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2010 Trends of the Week

December 19, 2010 - January 1, 2011

Foundations’ Public Policy-Related Activities

The Foundation Center’s first report benchmarking the level of engagement of U.S. foundations in policy-related activities reflects an increase in grantmaker support for research, public education, and resources to policymakers in recent years. Key Facts on Foundations’ Public Policy-related Activities finds that one-quarter of the more than 1,300 foundations that responded to a survey either fund or are engaged in such activities, with larger foundations far more likely to participate than smaller ones. In fact, more than half of those who engage in public policy-related activities increased their levels of support over the last five years. To download a copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

December 12 - 18, 2010

Millennial Donor Trends

According to a new study, Millennial Generation donors want to be engaged in a different way than Baby Boomers or Generation X donors; however, contrary to what general perceptions might suggest, that doesn’t mean you’ll connect with them most successfully through social media appeals. For the “2010 Millennial Donor Study,” Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle Associates (JGA) asked more than 2,200 people between the ages of 20 and 40 across the U.S. about their giving habits and engagement preferences. Approximately 75% of the respondents represented Generation Y or Millennial donors. The results of the survey show a generation definitely connected by technology and social media, but more inspired to give and volunteer by personal engagement and human connections. These results would suggest that nonprofit organizations seeking to tap into this new generation of donors will need to redesign their solicitation and engagement processes, treating these new givers more like their older peers in an effort that will not deliver a quick return on investment but will reward the organization over time. Key findings include:

bullet 91% of Millennial donors are at least somewhat likely to respond to a face-to-face request for money from a nonprofit organization, with 27 percent being highly likely to respond to such a request. Only 8 percent are highly likely to respond to an email request.
bullet 55.2% of Millennial donors are likely or highly likely to respond to a specific request or particular project. 55.7% are not likely to respond to a general, non-specific ask.
bullet 71.9% of Millennial donors don’t need to volunteer for an organization before they donate.
bullet Millennial donors want to know details about the organizations they support: 86.3 percent want updates on programs or services, and 54.6 percent want information about the organization and its financial condition. 68 percent want information about volunteer opportunities.
bullet 60.5% say they would like access to board and executive leadership, and 53.2% say they have it.
bullet Asked who could get them to donate to an organization, most Millennial donors say they would be likely or highly likely to give if asked by a family member (74.6%) or a friend (62.8 %). Only 37.8% would be likely or highly likely to give is asked by a coworker.

To download this study as a .pdf file, go to: api.ning.com

December 5 - 11, 2010

Nonprofit Fundraising Trends

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative has released the “November 2010 Fundraising Survey” on the state of nonprofit fundraising. Respondents answered questions comparing their organizations’ total contributions in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. Nearly the same percentage of organizations reported that giving was up as those that reported giving was down. Of the about 2,500 responses, 36 percent said giving rose and 37 percent said giving fell, while the other 26 percent reported that total giving remained the same. However, there are some differences across organizations according to charity type and budget size. Key findings include:


Organizations in four of the analyzed subsectors reported an equal percentage of both increases and decreases in contributions. These subsectors include: Arts, Education, Environment/Animals, and Human Services.


International organizations were the most likely to report an increase in contributions, reflecting donations made for disaster relief.


The larger the organization’s size based on total annual expenditures, the more likely the organization was to report an increase in charitable receipts in the first nine months of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009.


Approximately 22 percent of charities used volunteers in positions that were formerly paid positions during the first nine months of 2010. This is up from 15 percent a year ago.


Most organizations were hopeful about 2011. About 47 percent planned budget increases, 33 percent expected to maintain their current level of expenditures, and only 20 percent anticipated a lower budget for 2011.

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

November 28 - December 4, 2010

Giving Circle Trends

Donors in giving circles give more, give more strategically, and are more engaged in their communities, according to a report released by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Giving circles have emerged over the last decade as a growing and significant philanthropic trend among donors of all wealth levels and backgrounds. Past studies have shown that the number of giving circles has exploded across the country and that they are an established philanthropic force. Giving circle members are more likely than other donors to give to organizations serving women and girls, ethnic and minority groups, and for arts, culture and ethnic awareness. They are less likely to give to federated or combined giving funds (such as the United Way) and to religious organizations. For a summary and full report, go to: www.philanthropy.iupui.edu

November 21 - 27, 2010

Recession's Impact on Foundations

Foundation operations appear to have stabilized following cuts in staffing, travel, or other operating expenses by a majority of grant makers. In a sign that foundations may be turning the corner, only 12 percent of respondents to the Center's September 2010 "Foundation Giving Forecast Survey" expect these operational changes to remain in place over the longer term. Among the changes that could persist: funders making fewer site visits to grantees, attending fewer conferences, eliminating print copies of annual reports, and moving to electronic grant applications. Other key findings include:


Indicators suggest a return to modest growth in foundation giving in 2011


Few foundations anticipate lasting changes in grantmaking priorities as a result of the economic crisis


Foundation operations have largely stabilized following widespread changes in 2009


The economic crisis had a minimal impact on foundations’ decisions to spend down their endowments and terminate operations


More than two out of five respondents provided support specifically to address problems related to the economic crisis

To download a copy of the study, to go: foundationcenter.org

November 14 - 20, 2010

High Net Worth Donor Trends

The 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy tracks significant shifts as well as consistent trends in the giving behaviors of the wealthiest donors in the United States. The findings highlight the philanthropic legacy of high net worth households and offer valuable information to nonprofit organizations who seek to engage, sustain, and deepen relationships with these donors.  Key findings include:


High net worth households continued to support charitable organizations at levels seen in 2005 and 2007 (98.2 percent of high net worth households donated to charity in 2009). This indicates that despite the economic downturn, high net worth households remain committed to supporting nonprofits.


Despite a strong commitment to nonprofits in 2009, average charitable giving by high net worth households decreased between 2007 and 2009. Average charitable giving dropped 34.9 percent from $83,034 in 2007 to $54,016 in 2009, after adjusting for inflation.


About one-third of households cited an organization's own communications about its impact (34.1 percent) as important when giving to charity.


