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2011 Trends of the Week


December 25 - 31, 2011

Growth of Suburban Poverty

The Brookings Institution released a report on the growth of poverty in the suburbs of four major metropolitan areas in the US and how foundations have reacted to these changing demographics. Using data from local funders in the Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Detroit regions, as well as interviews with practitioners, the report found several key takeaways from philanthropy’s involvement in suburban poverty. Most of the community foundations in the suburban areas are smaller and newer, and do not give out enough grants compared to their urban counterparts proportional to the poverty levels in the areas they served. Additionally, the report highlighted the need for capacity building in suburban social service nonprofits, but noted that most suburban funders are not providing this necessary support. To download the report, go to: www.brookings.edu

December 18 - 24, 2011

Foundation Giving Trends 2011 and Beyond

According to the Foundation Center's Foundation Yearbook, 2011 edition, giving by this country’s more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations stabilized at $45.7 billion in 2010, nearly unchanged from 2009. This followed a record 2.1 percent decline in giving between 2008 and 2009. Numerous factors contributed to the relative stabilization of giving following the unprecedented 17 percent drop in foundation assets in 2008, including the beginning of a stock market resurgence in the latter half of 2009, the commitment of many foundations to maintaining their grants budgets or reducing the extent of reductions relative to their assets losses, and new resources provided by recently established or newly large foundations. The Foundation Center estimates that foundation giving returned to modest growth in 2011. As the economic recovery remains shaky, the outlook for 2012 and beyond remains uncertain. Nonetheless, while it may take some time to return to the levels of giving recorded prior to the Great Recession it seems unlikely that foundations will institute further pronounced reductions in their giving. To download a summary of the Foundation Yearbook, 2011 Edition, go to: foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge. To order a copy of the yearbook, go to: foundationcenter.org/marketplace

December 11 - 17, 2011

Bleak Fundraising Picture for 2012

A new study by the by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a joint project by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and five other organizations, paints a bleak fundraising picture for nonprofits in 2012. The survey included numerous questions about levels of demand, plans for 2012 and signals of fiscal stress. Data from this study alert managers and donors alike to consider the priorities facing the nonprofit sector in 2012. Responding charitable organizations of all sizes are starting next year with:


Increases in demand, as reported by 65 percent of respondents, which was consistent across all subsectors—but statistically significantly higher (at 69 percent) for respondents that received government funding in 2010;


Modest plans to increase operating budgets, at 4 in 10 responding charities;


Declining philanthropic support this year at 28 percent of respondents and flat philanthropic support at 31 percent of respondents;


Lower levels of funding from sources other than philanthropic giving, reported by 46 percent of survey respondents;


Lower government funding among the 55 percent that had government funding, where 54 percent reported declines in government funding in 2011.


Among signs of fiscal stress, about half of responding organizations have cash reserves for less than three months’ of operating expenses or say they are over-reliant on a limited number of funders (48 percent each).

This analysis suggests that in the United States, large numbers of nonprofit, charitable organizations— and particularly the smaller entities, as discussed below—are struggling to secure funding for the vital services they provide in their communities. To download the study, go to: www2.guidestar.org

December 4 - 10, 2011

Foundation Giving Trends

Among the major areas of activity, education, health, human services, and public affairs/society benefit captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2009, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2011 Edition). By number of grants, human services continued to rank first, with sampled funders allocating 27 percent for this area. Key findings include:

bullet Foundations awarded 186 grants of $10 million or more in 2009. Of the 10 largest, five were awarded by the Gates Foundation, mainly for health and education.
bullet International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — accounted for nearly 24 percent of total grant dollars awarded.
bullet Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars (29 percent) and grants (25 percent).
To download the report highlights, go to: foundationcenter.org

November 27 - December 3, 2011

Why Americans Use Social Media

Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.

Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively. To read or download the full report, go to: pewinternet.org

November 13 - 26, 2011

Computer and Internet Use at Home

Exploring the Digital Nation - Computer and Internet Use at Home updates and expands last year’s report, Exploring the Digital Nation: Home Broadband Internet Adoption in the United States, based on data from the Census Bureau’s most recent Current Population Survey (CPS) School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement. Key findings include:


As of October 2010, more than 68 percent of households used broadband Internet access service, up from 64 percent one year earlier


Cable modem (32 percent) and DSL (23 percent) ranked as the most commonly used broadband technologies. Other technologies, including mobile broadband, fiber optics, and satellite services, accounted for a small, but growing, segment of households with broadband Internet access service.


Over three-fourths (77 percent) of households had a computer – the principal means by which households access the Internet – compared with 62 percent in 2003. Low computer use correlates with low broadband adoption rates.


Broadband Internet adoption, as well as computer use, varied across demographic and geographic groups. Lower income families, people with less education, those with disabilities, Blacks, Hispanics, and rural residents generally lagged the national average in both broadband adoption and computer use. For example, home broadband adoption and computer use stood at only 16 percent and 27 percent, respectively, among rural households headed by a Black householder without a high school diploma. Also, households with school-age children exhibited higher broadband adoption and computer use rates than other households (Section 4.1, Figure 7).


The most important reasons households without broadband Internet or dial-up service gave for not subscribing were: (1) lack of need or interest (47 percent); (2) lack of affordability (24 percent); and (3) inadequate computer (15 percent)

For more information and to download the full report, go to: www.esa.doc.gov/Reports

November 6 - 12, 2011

Nonprofit Employers Don’t Meet Workers’ Needs for Job Satisfaction

As reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, two recent reports show a disconnect between what nonprofits provide to their workers and what employees say is essential to their job satisfaction. The survey reports gathered data from about 3,500 nonprofit workers in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas and were conducted by the staffing firm Professionals for NonProfits. Key findings include:


Seventy percent of workers in two surveys said their jobs were either disappointing or only somewhat fulfilling. That might be a reason 25 percent of workers said they were considering looking for a job outside the nonprofit world.


