dollars for international affairs, development, and peace jumped nearly 41% to a record $591.2 million in the latest year, boosted by tsunami-related giving and increased funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
bullet For the first time, corporate foundations gave a larger share of their grant dollars than other types of grantmakers for international affairs, reflecting support provided in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.
bullet The share of grant dollars to fund building construction, endowments, and other capital projects climbed to 18.5%, up from a record low of 16.8% in 2004.

To order the publication, call (800) 424-9836.: To download study highlights as a .pdf file, go to: foundationcenter.org

February 11 - 17, 2007

Four Nonprofit/Philanthropy Trends to Watch In 2007

2007 will find hundreds of large and small nonprofits across the United States wrestling with financing questions that will dictate whether the organizations thrive or struggle to survive, according to Clara Miller, president and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Miller has outlined the following four trends to watch in 2007:


The “Buffett effect” grows. As exemplified by Warren Buffett’s partnership with the Gates Foundation in 2006, more wealthy donors will focus on creating larger pools of capital for nonprofits, rather than fragmenting the available capital (and its impact) by focusing on “vanity” projects.” Miller calls this called ‘leveraged/collective funding.’


Even more short-term thinking in the long-term nonprofit world. This particular trend will see an unfortunate movement to more short-term funding requiring short-term measurable results from nonprofits that, in fact, are dealing with complex long-term problems.


Wider recognition that there is a business side to nonprofits. Miller elaborated: “We see encouraging signs of an understanding taking root that nonprofits need comprehensive funding that includes infrastructure, replacement and organizational growth needs. These needs are often overlooked by the currently pervasive practice of ‘restricted’ funding, which will continue to be a major impediment to the financial stability of all too many nonprofits.”


Funding decisions less influenced by the portion of funds devoted to overhead. “Funders will rely less and less on this ‘old school’ and often quite misleading measurement of nonprofit efficiency” Miller said. Go to: www.nonprofitfinancefund.org

February 4 - 10, 2007

Study Links the Arts and Civic Engagement

People who participate in the arts are people who help make communities thrive, according to a study released by the National Endowment for the Arts. The study, The Arts and Civic Engagement: Involved in Arts, Involved in Life, reveals that people who participate in the arts also engage in positive civic and individual activities -- such as volunteering, going to sporting events, and outdoor activities -- at significantly higher rates than non-arts participants. The report shatters the stereotype that art is an escapist or passive activity, showing instead that it is associated with a range of positive behaviors. The study also reveals that young adults (18-34) show a declining rate of arts participation and civic activities. The study is the first to measure the connection between arts and civic engagement, which can be defined as promoting a positive quality of life through individual and group activities. This new examination of data is based on information from the 2002 NEA Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, which interviewed 17,135 adults ages 18 and older about their activities in a 12-month period. This latest report analyzes civic behaviors reported by arts participants and non-arts participants. To download this study as a .pdf file, go to: www.arts.gov

January 28 - February 3, 2007

Top Trends in Human Services

Two reports are available from the Alliance for Children and Families’ Scenario Planning project. Taken together, these reports provide the framework for initiating the process of scenario thinking within nonprofit human service agencies. The first, Scanning the Horizon: Trends, Developments & Innovations Impacting the Future of Child and Family Services, offers a comprehensive review of emerging factors likely to alter how nonprofits conduct business in the future. The second, Regional Results: a Briefing Report, summarizes the five scenario planning meetings held around the country last year, and introduces the 19 scenarios participants developed. Both of these reports can be accessed free of charge at the Alliance website.

In addition, a report on trends in human services details scores of issues impacting American society in categories such as the economy, population and immigration, drugs, education, health care, poverty and homelessness, violence, technology, disasters and the workforce. The report, "Scanning the Horizons 2006-2007," is published annually by the Alliance for Children and Families, the nation's leading association of private, nonprofit human service agencies and organizations. The trend report provides a broad and detailed look at factors affecting society which helps human service organizations develop targeted plans and programs while offering valuable data for the public, the media and policymakers. Comprising more than 160 pages, the report is available on CD for Alliance members (free of charge) as well as non-members (for a small fee). Among key trends outlined in the 2006-2007 report are: 


The gap in income equality continues to widen dramatically.