In response to meeting community needs, nearly 64 percent of high net worth household gave more in 2009 than in 2008 to support people's basic needs and/or to fund the general operations of an organization.


A few subsectors saw increases, between 4 and 21 percent, in the average amount given by wealthy households including arts, environment/animal care, international causes, and to giving vehicles. Other subsectors saw more significant declines from 2007, with giving to health experiencing a 63.7 percent decline, education a 55 percent decline, and combined purpose organizations (such as United Way, United Jewish Appeal, or Catholic Charities) experiencing a 44 percent decline.

For more information, go to: mediaroom.bankofamerica.com

November 7 - 13, 2010

Public Trust  in Nonprofits Stronger Than In Government

American Express released findings from a “Perspectives on Nonprofits” survey, which shows that while seven in ten Americans (71%) trust nonprofits more than they trust government or industry to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, more than eight in ten Americans (83%) believe that nonprofits do not always have the resources they need to invest. Other findings include:


Only 5 percent of the people who responded said they currently work for a nonprofit group, but an additional 50 percent said they were at least somewhat interested in such employment.


Among those interested in working at a nonprofit organization, 67 percent said such work could be more rewarding than other kinds of employment, though 41 percent said it would mean earning lower pay. Among these 14% believe that they would have fewer opportunities for training and leadership development than they would working for other types of organizations.


About four out of five Americans also said they agreed that nonprofit groups do not have “the resources to invest in the growth and development of their employees.”

StrategyOne conducted an online survey among 1,044 Americans, aged 18 years or older, between October 25-26, 2010 on perceptions of the nonprofit sector and its ability to address society’s needs. The data is representative of census data of the American population. Go to: www.advisorone.com

October 31 - November 6, 2010

Donor Motivation Trends

This research study, Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century, was commissioned and created by Russ Reid and conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting in June 2010. This study was conducted across the United States, in both English and Spanish, via telephone and through a demographically representative online research panel. The sample size was 2,005 adults 18 or older, with a very low margin of error. Overall, 39% of American adults are donors (meaning they have given in the past 12 months). This translates to 90 million Americans. Here are a few of the findings:


Men and women are equally likely to be donors.


The older the individual, the more likely he or she is to be a donor.


Being a donor is not something that varies much with geography.


Suburbia does provide a disproportionately large group of donors, largely because suburban residents tend to have higher incomes.


The proportion of donors increases as education level increases.


People who regularly attend religious worship services are slightly more likely to be donors than are those who don’t attend, but people who financially support a place of worship are far more likely to be donors to nonprofits than are those who don’t give money to a place of worship.

To download an Executive Summary, go to:

October 24 - 30, 2010

Most Women Give More Than Men, New Study Finds

Women at virtually every income level are more likely to give to charity and to give more money on average than their male counterparts, after controlling for education, income and other factors that influence giving, new research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds. The study analyzed charitable-giving data from 8,000 American households. Looking at every income level, the researchers found that women give to charity more frequently than men in similar circumstances. Giving by men and women is closest at the lowest income level, $23,509 or less. But more than one third of women making less than that sum (35.2 percent) were still more likely to give to charity than men earning the same amount (27.5 percent). Those gender differences are more pronounced among people making more money, the study found. For example, all but 4 percent of women who made more than $103,000 gave to charity, while only three-fourths of men who made that much did. To download a copy of the study, go to: www.philanthropy.iupui.edu

October 17 - 23, 2010

Technology Trends Among People of Color

Here is a summary of recent research highlights by Pew Internet Project Senior Research Specialist Aaron Smith:


Trend #1: The internet and broadband populations have become more diverse over the last decade, although key disparities do remain. Over the last decade the internet population has come to much more closely resemble the racial composition of the population as a whole. Between 2000 and 2010 the proportion of internet users who are black or Latino has nearly doubled—from 11% to 21%. At the same time, African-Americans remain somewhat less likely than whites to go online.


Trend #2: Access to the digital world is increasingly being untethered from the desktop, and this is especially true for people of color.


Both blacks and English-speaking Latinos are more likely to own a mobile phone than whites. Foreign-born Latinos trail their Native-born counterparts in cell phone ownership, but this gap is significantly smaller than the gap in internet use between these groups. Moreover, minority adults use a much wider range of their cell phones’ capabilities.


Trend #3: Minority internet users don’t just use the social web at higher rates, their attitudes towards these tools differ as well. Minority adults also outpace whites in their use of social technologies. Among internet users, seven in ten blacks and English-speaking Latinos use social networking sites—significantly higher than the six in ten whites who do so. Indeed, nearly half of black internet users go to a social networking site on a typical day. Just one third of white internet users do so on a daily basis.

 For more information including links to relevant research, go to: www.pewinternet.org

October 10 - 16, 2010

Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, Millennials -- the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium -- have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They're less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history. Their entry into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation. 21% of Millennials say that helping people who are in need is one of the most important things in their life. This publication is part of a Pew Research Center report series that looks at the values, attitudes and experiences of the Millennial generation. For free access to the reports, go to: pewsocialtrends.org

October 3 - 9, 2010

5 Trends Shaping the Future of Social Good

According to Mashable, social media has had a profound effect on the way social good organizations approach global problems. From the Red Cross, which used text messages to raise $5 million in relief funds for Haiti, to organizations like micro-lender Kiva, which wouldn’t even exist without the concept of social networking, altruistic organizations and individuals are finding new ways to embrace social media. Mashable asked social good experts about trends that will shape the way we use social media for positive change in the future. The five trends identified were:




Location, Mobile Apps and Other Experiments


Mobilizing Actions


Benefiting From Cause Marketing


Cooperation Between Non-profits and Individuals

For more information and lots of great examples of each trend, go to: mashable.com

September 26 - October 2, 2010

Nonprofits Bright Spot in National Jobs Picture

Nonprofit employers are providing one of the few bright spots in the country's dismal employment picture this Labor Day, according to new data released today by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies. Initial analysis of data on 21 states spread broadly across the country reveals that nonprofit employment actually grew by an average of 2.5 percent per year between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, the worst part of the recent recession. By contrast, for-profit employment in these states fell during this same period by an average of 3.3 percent per year. And this pattern held for every single state examined. However, nonprofits in some fields and some states did worse than others. For more information, including charts and tables with data listed by state and by field of activity, go to: ccss.jhu.edu