Four out of 10 workers in both cities said that the factors they ranked as most essential are not on display at their nonprofits:—“respect, trust, and support by management” as well as a sense that their organization has “a compelling mission.”


About half of all workers said they felt recognition and reward for their hard work and outstanding performance were essential. And yet 60 percent of workers in Washington and 65 percent in New York said hard work was not valued at their organization.

The pay cuts that many nonprofit workers have taken during the economic downturn may be exacting a cost in employee satisfaction: About half of workers in both surveys said a salary reduction would be a reason to leave and a more important motivation for departure than a change in work expectations or job description.

For more information about the reports, go to: Chronicle of Philanthropy

October 30 - November 5, 2011

Latest Trends in Corporate Giving

Based on data from 184 companies, including 63 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, the 2011 Edition of Giving in Numbers is the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy's seventh annual report on trends in corporate philanthropy. The sum of contributions across all respondents of the 2010 Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) totaled over $15.5 billion in cash and product giving. In this report, CECP not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2010, but also seeks to answer the pivotal question: How has corporate giving changed since the onset of the economic downturn? Key findings include:


94% of companies offered at least one matching gift program in 2010


89% of companies had a formal domestic employee volunteer program


81% of companies reported having a corporate foundation


Health, education, and community and economic development were top priorities for the typical company

For more information about the key findings and to download a copy of the full report, go to: www.corporatephilanthropy.org

October 23 - 29, 2011

Lack of Diversity in Arts Giving

Most foundations make grants to big arts organizations that serve a well-to-do, predominantly white audience, according to a new study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The study says organizations with annual budgets exceeding $5-million, representing about 2 percent of cultural organizations, collected 55 percent of arts grants in 2009. The biggest recipients tend to be museums, operas, and symphonies, which have seen attendance decline while demand is rising for community-based cultural programs, according to the watchdog group, which has challenged foundations to step up support for all types of groups that serve the needy. Arts philanthropy has not kept pace with demographic changes and “is using its tax-exempt status primarily to benefit wealthier, more privileged institutions and populations,” said Holly Sidford, the study’s author. To download an executive summary of the report, go to: www.ncrp.org

October 16 - 22, 2011

Social Media Guidelines

Clear Verve Marketing LLC based in Wisconsin partnered with McGrath Marketing Associates to launch a study on the social media habits of nonprofit organizations in Southeast Wisconsin.
Key findings include:


Ninety percent of nonprofits use social media, but only 36 percent have a policy regarding its use.


Although nonprofits have generally embraced the use of social media, many have discovered challenges and in some cases, abandoned the use of social media altogether.


While lack of resources was often cited by the organizations that abandoned the use of social media, it is also important to note that this same issue was also cited as a major challenge for the organizations that are still using social media.

To access the survey, go to: e2ma.net/go

October 9 - 15, 2011

The State of Nonprofit Transparency: Voluntary Disclosure Practices

Guidestar has published a report summarizing the current state of voluntary disclosure policies in the nonprofit sector. Key findings include:


A high percentage (93 percent) of nonprofits are embracing the Internet to disclose information about their programs and services. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the organizations provided the names of the people who serve on their governing boards and the key staff who manage their organizations and oversee the delivery of programs and services.


Only 43 percent of the nonprofits surveyed posted their annual reports on their Web sites. Organizations with higher income levels were more likely to make their annual reports available via the Web.


Only 13 percent posted their audited financial statements on their Web sites. The results of our survey show a reluctance to disclose audited financial statements publically. Although not all nonprofits obtain audits of their financial statements, our survey sample reflects organizations of the size for which an audit is both prudent and a necessary tool for assessing management’s financial capabilities and the organization’s financial health.


Only 3 percent posted their respective IRS letters of determination on their Web sites. The results of our survey show great reluctance to disclose this basic document authenticating an organization’s tax-exempt status, even though every tax-exempt organization is required to make available for public inspection its application for exemption, any supporting documentation, and any letter or document issued by the IRS concerning the application.

Guidestar recommend five simple steps that will greatly advance nonprofit transparency. For the recommendations and to download a free copy of the report, go to: publications.guidestar.org (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

October 2 - 8, 2011

Childhood Poverty Among Hispanics Sets Record, Leads Nation

The spread of poverty across the United States that began at the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and accelerated last year hit one fast-growing demographic group especially hard: Latino children. More Latino children are living in poverty -- 6.1 million in 2010 -- than children of any other racial or ethnic group. This marks the first time in U.S. history that the single largest group of poor children is not white. In 2010, 37.3% of poor children were Latino, 30.5% were white and 26.6% were black, according to an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates and declining economic fortunes. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics today make up a record 16.3% of the total U.S. population. But they comprise an even larger share (23.1%) of the nation's children, a disparity driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants. Read the full report for discussion of the factors explaining this trend and how the recession reversed a pattern where more white children lived in poverty than Hispanic children prior to 2007. The report also explores the varied impact of the recession on different subgroups of Latino children. Go to: pewhispanic.org

September 25 - October 1, 2011

High Levels of Civic Engagement Builds Economic Resilience of Communities

A report released today by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) finds that states with higher levels of civic engagement are more resilient in an economic downturn. The report identifies five measures of civic engagement – attending meetings, helping neighbors, registering to vote, volunteering and voting – which appear to protect against unemployment and contribute to overall economic resilience. Of these five civic health indicators, working with neighbors was the most important factor in predicting economic resilience, as an increase of one percent in neighbors working together to solve community problems was associated with a decrease of .256 percent in the unemployment rate. Public meeting attendance emerged as the second most important factor, followed by volunteering and registering to vote as top important predictors of unemployment change. The NCoC report found that of the states with the highest rates of volunteering and working with neighbors, Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and South Dakota had the smallest increase in unemployment between 2006 and 2010. Of the states with the lowest rates of volunteering and working with neighbors, Alabama, California, Florida, Nevada and Rhode Island had the highest increase in unemployment. The report calls on community and business leaders to use these findings to inform a public discussion of how civic health can help improve the economy. For more information, go to: www.ncoc.net