Emerging generations of Americans are not adequately educated to lead the nation.


The U.S. reports the highest infant mortality rate and the lowest life expectancy for people over 60 compared to other industrialized countries.


A record number of Americans have no health insurance; half of adults in middle-income families reported they've had serious problems paying for their health care.


Some 28 percent of veterans return from the Iraq war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment.


School dropouts cost our nation more than $260 billion dollars in lost wages, lost taxes and lost productivity over their lifetimes; in federal dollars, that would buy 10 years of research at the National Institutes of Health.

To access the reports, go to: www.alliance1.org.  Click on the Publications link on the left-side menu to locate the documents along with download and purchase information.

January 21 - 27, 2007

Nonprofit Employment Up

Across the U.S., job growth in the nonprofit sector remains strong, even outpacing the overall economy, according to a new study by The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. From 2002 to 2004, the nonprofit workforce, which includes both paid and volunteer staff, grew 5.3 percent, compared to a drop in employment of 0.2 percent for the overall economy. As of the second quarter of 2004, 9.4 million people earned paychecks for their work in the nonprofit sector, while the equivalent of an additional 4.7 full-time workers volunteered their time, says the study, conducted by the Nonprofit Employment Data Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. More than one in 10 U.S. workers, including volunteers, now work in the sector, and those who are paid earned $321.6 billion in 2004, an amount greater than the combined totals of workers in the utility, construction and wholesale-trade industries. On average, nonprofit workers earned $627 a week, the study says, less than the $669 for for-profit employees. However, for organizations like hospitals, where nonprofit and for-profit providers co-exist, wages of nonprofit employees are higher. The majority of nonprofit employees work in human-services fields, with one in three serving hospitals, and more than two in 10 working in other health-related organizations. To download as a .pdf file, go to: www.jhu.edu

January 14 - 20, 2007

Success in Life Depends Greatly on Where a Child Lives

Published by Education Week and supported by the Pew Center on the States, the report, Quality Counts 2007: From Cradle to Career - Connecting American Education from Birth Through Adulthood finds that a child's success throughout life depends greatly on where he or she lives. The report is based on the Chance-for-Success Index, which tracks state efforts to connect education from preschool through postsecondary education and training. For the past decade, Editorial Projects in Education’s annual Quality Counts report has tracked state policies for improving K-12 education. But children’s chances for success don’t just rest on what happens from kindergarten through high school. They are also shaped by experiences during the preschool years and opportunities for continued education and training beyond high school. Yet the historical splits between different levels of education in the United States have made coordination difficult, with early-childhood education, elementary and secondary schooling, and postsecondary and training institutions often operating in separate silos, with different rules, different financial structures, different accountability systems, and different expectations for success.  To download a copy of the report as a .pdf file, go to: www.edweek.org

January 7 - 13, 2007

Results of the 2006 GuideStar Nonprofit Economic Survey

For the third year in a row, the majority of participants in GuideStar's nonprofit economic survey reported that contributions to their organizations had either increased or stayed about the same as contributions during the previous year. For the fourth consecutive year, a substantial majority also said that demand for their organizations' services had grown. Asked, "Did total contributions to your organization increase, decrease, or stay about the same during the first nine months of this year compared to the first nine months of 2005?" half of more than 3,700 respondents stated that contributions had increased. Another 27 percent said that contributions had stayed the same. Only 19 percent reported that contributions had decreased.These numbers represent a dramatic change from the results of GuideStar's first nonprofit economic survey, conducted in November 2002. At that time, nearly half (48 percent) of 2,600-plus participants said that contributions during the first 10 months of 2002 had decreased compared to contributions during the first 10 months of 2001.  For a report summary, go to: www.guidestar.org.  To download a copy of the full report as a .pdf file, go to: www.guidestar.org

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

To view 2006 Trends of the Week, click here.

To view 2005 Trends of the Week, click here.

To view 2004 Trends of the Week, click here.

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