September 19 - 25, 2010

Influence of Family on Giving Decisions

According to a new study of donor attitudes and giving behavior released this week by Russ Reid, parental involvement in nonprofits increases the odds of a child becoming a donor by more than 80 percent; with parents who don’t, there’s only a 25-percent chance the child will grow up to be a donor, the study found. Nonprofits can build their donor pools of tomorrow by encouraging adults to volunteer their time at an organization, to talk to their kids about nonprofits they support, or to give money to their church. Key findings include:


The dollar breakdown of estimated yearly giving among age groups: People ages 18 to 24 donated $350, those 25 to 39 gave $544, people ages 55 to 69 gave $805, and those 70 and older donated $1,200. “The older you get, the more generous you are. Fund-raising expenditures should be “invested accordingly” toward segments that are more likely to give, with a higher gift value.


On average, individuals gave in three ways—55 percent gave online as well as via mail; 20 percent who gave online also gave through a telemarketing call. Sending a check through mail still was the most popular method at 61 percent.


Don’t bet on social media yet. While 57 percent of all donors use social media, only 6 percent actually gave money that way. There’s a big difference between following and giving.

To reserve a free copy of the full study, go to: www.2dialog.com

September 12 - 18, 2010

Nonprofits Find Value in Time-Off Programs

Even as a very slow and modest upturn in the U.S. economy is becoming evident, not-for-profit organizations across the country continue to search for ways to reward employees, despite the shrinking pay increase budgets and pay freezes seen throughout the industry. The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Not-For-Profit survey results show that exempt employees with less than one year of service earn an average of 7.7 vacation days, while non-exempt employees earn 6.7 days. More than half of the not-for-profit organizations offering paid vacation to employees use years of service to determine the number of days an employee can accrue. Exempt employees with 5 years of service average 15.8 days of vacation, compared to those with 10 years of service, 19 days. For more information, go to: www.talentmanagementtech.com

September 5 - 11, 2010

Volunteer Trends in the US

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its report, "Volunteering in the US - 2009."   These trends are important because they not only have implications for getting work done, but also because there are major giving implications presented by volunteerism according to Independent Sector (volunteers are more likely to give in dollars too). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most frequent activity performed by volunteers is fundraising.  Amongst the ages 20-34, tutoring, teaching, or mentoring is the biggest activity.  Men are slightly more likely to volunteer than women.  Religious organizations are the largest beneficiaries of volunteerism, followed by youth or educational services volunteering.  Interestingly, the higher the level of educational attainment, the less time volunteered for religious organizations  - more time was given to sport, hobby, or cultural organizations, but they were also more likely to volunteer than those with lower levels of education. Volunteerism increased among people with full time jobs, but decreased significantly amongst people ages 20-24.  Overall volunteerism increased with age, and the largest segment of volunteers was ages 65 or older. However, younger people were less likely to volunteer for religious organizations than those over 65. The largest segment of volunteers does so because someone asked them (44%), while 40% do so because they sought out the opportunity. This study surveyed 60,000 households and tracked civilian volunteerism. for more information, go to: www.bls.gov 

August 22 - September 4, 2010

Continuing Impact of the Economy on Public Charities And Private Foundations 

Some 40 percent of participants in GuideStar's first nonprofit economic survey for 2010 reported that contributions to their organizations dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010, compared to the same period a year earlier. Another 28 percent said that contributions had stayed about the same, and 30 percent stated contributions had increased. "The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector: A June 2010 Survey" presents these results and more. Among the other findings:


Eight percent of respondents indicated that their organizations was were in imminent danger of closing.


In order to balance budgets, 17 percent of respondents reduced program services, and 11 percent laid off employees.


More than 60 percent of participants reporting decreased contributions attributed the drop to a decline in both the number of individual donors and the size of their donations.


Among organizations that use volunteers, 17 percent used one or more in what had formerly been paid positions.


About a third (32 percent) of organizations increased their reliance on volunteers, whereas 9 percent experienced a decline.

To download a free copy of the report, go to: www2.guidestar.org

August 15 - 21, 2010

Nonprofit Salaries in 2010

Terrie Temkin, founding partner of CoreStrategies for Nonprofits Inc, has compiled an excellent summary of recent trend reports on nonprofit salaries. She states: " In April of 2009, the reported salary picture was bleak. According to a study by the Nonprofit Finance Fund released at that time, 41 percent of nonprofit organizations had reduced or were considering reducing staff or salaries and 22 percent had reduced or were considering reducing staff hours. As many as 43 percent of the nonprofits surveyed were dipping into their reserves to stay afloat. ... However, by April of 2010, things appear to have changed. The AFP study referenced above found that the average salaries of its U.S.-based survey participants increased by 7.4 percent." For more information, go to: philanthropyjournal.org

August 8 - 14, 2010

Donor Trends in 2010

A new report, The Cygnus Donor Survey…Where Philanthropy is Headed in 2010 by Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., has found a split between typical donors—those whose smallest gift was $81—and more affluent donors, whose smallest gift was $135. Only 8 percent of typical donors said they plan to give less to charity in 2010, down from 17.5 percent in a similar survey last year. But among the affluent donors, 11 percent said that they would give less to charity this year than in 2009. That percentage grew to 17 percent among the top 10 percent of donors who gave the most money to charity. Other trends in giving were noted by respondents, all of which have significant implications for fundraisers as they reflect donors' growing irritation with certain fundraising practices. They are: a preference for giving to charities that provide donors with measurable results (69%); eliminating or reducing support to nonprofits that over-solicit (67%); a greater tendency to take cost per dollar raised into account when making giving decisions (65%); shifting more support to charities working locally (43%); and supporting fewer causes (41%). Additionally, 59% of respondents said they now do more research prior to supporting a charity for the first time, which speaks to donors' growing independence in managing their philanthropy. For an Executive Summary of the report, go to www.cygresearch.com. To order the full report, go to: www.cygresearch.com