September 18 - 24, 2011

Dramatic Affect of Recession on Nonprofit Executive Compensation

GuideStar -- a leading source of nonprofit information -- today published its 2011 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report, the only large-scale analysis of its kind that relies exclusively on data reported to the IRS. The report, which was GuideStar's first look at how the "Great Recession" affected salaries and benefits across the nonprofit sector, showed that the economy undoubtedly played a role in lessening compensation. In 2008, median increases in incumbent CEO compensation were generally 4 percent or higher. In 2009, increases were generally 2 percent or less. Highlights of the 2011 report include:

bullet Median compensation of females continued to lag behind that of males when considering comparable positions at similar organizations. The gap ranged from 13.4 percent for CEOs at organizations with budgets of $250-$500 thousand to 24.6 percent at organizations with budgets of more than $50 million. Since 1999, though, these gaps have narrowed for most sizes of organizations. The notable exception is organizations in the $1-$5 million range, where the gap has actually increased.
bullet Since 1999, the percentage of female CEOs has increased for organizations of all sizes. The majority of organizations with budgets of $1 million or less have women as CEOs, although female representation in that role declines as budget size increases. Only 16 percent of organizations with budgets of more than $50 million have female CEOs.
bullet As usual, health and science organizations had the highest overall median salaries. Food, religion, and youth development organizations brought up the rear.
bullet For the sixth straight year, Washington, D.C., had the highest overall median salaries of the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), and Riverside-San Bernardino, California, had the lowest. Adjusted for cost of living, New York replaced San Francisco as the MSA where nonprofit executives had the lowest median buying power, whereas those in Boston had the highest.

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

September 11 - 17, 2011

Use of Mobile and Location-based Services Rising

According to a new Pew Internet Project report, more than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

bullet 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location.
bullet A much smaller number (5% of cell owners) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones, with 12% doing so.
bullet 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and represent Project’s most expansive study of location services to date. To read or download the full report, go to: pewinternet.org

August 28 - September 10, 2011

Latest Volunteer Trends

Volunteers provide a powerful economic and social benefit to communities across the nation, with 62.8 million adults serving almost 8.1 billion hours through organizations in 2010, according to research released today by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The agency’s annual Volunteering in America research finds that America’s volunteers provided services valued at nearly $173 billion to communities and the nation last year, using Independent Sector’s estimate of the dollar value of volunteer time.

Notably, Generation X volunteers (born 1965-1981) devoted more time to service in 2010 than they ever have before, giving more than 2.3 billion hours—an increase of almost 110 million hours over 2009. Generation X members more than doubled their volunteer rate between 1989 and the present day, from 12.3 percent in 1989 to 29.2 percent in 2010. This rise demonstrates a shift that researchers are seeing across the “volunteer lifecycle” — the arc of civic involvement that tends to increase as citizens feel a deeper connection to their communities through personal networks, their workplace, and their children’s schools. While the overall national volunteer rate dipped slightly from 26.8 percent in 2009 to 26.3 percent in 2010, the number of hours volunteers served remained approximately the same at 8.1 billion hours, indicating many volunteers committed more hours to service. The proportion of volunteers who serve 100 hours or more appears to have increased between 2009 and 2010 from 33.2 percent to 33.8 percent, and the median number of hours served per volunteer appears to have increased from 50 to 52 per year.  Go to Volunteer Trends

August 21 - 27, 2011

Child Poverty Rates Increase in the US

According to data released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its annual KIDS COUNT® Data Book, over the last decade there has been a significant decline in economic well-being for low income children and families. The official child poverty rate, which is a conservative measure of economic hardship, increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2009, essentially returning to the same level as the early 1990s. This increase means that 2.4 million more children are living below the federal poverty line. Data also reveals the impact of the job and foreclosure crisis on children. In 2010, 11 percent of children had at least one unemployed parent and 4 percent have been affected by foreclosure since 2007. For more information, go to: datacenter.kidscount.org

August 14 - 20, 2011

Under 40 Leaders' Perspectives on Cross-Sector Collaboration

A new report summarizes findings of a survey sponsored by Independent Sector and the American Express Foundation. The report highlights the potential power of an emerging group and an important approach for improving lives across the country and around the world. The group is NGen—people under 40 who are America's next generation of leaders. The approach is collaboration—the ability to work across sectors in order to combine the resources and skills of the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors. Both have already made substantial contributions to enriching lives and solving problems in communities everywhere. But this report—based on the survey that asked more than 2,000 NGeners for their perspectives on leadership development, cross-sector collaboration and how to solve society’s most pressing problems—suggests that with more opportunities for leadership training and further engagement across sectors, that impact can be much greater. The five key findings of the survey are:

bullet Ngeners mostly agree on the top issues facing communities, the nation, and the world
bullet Ngeners feel collaboration across sectors is very important but do not know the people, the leaders or the methods to facilitate collaboration
bullet The majority of Ngeners could not identify a single leader under the age of 40 who is effectively solving a societal problem
bullet Ngeners believe the nonprofit sector is best positioned to take the lead in engaging other sectors to solve problems
bullet Ngeners believe they need more, organized leadership development opportunities

For the full report, go to: buildingmovement.org

August 7 - 13, 2011

Online Giving Trends

On an ongoing basis, Blackbaud publishes the Index of Charitable Giving. According to the Q1 & Q2 2011 Online Giving Index overall giving increased for both Q1 2011 and Q2 2011, compared to the same periods in 2010. Charity website giving saw mixed results across the first half of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010. Charity websites with branded donation pages achieved five times more donation dollars, on average, than sites with generic donation pages. . To download the Q1 & Q2 2011 Online Giving Index, go to: www.blackbaud.com