August 1 - 7, 2010

Millennials and Online Sharing In Networks

A new study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project reveals Millennials attitudes about online sharing in social netwroks. In a survey about the future impact of the internet, a solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders said the Millennial generation will lead society into a new world of personal disclosure and information-sharing using new media. These experts said the communications patterns “digital natives” have already embraced through their use of social networking technology and other social technology tools will carry forward even as Millennials age, form families, and move up the economic ladder. Experts surveyed say that the advantages Millennials see in personal disclosure will outweigh their concerns about their privacy. For more information, go to: www.pewinternet.org

July 25 - 31, 2010

Trends in Program-Related Investments

For four decades U.S. foundations have had the ability to make below-market-rate investments in activities consistent with their missions and count these investments as part of their annual charitable distributions. Of the nation's more than 75,000 grantmaking foundations, the Foundation Center has tracked 173 private and community foundations that made program-related investments (PRIs) totaling $742 million in 2006 or 2007. According to a new report from the Foundation Center, Doing Good with Foundation Assets: An Updated Look at Program-related Investments, while the development of low-cost housing, community development, and microfinance have historically attracted PRIs, there is growing use of PRIs in areas such as education, arts and culture, social and health programs, and environmental sustainability. To download a free copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

July 18 - 24, 2010

Foundation Giving Trends

Among the major areas of activity, health, education, arts and culture, and human services captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2008, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2010 Edition). By number of grants, human services continued to rank first, with sampled funders allocating 26.4 percent for the field. Other key findings include:

bullet Foundations awarded a record 214 grants of $10 million or more in 2008. Of the 10 largest, six were made by the Gates Foundation mainly for health-related activities and international development
bullet International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — reached a record 24.4 percent of total grant dollars awarded
bullet Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars, rising to a record $6.9 billion

To download the highlights at no charge, go to: foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge. To order the full report, go to: foundationcenter.org/marketplace.

July 11 - 17, 2010

Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying Trends

The Report on the Listening Post Project Chicago Roundtable on Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying is now available on the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies website.

The survey found that, while nonprofits are widely engaged in efforts to influence public policies affecting them and those they serve, they are often constrained in their advocacy efforts by a lack of adequate resources, including tight budgets and limited staff time and expertise. While acknowledging up front the challenge of limited financial and staff resources available for advocacy efforts, survey participants focused their discussion on how to best leverage existing resources and assets to support advocacy efforts.  Four themes emerged:


Advocacy efforts must directly involve nonprofit organizations themselves, including the active use and dissemination of "brick wall" stories and increased engagement of clients/customers/patrons in the lobbying process


Intermediary organizations should play an active role in supporting the advocacy efforts of individual organizations by engaging members in mission-based advocacy and working toward establishing long-term funding streams for advocacy efforts


Foundations and their boards must be better educated on the relationship between engaging in advocacy and achieving organizational mission


The policy community itself needs to be better engaged by nonprofits and their intermediaries, and educated about the impact of existing lobbying laws on nonprofit advocacy

Go to: www.ccss.jhu.edu


June 20 - July 10, 2010

Volunteerism Increases at Highest Rate in 6 Years

The number of Americans who volunteer grew last year at the fastest rate in six years, according to a new report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This challenges the popular notion that hard economic times suppress civic participation.

The report says that 63.4 million adult Americans­—nearly 27 percent of the population—volunteered to help charitable causes last year. That’s an increase from 2008 of roughly 1.6 million volunteers, the largest single-year jump since 2003. In total, 2009’s volunteers donated about 8.1 billion hours of service, valued at nearly $169-billion, says the report, which is based on annual and monthly surveys of roughly 100,000 Americans age 16 or older, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Key findings include:


An increase in volunteer rates among women ages 45 to 54 and among married women helped fuel the rise in volunteer numbers. Among black women, volunteer rates rose nearly two percentage points, to 22.8 percent.


The organizations at which Americans chose to volunteer stayed fairly consistent between 2008 and 2009. As before, the largest percentage of Americans—more than one-third—volunteered at churches or with other religious groups. But the economic downturn may have stirred more people to donate their time to social-service organizations, which counted 8.8 million volunteers last year, up from 8.4 million in 2008.


There appear to be links between the economy and the varying rates of volunteering across the country. Among large metropolitan areas, for example, four of the five cities with the highest foreclosure rates last year—Las Vegas; Riverside, Cal.; Miami; and Orlando, Fla.—ranked in the bottom ten in volunteer rates among large cities. And, the report found, states with higher rates of unemployment—such as Michigan and Nevada—had lower rates of volunteering.


Even as the hardships of unemployment spread throughout the country, a slightly bigger share of jobless people donated their time last year than in 2008—22.9 percent, up from 22.3 percent, representing 1.3 million additional volunteers. What’s more, jobless men showed a larger increase in their volunteer rate (17 percent to 18.2 percent ) than men who were employed (25.4 percent to 25.8 percent).


The most common volunteer activity was fund raising, with nearly 27 percent donating their time to raise money for charitable causes. Almost 24 percent of Americans collected and distributed food.


The report also found that a growing number of Americans -- 20.7 million, up from 19.9 million in 2008 -- are volunteering in less-formal ways, such as by helping neighbors solve a problem.

To access the report, go to: www.volunteeringinamerica.gov

June 13 - 19, 2010

Online Fundraising and Marketing Trends

Convio, Inc. has released the results of its annual Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study. This year’s study shows that online giving is growing steadily, there has been an increase in the number of online gifts and nonprofits are continuing to grow their email files. The study is designed to help nonprofit professionals evaluate beneficial online marketing metrics, evaluate the effectiveness of their organization compared to similar organizations and determine strategies for future success. Key findings of the study include:


Online giving grew 14 percent despite a difficult economy. Overall, 69 percent of organizations raised more in 2009 than 2008, while 31 percent saw declines in their online fundraising.