July 31 - August 6, 2011

Federal Expenditures on Children

Kids' Share 2011: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2010, a fifth annual report, looks comprehensively at trends over the past 50 years in federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Key findings suggest that the size and composition of expenditures on children have changed considerably, but children have not been a budget priority. Federal expenditures on children in 2010, were 11 percent of the federal budget, slightly higher than in 2009. This increase is temporary, however, with the children's share of the budget expected to shrink to less than 8 percent by the end of the next decade. Absent reform of current law, federal spending on children is projected to fall over the next several years, whether measured in real dollars, as a share of the federal budget, or as a share of the economy. Between 2010 and 2015, for example, outlays on children are projected to fall from $374 billion to $339 billion, a decline of 9 percent. As the temporary boost in spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) comes to an end, federal spending on education and certain other programs for children will fall dramatically. To download the report, go to: www.urban.org

July 24 - 30, 2011

Use of Social Media by Foundation Communicators'

93 percent of foundation communicators use social networks in their jobs, according to a new survey of the people who handle communications for 155 private and community foundations. As reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, forty-four percent of communications staff members said they spend up to 10 percent of their time “posting content, interacting with audiences through interactive media, adapting content, producing media, and developing new-media campaigns.” About 45 percent of foundation communication officials said they devoted 11 to 50 percent of their time to social media, and 3 percent said they spent more than half of their time on social media. The survey was conducted by the Communications Network, a group that represents grant makers. Other key findings include:

bullet Web sites and electronic communications accounted for 24 percent of the communications budgets of those surveyed, more than any other category.
bullet About 29 percent of foundation communications staffs said Twitter was the most effective social-media tool, followed by Facebook (27 percent) and YouTube (10 percent).
bullet About 18 percent said no social-media tool had been useful.
bullet Foundation officials believed that the best way to reach current grantees is through group e-mails or newsletters (78 percent), followed by a Web site or blog (77 percent), direct e-mail or phone calls (59 percent), or social media (53 percent).
bullet More than three-quarters of staff members (76 percent) said their organization was using online video.

To access the full report as a .pdf file, go to: comnetwork.org  Note: this is a large file.

July 17 - 23, 2011

Perceptions of Diversity in the Nonprofit Workforce

The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Perceptions of Diversity in the Workplace is a new study produced by Commongood Careers and Level Playing Field Institute that focuses on ethnic and racial diversity in the nonprofit workplace. The study examines the repercussions of what happens when organizations do nothing to change this reality. Key findings include:

bullet While almost 9 out of 10 employees believe their organization values diversity, more than 7 out of 10 believe their employer does not do enough to create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
bullet Among employees who believe their employers value diversity, only one-fourth (25%) believe that their organization has actively demonstrated their commitment to creating a racially diverse environment. This disconnect was particularly evident among employees of color, who were more likely than were white employees to hold negative views of their organizations’ actions towards creating a racially diverse environment (25% compared to 16%).

Two common themes emerged from the responses of employees who believed their organizations were not doing enough to create racially diverse environments: (1) reliance on “empty talk” but not action, and (2) the lack of staff diversity itself. To download a copy of the report, go to: www.cgcareers.org. Also see commentary on the study by Rosetta Thurman at www.ssireview.org

July 10 - 16, 2011

Involvement in Causes Can Trigger Individual Behavior Changes

Americans who donate, volunteer or otherwise support a cause may be looking to impact the world around them, but new research shows that they may find that the experience of being involved in a cause actually impacts their own behavior as well. According to new findings from the Dynamics of Cause Engagement study, conducted jointly by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, more than half of Americans (52%) say they have changed their actions or behavior because of their involvement in a cause. The study examined trends in cause involvement among American adults age 18 and over, as well as the role of a variety of activities in fostering engagement with social issues. Nearly half of Americans (48%) report changing their voting behavior as a result of being involved in a cause, making it the most common type of behavior change. Changing recycling habits (40%), becoming more energy efficient (34%) and becoming more tolerant of differing opinions (25%) also neared the top of the list. Health-related behaviors, such as changing one’s physical activity (12%), visiting a medical professional (9%) or requesting a specific medical test or screen (8%), fall lower on the list. For more information, go to: csic.georgetown.edu

July 3 - 9, 2011

Donor Preference Trends

An in-depth study commissioned by Russ Reid Company shows only a minority of religious donors support specifically religious work through non-profit organizations. The study also shows Black donors are twice as likely as White donors to support higher education. And the causes people choose to support are often quite dependent on their political views. These findings are from Heart of the Donor conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting of Phoenix, Arizona. The study explores how Americans interact with nonprofit organizations. “Donors” refers to people who had made a financial contribution to a nonprofit organization other than a church or place of worship in the 12 months prior to the study. Key findings include:
bullet One of the myths that proved to be untrue is that religious people only support specifically religious causes. Among donors who attend religious worship services on a regular basis, just 41% supported a cause they described as “religious,” other than any contributions they made to a place of worship. In fact, donors who attend religious services are more likely to have given toward disaster relief (68%), domestic hunger or poverty relief (66%), helping people with disabilities (56%), health care or medical research (54%), and veterans’ causes (52%) than they are to have supported specifically religious work.
bullet The study also demonstrates that there are substantial differences in the kinds of charitable work different types of donors support. Political liberals are more likely than conservatives to put their donor dollars toward animal welfare, the environment, human rights, education, cultural, and public policy causes, while political conservatives are more likely to give toward veterans and religious causes.
bullet Younger donors favor human rights, child development, childhood education, and cultural causes more than do older donors, while older donors are more likely than younger ones to support domestic hunger and poverty, religious, disabilities, and particularly veterans’ causes.

Additional detail and data can be found at www.greymatterresearch.com

June 26 - July 2, 2011

Giving USA 2011 Highlights

After a steeper drop than was previously believed - 13.2 percent between 2007 and 2009 - charitable giving rose slightly in 2010 to $290.89 billion, according to Giving USA 2011, the annual report on philanthropy released today by the Giving USA Foundation. While this year's inflation-adjusted increase of 2.1 percent is a promising sign, it also signals the need for modest expectations: at this rate, it could take another five to six years for giving to return to pre-recession levels. Other highlights of the Giving USA 2011 study include:

bullet Even with this year's uptick, total philanthropy only returned to levels from the year 2000, accounting for inflation, as demonstrated on the graph below.
bullet Giving remained above 2 percent of GDP for the fourteenth consecutive year - a testament to philanthropy's place as a core American value.
bullet Religion continued to receive the largest share of contributions in 2010, followed by education.
bullet On the whole, most sectors experienced growth over 2009 levels of philanthropy. Most notably, international affairs received 13.5 percent more contributions (adjusted for inflation), driven primarily by Haiti relief efforts and grants from the Gates Foundation.
bullet After two years of decline, arts and culture showed a healthy uptick of over 4 percent.

To download an executive summary of Giving USA 2011 free of charge, go to: www.givingusareports.org

June 19 - 25, 2011

Obstacles to Nonprofit Innovation and Performance Measurement

In early 2010, the Johns Hopkins Listening Post Project conducted a survey focused on nonprofit innovation and performance measurement. This survey produced three important findings:

bullet The adoption of innovative practices is widespread among nonprofits. In fact, the vast majority (82 percent) of all Sounding respondents reported implementing at least one innovative program or service over the past five years.
bullet Although innovation is widespread within the nonprofit sector, it is not as widespread as it could be. Thus, more than two thirds of the organizations reported having at least one innovation in the past two years alone that they wanted to adopt but were unable to, and most attributed this inability to a lack of funding.
bullet Especially troubling was respondents’ inability to move promising innovations to scale. Reasons included a lack of “growth capital,” narrow governmental funding streams, and the tendency of foundations to encourage innovations but then not sustain support for them.

This survey demonstrated that a key challenge for nonprofits isn’t a dearth of innovative ideas, but rather a lack of much needed resources to develop and sustain them. To explore this problem in greater depth and gain a better understanding of how nonprofits can overcome this obstacle, in December 2010 the Listening Post Project held an online webinar which brought together nonprofit experts, representatives of nonprofit intermediary organizations, and practitioners from a diverse set of nonprofit organizations.

A new report summarizes the major findings that emerged from the session and proposes strategies that could help nonprofits to deploy innovative services and programs despite scarce resources. To read the report on this webinar or last year's survey findings that it discussed, please visit: www.ccss.jhu.edu

June 12 - 18, 2011

Nonprofits' Use of Facebook

In February 2011, Idealware surveyed 505 nonprofit organizations using Facebook as part of their communications mix in order to answer some of the questions from last year's social media survey and find out where the nonprofit world stands after the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide. This report sums up the results of the survey, with high-level takeaways of the data, as well as overviews of how much time organizations are spending on Facebook, how many have set goals and how they’re keeping track of their own results. This is all interspersed with case studies and quotes from the interviews to shed light on what success means on Facebook and to provide ideas on how to use the site. Key findings include:

bullet About 200 of the 505 organizations surveyed reported success converting Facebook fans into donors or volunteers
bullet More than 70 percent of respondents saw a significant increase in traffic to their websites because of their Facebook presence
bullet About 66 percent of respondents from advocacy organizations saw an increase in people taking some noticeable form of action, like signing a petition
bullet 80% of the respondents felt that Facebook helped them enhance their relationship to existing constituents

To access the report, go to: www.nonprofitfacebookguy.com

June 5 - 11, 2011

Social Media Reaching African Americans and Hispanics

Nearly one in three African American adults (30%) and four in ten Hispanics (39%) say they are more likely to support a cause or social issue online than offline today—both significantly higher percentages than Caucasians (24%), according to the new Dynamics of Cause Engagement study. Jointly conducted in late 2010 by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, the study examined trends in cause involvement and the roles of a variety of activities in fostering engagement with social issues among American adults age 18 and over. Other key findings include:

bullet African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely to believe that they can help get the word out about a social issue or cause through online social networks
bullet Both African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Caucasians to look to social media as an additional source of information
bullet African Americans and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Caucasians to be involved in several key issues, including diabetes, domestic violence, bullying, childhood obesity, Haiti relief and HIV/AID

For more information, go to: csic.georgetown.edu

May 29 - June 4, 2011

Women Strongest Believers in the Power of Supporting Causes

8 in 10 American women believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life; and feel everyone can make a difference through their support , while their male counterparts are more likely to view supporting causes as a fad, according to new data released today by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication. The findings are part of the larger Dynamics of Cause Engagement study, conducted among American adults age 18 and older in late 2010, which explored trends in cause involvement and the roles of a variety of activities in fostering engagement with social issues. Similarities and Differences in Cause Support In addition to believing that everyone can make a difference by supporting causes, American women are more likely than men to believe that supporting causes creates a sense of purpose and meaning in life, makes them feel good about themselves and makes them feel like part of a community. More than four in ten Americans (45%) are actively involved with supporting causes, and women make up a significantly larger part of this group than men. For more information, go to: csic.georgetown.edu

May 22 - 28, 2011

Social Justice Grantmaking Trends

According to Key Facts on Social Justice Grantmaking (2011 Edition), social justice giving accounted for more than 14 percent of grant dollars awarded by the largest U.S. foundations in 2009. The top 25 social justice funders gave 70 percent of the total in the latest Foundation Center's annual grants sample. Foundations’ social justice giving spans all areas of activity, from human rights to environmental justice to the arts. Consistent with past trends, the biggest share of social justice grant dollars awarded in 2009 (29 percent) went for economic and community development, followed by health care access and affordability (17 percent), and human rights and civil liberties (13 percent). To download the free report, go to: foundationcenter.org