An increase in gifts drove fundraising gains. Of those that grew fundraising in 2009, 92 percent saw an increase in the number of gifts in 2009 compared with just 43 percent of organizations seeing an increase in their average gift amount.


Small organizations grew fastest. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 email addresses on file, many of which are participants in the Convio Go! program, grew online revenue by 26 percent, and gifts by 32 percent.


Web traffic growth continued for most, but at a slower rate. 60 percent of organizations grew their website traffic from 2008 to 2009. Web traffic growth in 2009 was in the single digits at 6 percent compared with double digit growth seen in previous years.


Web traffic was strongly correlated with email file growth. 38 percent of an organization’s success building large email files could be directly attributed to the amount of traffic to the organization’s website.

 To download the full study, go to: www.convio.com

June 6 - 12, 2010

Nonprofits Increase Use of Social Networks

NTEN, Common Knowledge, and ThePort Network have released the  second annual installment of the Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report. This report’s objective is to provide nonprofits with insights and trends surrounding social networking technology as part of nonprofit organizations’ marketing, communications, fundraising, and program services. Between February 3 and March 15, 2010, 1,173 nonprofit professionals responded to a survey about their organization’s use of online social networks. Nonprofits continued to increase their use of commercial social networks over 2009 and early 2010 with Facebook and Twitter proving to be the preferred networks. Key findings include:


Facebook is still used by more nonprofits than any other commercial social network with 86% of nonprofits indicating that they have a presence on this network. This finding is a 16% increase from 2009, when 74% of respondents had a Facebook presence.


Twitter grew as a commercial social networking outlet of choice for nonprofits with a year-over-year increase of 38%, moving from 43% in 2009 to 60% in 2010, as measured by nonprofits who affirmed that their organization had a presence on this rapidly growing micro-messaging platform.


LinkedIn and YouTube usage remained steady over the last year. YouTube moved up only very slightly from 46.5% in 2009 to 48.1% in 2010, and LinkedIn stayed steady at 32.9% in 2009 and 33.1% this year.


MySpace, the big loser, suffered a 45% drop in popularity. Use dropped from 26.1% in 2009 to 14.4% in 2010.   

To download a copy of the full report, go to: www.nonprofitsocialnetworksurvey.com. Free registration is required.

May 30 - June 5, 2010

2009 Household Charitable Giving Down Five Percent from 2008

Individual charitable giving in 2009 amounted to $217.3 billion, a decline of $11.2 billion or 4.9 percent from the estimated $228.5 billion total in 2008, according to the latest report by researchers at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College and published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  This 5% decline is in addition to the 6 percent decline that the Center calculated in 2008. For 2010, the researchers project annualized individual giving totals (also known as household giving) will range between approximately $222 billion and $227 billion, an increase between 3 and 4.5  percent over the estimated total for 2009. The projected growth is based on analysis of the first two quarters according to scenarios that assume relatively low and high economic growth. The full report, will be published in the July/August 2010 issue of Advancing Philanthropy, the magazine of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  The report's findings are based on estimates produced quarterly by the Individual Giving Model developed and housed at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. For more information, go to: www.bc.edu

May 23 - 29, 2010

Survey Reveals Widespread Innovation at Nation’s Nonprofits

A new Johns Hopkins University survey has revealed widespread innovation among the nation’s nonprofits, as well as efforts by those organizations to measure their programs’ effectiveness. The vast majority (82 percent) of responding organizations reported implementing an innovative program or service within the past five years, and 85 percent reported measuring program effectiveness. The study surveyed a nationwide sample of nonprofit organizations in four key fields – children and family services, elderly housing and services, community and economic development, and the arts – with 417 organizations responding. It defined an “innovative” program or service as “a new or different way to address a societal problem or pursue a charitable mission that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than prevailing approaches.”


Substantial majorities of organizations in all four fields covered by the survey reported innovative activity during the previous five years, and this was particularly pronounced among larger organizations, challenging the common assumption that organizations become less innovative as they grow in size.


The major barriers to more extensive use of performance measurements identified by respondents were a lack of staff time and expertise, and the cost of good evaluation.


Recommendations from survey respondents for helping to overcome the remaining barriers to nonprofit innovation and performance measurement included better tools to measure qualitative impacts (82 percent of respondents), less time-consuming measurement tools (81 percent), financial resources to support the measurement and research functions (79 percent), greater help from intermediary organizations in fashioning common evaluation tools (67 percent), and training for personnel in how to use these tools (63 percent).


Sizeable proportions of respondents also urged the new White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation to continue stressing the importance of innovation but to recognize as well the value of effective ongoing programs and the barriers that restrictive regulations, lack of coordination among federal agencies, and inadequate financial support for program evaluation place in the way of innovation and performance measurement.

To download the full report “Nonprofits, Innovation and Performance Measurement: Separating Fact from Fiction” go to ccss.jhu.edu

May 16 - 22, 2010

Charitable Donors Give More When Asked Personally

Donors to charitable organizations give more when they are asked in person and when someone they know makes the request, a new study commissioned by Chicago-based consulting firm Campbell & Company and conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds. The study, Significant Gifts: Where Donors Direct Their Largest Gifts and Why confirms what nonprofit organization fundraisers have often observed: people give to people and especially to people they know. Donors who were asked to give in person by someone they knew donated 19 percent more ($987) to secular (non-religious) charities, when compared with telephone, mail or email requests from someone they knew ($799). For religious organizations, when the donor was asked in person by someone he or she knew, the average donation was 42 percent higher ($2,904) than when someone the donor knew made the request using a different tactic ($1,698). For more information, go to: www.campbellcompany.com.

May 9 - 15, 2010

Non-profit CEO salary trends 

The Council on Foundations just announced the results from its 2009 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The findings are based on responses from an online survey of 779 foundations and corporate grantmakers of which 50 were corporate grant makers (foundations or direct giving programs) and 729 were community, private (family or independent), or public foundations. Key findings from the survey include:


In 2009, the reported median salary for CEOs/CGOs was $140,250; the median salary for program officers was $78,000. These salaries vary by size and type of grantmaker and by region.


Between 2005 and 2009, overall CEO salaries increased by 15.9% in nominal terms at private foundations and 25.3% at community foundations.


The median salary in the Midwest was 10.1% lower than the national median for all positions. Salaries in the Northeast were 9.1% higher.


Between 2005 and 2009, program officer salaries increased by 13% in nominal terms at private foundations and 21.5% at community foundations.  

To download a copy of the report at the Council's website, go to: www.cof.org

May 2 - 8, 2010

Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates, Current Outlook

According to the Foundation Center, the recent economic crisis caused the nation's more than 75,000 grantmaking foundations to cut their 2009 giving by an estimated 8.4 percent-by far the largest decline ever tracked by the Foundation Center. Grant dollars fell from $46.8 billion to $42.9 billion. Yet according to Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2010 Edition), released by the Foundation Center, this cutback totaled less than half the 17 percent loss in foundation assets recorded in the prior year.  Key estimates for 2009 giving include:


Independent and family foundations — which represent close to nine out of 10 foundations — reduced their giving 8.9 percent to $30.8 billion in 2009


Corporate foundation giving decreased 3.3 percent to $4.4 billion in 2009


Community foundation giving declined 9.6 percent to $4.1 billion in 2009, exceeding decreases by independent and corporate foundations

To download a copy of the Foundation Center’s current outlook, go to: foundationcenter.org

April 25 - May 1, 2010

Value of Volunteer Time Rises

Independent Sector announced that the estimated dollar value of volunteer time for 2009 is $20.85 per hour which increased from $18.77 per hour in 2006. IS calculates the hourly value of volunteer time based on the average hourly wage for all non-management, non-agricultural workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The estimate helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 61.8 million Americans, or 26.4 percent of the adult population, gave 8 billion hours of volunteer service worth $162 billion in 2008. Go to: www.independentsector.org

April 18 - 24, 2010

America's Nonprofits Brace for Tough 2010 

According to a survey released by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) America's nonprofits expect that 2010 will be financially more difficult or as difficult as 2009, as 80% anticipate an increase in demand for services, leading many to seek creative alternatives.  Key findings include:


Nearly 90% expect 2010 to be as difficult or more difficult than 2009; only 12% expect 2010 to be financially easier for their organizations.


80% of nonprofits anticipate an increase in demand for services in 2010; 49% expect to be able to fully meet this demand level.


Only 18% of organizations expect to end 2010 above break-even; 35% of organizations ended 2009 with an operating surplus.


The majority – 61% – have less than three months of cash available; 12% have none.

For more information on the study, go to: www.nonprofitfinancefund.org

April 11 - 17, 2010

Donors Showing More Willingness to Give

Donors are growing more confident in their ability to give to charity as the economy shows signs of stabilizing, according to a new poll of more than 500 donors. Nearly half of the donors questioned said they would give as much as they did in 2009, compared with the 44 percent who predicted they would give the same amount in a poll conducted two months ago by Campbell Rinker, a Valencia Calif. company that regularly questions donors on their confidence levels. Most of the donors said the economy was the main influence on their giving.  Donors to religious charities continued to have the most positive outlook, according to the report. To download a copy of the report, go to: www.campbellrinker.com

April 4 - 10, 2010

Nonprofit Job Growth During the Recession

According to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies and the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations entitled “Nonprofits and Recessions:

New Data from Maryland”, nonprofit organizations are a counter-cyclical force in the economy, actually adding workers in times of economic downturn. Key findings include:


Despite the recession underway at the time, nonprofit employment in Maryland continued its growth in 2008, increasing by 2.7 percent between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2008.


By contrast, for-profit employment in Maryland decreased by 3.3 percent during this same period, eliminating over 61,000 jobs. Demonstrating the nonprofit sector’s role as a critical counter-cyclical force, nonprofits thus accounted for all of the state’s private employment growth between 2007 and 2008


Despite the continued growth of nonprofit employment in Maryland, nonprofits have actually lost market share in some fields due to the more rapid expansion of for-profits in these fields. Between 1999 and 2008, the nonprofit share of private employment declined by 13 percentage points in educational services; 7 percentage points in nursing and residential care; and 1 percentage point in social assistance organizations.

To download a copy of the report, go to: www.ccss.jhu.edu

March 28 - April 3, 2010

Corporate Giving Trends

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, an international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy, has published Giving by the Numbers 2009. Based on corporate contributions data from 137 leading companies, including 55 of the Fortune 100, this edition of Giving in Numbers features a comprehensive study of 2008 corporate giving. Findings include:


Even in challenging economic times, 53% of surveyed companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008—just 3% fewer than the 56% that increased giving from 2006 to 2007. Moreover, an impressive 27% of companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008 by 10% or more.


Among the 53% of companies that gave more in 2008, non-cash giving increased by a median of 29%. Companies that gave less dropped most in corporate cash grants.


Poll results show that CEOs and giving officers are prioritizing the fulfillment of pre-existing commit­ments to grantees while working to integrate philanthropic strategy with company-wide business objectives more comprehensively. CECP presents their top four imperatives for redesigning community investment programs.


Despite sustaining greater profit declines than their non-Fortune 100 peers, 60% of Fortune 100 companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008. By contrast, 47% of non-f100 companies increased giving in the same time period.