May 15 - 21, 2011

Foundation Funding for Native American Issues and Peoples

Over the past decade, U.S. foundation support benefiting Native Americans declined from 0.5 percent to 0.3 percent of total foundation giving. According to Foundation Funding for Native American Issues and Peoples, total grant dollars targeting Native Americans dropped 30.8 percent in the latest year, compared to a 14.1 percent overall downturn in foundation giving. This report was prepared by the Foundation Center with Native Americans in Philanthropy. Other key findings of the report include:

bullet The top 10 funders for Native Americans in 2009 accounted for close to 60 percent of grant dollars.
bullet Education received the largest share of foundation giving for Native Americans in 2009.
bullet Most foundation funding for Native Americans in 2009 supported organizations not affiliated with tribal governments.
bullet Recipients located in three of the country's seven major regions (Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest) captured more than two-thirds of grant dollars benefiting Native Americans in 2009.
bullet Eight of the top 25 recipients are Native-led or for the exclusive benefit of Native Americans.

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

May 8 - 14, 2011

Corporate Foundation Giving Trends

Corporate foundation giving remained mostly unchanged in 2010 at an estimated $4.7 billion, according to The Foundation Center's Key Facts on Corporate Foundations (2011 Edition). Grant dollars rose 0.2 percent from 2009, although, adjusted for inflation, corporate foundation giving in fact decreased 1.6 percent in 2010. Despite the severity of the economic downturn, and especially its impact on the banking and financial services sector, corporate foundation giving remains at its highest level on record. Similar to other types of foundations, a number of corporate foundations made exceptional efforts to minimize cuts in giving during the economic crisis. A number of corporate foundations build up their endowments during more prosperous years so that they can draw on those resources to stabilize giving during downturns. Productivity gains have also helped the corporate sector to return to profitability more quickly than could have been anticipated at the outset of the financial crisis. Looking ahead, just over half (52 percent) of corporate foundations responding to the Foundation Center’s annual forecasting survey expect to increase their giving in 2011. To download a copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

May 1 - 7, 2011

Latest Nonprofit Employment Trends

According to the Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey, a national study of nonprofit employment practices, new jobs are coming online at nonprofits as hiring freezes are finally being lifted. The national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey™ was conducted through a partnership between Nonprofit HR Solutions and the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research. Key findings include:


Although the HR function is viewed as critical within many organizations, it still remains a low priority for most organizations. Eighty-four percent of nonprofit respondents agreed that the HR function is critical to their organization’s ability to fulfill its mission, yet few prioritize the HR function within their organizations. The majority of respondent organizations (52 percent) do not have a dedicated HR professional and 55 percent rely upon existing staff to handle new programs and or initiatives.


Nearly a quarter of nonprofits lost staff in 2010. However 60 percent of those organizations indicated that they intend to hire or are considering the creation of new positions in 2011. This finding was consistent irrespective of the size of the organization.


When nonprofits lay off staff, 81 percent report using existing staff to fulfill the duties of the eliminated position. This is a worrisome trend as it could lead to burnout and premature turnover.


Turnover remains low. Economic improvements are not being realized as quickly as anticipated. Findings from this year’s survey revealed that turnover remains low within nonprofit organizations. Turnover rates for respondent organizations were calculated at 13 percent compared to last year’s rate of 21 percent. This low turnover rate is an indication that the economy might not be improving as quickly for nonprofits as it is for other sectors.


It’s still “who you know” when it comes to nonprofit recruitment. Nonprofits primarily use in person networking and newspapers to recruit job candidates. This is surprising considering the rapid growth and affordability of social networking tools over the past few years. This practice also has the potential to negatively impact diversity efforts

To download a free copy of the report, registration is required. Go to: www.nonprofithr.com

April 24 - 30, 2011

Taxing Tax-Exempt Organizations

A recent survey by the Johns Hopkins Listening Post Project found that a surprising number of the responding organizations are currently paying fees, taxes, or payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to local governments. On top of this, respondents reported that local governments have been placing increased financial pressure on nonprofits during the current financial crisis.

Survey results varied considerably, however, by field, size of organization, and geographic region. Key findings include:

bullet Nearly a fifth of all respondents (17 percent) reported that their services or activities are subject to field-specific taxes, such as taxes on admission charges or bed taxes. These field-specific taxes were much more commonly paid by elderly housing and service organizations (37 percent), by the largest organizations (28 percent), and by nonprofits located in the Northeast. By contrast, only 7 percent of respondents in small organizations and 11 percent of respondents in mid-sized organizations reported paying such taxes.
bullet 9 percent of respondents reported paying PILOTs to local or state governments, but this share reached 26 percent among elderly service and housing groups, 19 percent among the largest organizations, and 20 percent among those located in the Northeast.
bullet Taken altogether, 63 percent of responding organizations reported paying some kind of tax, fee, or payment in lieu of taxes. This reached 73 percent among large organizations and stood at 48 percent even among respondents from small organizations.
bullet Most seriously, fourteen percent of all respondents indicated that they are aware of proposals in their state or locality to impose new taxes or fees on nonprofit organizations and 43 percent indicated concern that their state or local government will adopt new fees or taxes targeting nonprofits during the next year.

To access the full report, go to: www.ccss.jhu.edu

April 17 - 23, 2011

Nonprofits Struggle to Meet Growing Demand for Services

America's nonprofits are expecting 2011 to be another tough year for their organizations, and for the people they serve, according to a survey released by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The survey of more than 1,900 nonprofit leaders in markets nationwide found that while there are some signs of hope, many nonprofits are straining under year-after-year increases in the demand for services. According to the survey, 2011 will be another tough year for nonprofits and the people they serve:

bullet 85% of organizations expect an increase in service demand in 2011; just 46% expect to be able to fully meet this demand.
bullet This comes on top of years of increases: in 2010, 77% of nonprofits saw an increase in demand; in 2009, 71% experienced an increase in demand, and 73% of organizations experienced increased demand in 2008.
bullet 60% of organizations have three months or less of cash on hand; 10% have none.
bullet Only 9% expect 2011 to be financially easier for the people they serve.