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

March 21 - 27, 2010

Wealthy Americans Reduced Giving in 2009

The sixth annual Wealth and Values Survey of more than one thousand Americans with at least $500,000 in investable assets found that in 2009 Americans' sense of obligation to give did not drop significantly from previous years, despite a severe recession. Indeed, 55 percent of respondents said they felt an obligation to give back financially to their communities — roughly the same percentage as in 2008 (58 percent), 2007 (54 percent), and 2006 (54 percent). At the same time, 28 percent of respondents said they had cut back, or planned to cut back, their charitable giving in 2009 as a result of the economic downturn, compared to 13 percent who said they had increased, or planned to increase, their giving. The survey also found that some 24 percent of "ultra wealthy" respondents — individuals with $5 million or more in investable assets — said they were concerned about their ability to give to charity, compared to 16 percent of respondents with $500,000 to $1 million in assets. "The economy has forced a fundamental shift in how the wealthy approach their philanthropic activities," said Bruce Bickel, senior vice president and head of private foundation management services at PNC Wealth Management. "In many cases they are refining their giving to reflect the potential for greater impact to specific issues that are most meaningful to them, sometimes restricted by geographical preferences. They are purposefully becoming more mission-driven and governed less by emotion." For more information, go to: pnc.mediaroom.com

March 14 - 20, 2010

Nonprofit Social Media Adoption and Success

In August 2009, an email was sent to 7,500 subscribers of The Chronicle of Philanthropy inviting them to take the online survey designed to discover how nonprofits are using social media in their fundraising and outreach activities. By September 14, 2009 a total of 1,295 people had responded. Key findings include:


88% of respondents indicated that their organization currently participates in some form of social media.


More than half of respondents said they’ve been using social media for less than a year.


20% of respondents said they spend more than 5 hours per week using social media.


The most popular type of social media among respondents is general social networking such as Facebook and MySpace. Next most popular are blogs /microblogs and professional social networking.


Facebook is by far the most popular social networking tool in use. Twitter and YouTube are also widely used.


Advertising /promotion and profile creation /maintenance are the most common types of social media activities in which respondents take part.


When respondents were asked what their goals are for social media participation, the most frequently mentioned responses were ‘sharing our story’, building a community, public relations, and donor engagement / retention.

For a copy of the report, go to: www.sagenonprofit.com

March 7 - 13, 2010

2009-2010 Fundraising Trends

Campbell & Company conducted a national survey of the preliminary 2009 fundraising results of nonprofit organizations, their comparisons with 2008 results and their plans for 2010. Key findings included:


Over half of all organizations (51.7 percent) reported an increase in 2009 totals over 2008 compared to only 38.8 percent that noted a decrease and 9 percent reporting the same.


Several respondents commented that foundation and corporate donations were lower and there were fewer individual donors, but with more gifts per donor and lower gift amounts. Others noted that specific donors “really stepped up and gave more knowing that some donors could not give as much in 2008 and into 2009” and that “the elephant hunt continues.” Some organizations also cited government contracts as a significant source of revenue increases.


During the fourth quarter, nearly two-thirds (64.4 percent) of all respondents showed an increase in funds raised year over year, while only 25 percent decreased and about 10 percent stayed the same.


Fourth quarter fundraising remains a key component in total annual fundraising results: over 40 percent of all respondents raised between 21 and 40 percent of 2009 totals during the fourth quarter, about 26 percent raised between 41 and 60 percent of their totals and 16 percent raised more than 60 percent of their total. Only 15 percent raised less than 20 percent of their total during the fourth quarter.

For more information, go to: www.campbellcompany.com


February 28 - March 6, 2010

Nonprofit Governance Trends

Each year since 2003, Grant Thornton’s National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations has examined the governance of not-for-profit organizations in order to learn how they are handling these increased demands. According to the 2009 survey, the vast majority of organizations have responded to these challenges by cutting costs, seeking new revenue streams, reducing endowment spending, enhancing their governance practices and reassessing their strategic plans. Key findings include:


Nearly nine in 10 (87%) respondents reduced expenses, while more than half (54%) reduced personnel.


Boards made a number of governance changes in 2009, adopting or updating their policies relating to investment (39% of boards), record retention (32%) and whistleblowing (26%).


A volatile market and staggering losses for a number of organizations led nearly six in 10 (58%) to rebalance their investment portfolios.


Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondent organizations now have formal policies in place to review executive compensation. 

To download a copy of the survey report, go to: www.grantthornton.com

February 21- 27, 2010

Gender Mix in the Nonprofit Sector

Conducted from January 2007 to June 2009, the Labor Force Study provides an evidence-based understanding of the nonprofit sector and its HR needs. According to the study, the nonprofit sector’s labor force is predominantly female: three-quarters (75%) of those working in the sector are women. In most areas of the sector, however, men occupy a disproportionate number of senior management positions, while women are overrepresented in administrative and support-staff positions. A notable exception to this trend is the Health and Social Services sector, where women are better represented in senior positions. The study also found that there are notable age discrepancies between men and women working in the nonprofit sector. Women who work for nonprofit organizations are on average nearly five years younger than men working in the sector (42.3 is the average age for women, 46.9 for men). Women outnumber men in all the 44-and-under age cohorts while men outnumber women in all the 45-and-over cohorts. For more information, go to: www.hrcouncil.ca

February 14 - 20, 2010

Nine of Ten Small Business Owners Say They Give to Local Non-Profits

Small business owners are active in their communities and generous with charitable contributions, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. Almost nine of every ten small business owners responding to the recent national survey say they give money to non-profits in their communities and almost six of every ten say they contribute their time.

The survey also found that four of every ten small business owners say they’re more likely to become even more involved in their communities in the coming year. More than half say a crisis or natural disaster would increase their level of community involvement. Eight of every ten small business owners surveyed say they believe their community efforts, whether money or time, benefit the communities they serve more than their own business. More than half say they participate in community outreach because they personally enjoy the activity and another 43 percent because “it’s the right thing to do.” Only six percent do so because of potential business benefits. Go to: www.wellsfargo.com

February 7 - 13, 2010

Teen Use of Social Media

Everybody goes online, everybody has a cell phone, and kids hate blogging and Twitter, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. The findings show that the Internet isn't just prevalent in our lives, it is our lives. Ninety-three percent of teens ages 12 to 17 go online, 75% of them own a cell phone, and 66% say they text. In fact, 58% of 12-year-olds now have mobiles, compared to 18% just five years ago. Sixty-two percent use the Internet to access information on news and politics, and some teens are even using the Internet as a guardian: 17% say they go online to research information about drug use, sexual health, and other topics that are awkward to talk about with real people. For more findings from the study, go to: www.fastcompany.com

January 31 - February 6, 2010

Donors Give More When Asked Personally

Donors to charitable organizations give more when they are asked in person and when someone they know makes the request, a new study commissioned by Chicago-based consulting firm Campbell & Company and conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University finds. The study, Significant Gifts: Where Donors Direct Their Largest Gifts and Why, which is based on a national sample of more than 8,300 donors, confirms what nonprofit organization fundraisers have often observed: people give to people, and especially to people they know.  The study examined characteristics of and factors influencing a donor household’s single largest gift. Donors who were asked to give in person by someone they knew donated 19 percent more ($987) to secular (non-religious) charities, when compared with telephone, mail or email requests from someone they knew ($799). For religious organizations, when the donor was asked in person by someone he or she knew, the average donation was 42 percent higher ($2,904) than when someone the donor knew made the request using a different tactic ($1,698). To download a copy of the report, go to: www.campbellcompany.com

January 24 - 30, 2010

The Suburbanization of Poverty: Trends in Metropolitan America, 2000 to 2008

A new study by the Brookings Institute has analyzed of the location of poverty in America, particularly in the nation’s 95 largest metro areas in 2000, 2007, and 2008.  Key findings include:


By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Between 2000 and 2008, suburbs in the country’s largest metro areas saw their poor population grow by 25 percent—almost five times faster than primary cities and well ahead of the growth seen in smaller metro areas and non-metropolitan communities. As a result, by 2008 large suburbs were home to 1.5 million more poor than their primary cities and housed almost one-third of the nation’s poor overall.


Midwestern cities and suburbs experienced by far the largest poverty rate increases over the decade. Led by increasing poverty in auto manufacturing metro areas—like Grand Rapids and Youngstown—Midwestern city and suburban poverty rates climbed 3.0 and 2.2 percentage points, respectively.


In 2008, 91.6 million people—more than 30 percent of the nation’s population—fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Between 2000 and 2008, large suburbs saw the fastest growing low-income populations across community types and the greatest uptick in the share of the population living under 200 percent of poverty.


Western cities and Florida suburbs were among the first to see the effects of the “Great Recession” translate into significant increases in poverty between 2007 and 2008. Based on increases in unemployment over the past year, Sun Belt metro areas are also likely to experience the largest increases in poverty in 2009.

To download the report, go to: www.brookings.edu

January 17 - 23, 2010

GuideStar's Eighth Annual Nonprofit Economic Survey

A survey of public charity and private foundation employees was conducted online from October 1, 2009, until October 15, 2009, the eighth annual nonprofit economic survey conducted by GuideStar, and the third of three such surveys conducted by GuideStar in 2009. The purposes of the survey were to compare how charitable organizations fared during the first nine months of 2009 to previous years and to try to gauge the effect of the downturn in the economy on the American nonprofit sector. Key findings include:


51 percent of respondents who accept contributions saw a decline in contributions over the first nine months of 2009 versus the same period in 2008. The major factors cited for a decline in contributions were fewer individuals giving (69 percent) and smaller gifts (69 percent).


62 percent of respondents had experienced an increase in demand for their organization's services in 2009.


36 percent of grantmakers decreased total monetary payouts; 27 percent gave more.


Despite the tough year, most organizations were hopeful about 2010. Some 36 percent planned budget increases, and 29 percent expected to be able to maintain their current level of expenditures.


For those organizations that expected to reduce their 2010 budgets, reduction in program services (59 percent) and salary freezes (54 percent) were the most frequently used techniques for making ends meet.

For more information, go to: www2.guidestar.org

January 10 - 16, 2010

5 Trends that Will Affect Online Fundraising in 2010

Network for Good has identified five trends that will have impact on nonprofit online fundraising in 2010:

  1. Nonprofits may see a greater number of donations with a smaller average gift size.

  2. As much as the media talks of a possible economic rebound, prospective supporters will still be wary of donating to new causes.

  3. Email outreach will continue its upward trend, meaning more email in subscribers' inboxes.

  4. Recurring gifts will be a huge portion of online giving.

  5. As in the past, year-end gifts will account for a substantial percentage of total annual contributions.

For more information including implications for nonprofits, go to: www.fundraising123.org

January 3 - 9, 2010

Growing Impact of Giving Circles

According to a May 2009 study, “The Impact of Giving Together: Giving Circles’ Influence on Members’ Philanthropic and Civic Behaviors, Knowledge and Attitudes,” conducted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, giving circles contribute more and act more strategically. The principle investigators were Dr. Angela M. Eikenberry, an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Jessica Bearman, an independent consultant focusing on philanthropic and nonprofit organizations; with research assistance from Hao Han and Melissa Brown, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Courtney Jensen, University of Nebraska at Omaha. Key findings include:


Giving circles influence members to give more.


Giving circles influence members to give more strategically.


Giving circles members give to a wide array of organizations.


Giving circle members are highly engaged in the community.


Giving circles increase members’ knowledge about philanthropy, nonprofits, and the community.


Giving circles have a mixed influence on members’ attitudes about philanthropy, nonprofit and government roles, and political/social abilities and values.

To download a copy of the study report, go to: www.givingforum.org

December 20, 2009 - January 2, 2010

Five Trends That Will Reshape the Social Sector

The James Irvine Foundation commissioned La Piana Consulting to develop a monograph entitled Convergence: How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector. The publication seeks to illuminate several key trends — and their interrelationship — which will be especially relevant to nonprofits as they look to the future. The Foundation’s intention in funding the development and publication of this thought piece is to spark discussion across the nonprofit sector and to have these ideas inform ongoing planning and strategy development, given a new economic reality. In identifying the key trends discussed in this document, La Piana Consulting drew upon months of conversations with clients and partners in the field, extensive literature reviews and in-depth interviews with thought leaders. In addition to describing key trends, the monograph identifies core competencies for those nonprofits that will be best equipped for the future. The five trends are:


Demographic shifts redefine participation


Technological advances abound


Networks enable work to be organized in new ways


Interest in civic engagement and volunteerism is rising


Sector boundaries are blurring

To download a copy of the publication, go to: www.lapiana.org

To view 2009 Trends of the Week, click here.

To view 2008 Trends of the Week, click here.

To view 2007 Trends of the Week, click here.

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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