The survey also notes that there are signs of hope:

bullet 44% of nonprofits reported ending 2010 with a surplus, a move in the right direction from the 35% who had a surplus in 2009.
bullet 25% of organizations added to reserve funds in 2010.
bullet 35% of organizations raised more revenue in 2010 than anticipated.

For a summary or full results, go to: nonprofitfinancefund.org

April 10 - 16, 2011

Foundation Giving Expected to Rise in 2011

In the context of an uneven economic recovery, U.S. foundation giving was nearly unchanged in 2010 according to Foundation Center’s annual “Foundation Giving Forecast Survey”. The country’s more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations had estimated giving totaling $45.7 billion last year, almost matching giving in 2009. The relative stabilization of foundation giving in 2010 reflected numerous factors. Among these were the beginning of a modest recovery in foundation assets in 2009; new gifts and bequests from donors into recently established and existing foundations; and the continuing commitment of some funders to maintaining their giving levels or minimizing reductions in their support, despite substantial losses in the value of their endowments. These positive trends helped to balance out lower levels of funding by the many foundations that felt the need to reduce giving in 2010. Findings from the Foundation Center’s survey “Foundation Giving Forecast Survey” suggest that 2011 giving will grow between 2 and 4 percent. Looking ahead to 2012, grantmakers appear to be fairly optimistic about their prospects. To download a copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

April 3 - 9, 2011

Online Advocacy, Fundraising, and Social Media Effectiveness Trends

A comprehensive new analysis of nonprofit online fundraising and advocacy from M+R Strategic Services and NTEN found that online fundraising showed steady growth for participating groups in 2010 despite the current economic climate. Most groups saw a 10% increase in dollars raised online from 2009 to 2010, the same percentage increase those groups saw from 2008 to 2009, but slower than those nonprofits were seeing from 2006 to 2008, prior to the recession. Findings also showed tremendous potential for growth in social media: for every 1,000 email list subscribers, participating nonprofits had just 110 Facebook users and 19 Twitter followers. To access the full study, presentation slides and recording and more, go to: www.e-benchmarksstudy.com. A free registration is required.

March 27 - April 2, 2011

Trends in International Grantmaking Update by U.S. Foundations

Giving by U.S. foundations for international purposes held virtually steady last year, generating $6.7 billion, down just 4 percent. According to International Grantmaking Update: A Snapshot of U.S. Foundation Trends, a new report prepared by the Foundation Center in cooperation with the Council on Foundations, this decrease was less than half the 8.4 percent estimated decline in foundation giving overall last year. This latest update of the Foundation Center's benchmark series on international grantmaking examines changes in overall giving through 2009 based on a survey of leading funders. It also documents trends in giving through 2008 based on actual grants awarded by over 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations. To download a free copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

March 20 - 26, 2011

Causes Women Support

Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has examined charitable giving by women and released results of their research. The first report of Women Give 2010, released in October, reported differences in giving to charity between male and female single-headed households across income levels. Findings in that report revealed that (1) in every income group from the lowest quintile ($23,509 or less) to the highest quintile ( >$103,000), female-headed households were more likely to give to charity than male-headed households; (2) in every income group except for one, women gave more than men (almost twice as much); (3) when comparing females to males by single-status, women were more likely to give and give more than men—except for widowers who gave more than widows.

The second report, Causes Women Support, is a follow-up to the October 2010 report. Using the same data set, methodology, and analysis, we examine the differences between men and women's giving by charitable area. The research question we ask is, "Are there differences between male and female single-headed households across all subsectors of charitable giving? As in the first report, we focus only on male and female households led by the following singles: (1) never marrieds, (2) divorced/separated, and (3) widows/widowers. By focusing only on male and female single-headed households, the conclusions that we draw will be more definitive as to the differences between men's and women's giving. To download the findings, go to: www.philanthropy.iupui.edu

March 13 - 19, 2011

Americans Living With Disability and Their Technology Profile

According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, one in four American adults live with a disability that interferes with activities of daily living. Fifty-four percent of adults living with a disability use the internet, compared with 81% of adults who report none of the disabilities listed in the survey. Two percent of American adults say they have a disability or illness that makes it harder or impossible for them to use the internet. This report is based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between August 9 and September 13, 2010, among a sample of 3,001 adults, age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. For more information and to download a copy of the report, go to: www.pewinternet.org

March 6 - 12, 2011

States Slash Arts Support

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has released a new study that shows exactly how much cash-starved states have been squeezing their arts budgets during the economic downturn. Legislatures across the country cut appropriations to state arts agencies by 7.2 percent in the 2011 fiscal year, to $272-million. And that was the third straight year of cuts, it found, meaning legislatures have slashed spending on arts agencies by 19 percent since the recession started. According to the study, arts spending has never recovered from the 2001-2 recession. State arts agencies—which exist in all of the states and provide grants and other help to nonprofit arts organizations–get more than three-fourths of their revenue from legislative appropriations. Taking into account inflation, the report said that spending has plummeted 45 percent since 2002. For more information, go to: www.nasaa-arts.org

February 27 - March 5, 2011

Girls More Likely to Support Charities Using Social Media

According to a new study, four out of five teens (80 percent) use social media, almost half (44 percent) say they’ve become more aware of the needs of others as a result of their use of social media like Facebook and Twitter and about one in three (34 percent) “friend”, “like” or “follow” charitable organizations or causes they believe in. The survey commissioned by World Vision, an international relief and development group also reveals that girls are more likely than boys to say they’ve become more aware of the needs of others as a result of their use of social media (51 percent vs. 38 percent) The study was conducted online in January by Harris Interactive among more than 500 youth ages 13 to 17 years old. Girls are more likely than boys to “friend”, “like” or “follow” charities they support and causes they believe in (41 percent vs. 27 percent). girls more likely to support charities symbolically (43 percent vs. 31 percent) and vocally (38 percent vs. 27 percent). For more information, go to: www.worldvision.org

February 20 - 26, 2011

Online Giving Grows 35 Percent in 2010

Blackbaud, Inc. has announced the release of its 2010 Online Giving Report, which provides the most comprehensive review of online giving trends currently available in the nonprofit sector. Key findings include:


Nonprofits of all sizes continue to see growth in online giving. Year-over-year online fundraising grew 34.5% in 2010.


Online giving accounts for 7.6% of all total fundraising. Large organizations went from raising the lowest percentage of total fundraising online at 5.1% in 2009 to the highest percentage at 7.7% in 2010.


Haiti-related online giving shaped 2010 giving trends. January 2010 had the largest percentage of online giving for the entire year. This change can almost single handedly be attributed to giving to Haiti relief efforts. International Affairs organizations had their online giving grow 130.8% compared to 2009.


Year-end giving still accounts for the largest percentage of online donations. October, November, and December of 2010 represented 31.3% of total online giving during the year.


Donors continue to make significant gifts online. In 2010, 88% of organizations had at least one online gift of $1,000 or more.

The Report is also the first of its kind to provide directions on how organizations can benchmark themselves against the Report data and guidance on how to improve performance based on benchmark results. To download the 2010 Online Giving Report, go to: www.blackbaud.com

February 13 - 19, 2011

Arts Funding in the Current Economy

Foundation funding for arts and culture grew at a rate roughly consistent with overall foundation giving in 2008, according to a special report prepared by the Foundation Center for Grantmakers in the Arts. Foundation Grants to Arts and Culture: A One-year Snapshot estimates that arts funding did not suffer disproportionately large losses in 2009. The report also identifies top funders and includes analyses by subject, types of support, and grant size. To download a copy of the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

February 6 - 12, 2011

Trends Impacting Nonprofits in 2011

onPhilanthropy.com, a global resource for non-profit, philanthropy and corporate social engagement professionals, has compiled a summary of trend analyses written by Patrick M. Rooney, Executive Director The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Philip Coltoff, former Executive Director and CEO of The Children’s Aid Society, Matthew Bishop, author Philanthrocapitalism, and Susan U. Raymond, Ph.D. Executive Vice President, Changing Our World, Inc. and Chief Analyst, onPhilanthropy. To access the trend summary, go to: onphilanthropy.com

January 30 - February 5, 2011

Major Demographic Shifts

According to a new report by researchers at the University of North Carolina,  "Six Disruptive Demographic Trends: What Census 2010 Will Reveal," identifies major shifts in U.S. demographics and their implications for business, consumer markets and the nation's competitiveness in the global marketplace. The six trends are:


South-shifting population. More than half of the nation's population growth during the past decade (51.4 percent) occurred in Southern states, driven in part by an in-migration of an estimated 2.3 million newcomers from nearly all demographic groups.


"Browning" of America. Nonwhites accounted for an estimated 85 percent of U.S. net population growth during the past decade.


Intermarriage increase. Marriage across racial and ethnic lines has doubled since 1980, further contributing to the browning trend, with 41 percent of all intermarriages in 2008 between Hispanics and whites.


"Graying" of America. The first baby boomer born in America turned 65 on Jan. 1, sparking a "silver tsunami" of 79 million baby boomers who will exit the U.S. workforce over the next 20 years. About 8,000 Americans will turn 65 every day over the next five years, and they will live longer than previous generations because of advances in health care and lifestyles that are more active.


Gender shift. Women now hold nearly half of all paid U.S. jobs (49.8 percent), own 40 percent of all businesses and hold 43 percent of executive, administrative and managerial positions in the U.S. economy


More grandparent-headed households.

Researchers identified these trends by analyzing demographic and economic statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and a number of other sources. The complete report is available at www.kenaninstitute.unc.edu

January 23 - 29, 2011

Internet Deeply Embedded in Organizational Life in America

The internet is now deeply embedded in group and organizational life in America. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 75% of all American adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization and internet users are more likely than others to be active: 80% of internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-internet users. And social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants. In this survey, Pew Internet asked about 27 different kinds of groups and found great diversity in group membership and participation using traditional and new technologies. Asked to assess the overall impact of the internet on group activities:


68% of all Americans (internet users and non-users alike) said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to communicate with members. Some 75% of internet users said that.


62% of all Americans said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to draw attention to an issue. Some 68% of internet users said that.


60% of all Americans said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to connect with other groups. Some 67% of internet users said that

To access the full report, go to: pewinternet.org

January 16 - 22, 2011

For Minorities, New 'Digital Divide' Seen

A new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals a new 'digital divide' for minorities. Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things. But now some see a new "digital divide" emerging — with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It's tough to fill out a job application on a cellphone, for example. Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment.  Fifty-one percent of Hispanics and 46% of blacks use their phones to access the Internet, compared with 33% of whites, according to a July 2010 Pew poll. Forty-seven percent of Latinos and 41% of blacks use their phones for e-mail, compared with 30% of whites. The figures for using social media like Facebook via phone were 36% for Latinos, 33% for blacks and 19% for whites. For more information, go to: www.pewinternet.org.

January 9 - 15, 2011

Reduced Giving Projected for 2011

Nearly two thirds of U.S. adults (65%) have supported a non-profit organization in the last 12 months with money, time or goods, according to a recent survey conducted by Vision Critical. This number tracks below the 70% to 75% that was typical of non-profit giving earlier in the decade and is indicative of the anemic economic recovery, high unemployment, and economic turmoil still facing much of America. When asked directly about their financial gifts, nearly one half of Americans (46%) say they are giving less money compared to last year while the same proportion (46%) say their giving is unchanged. Only eight per cent of Americans said they would be giving more in 2010. Among those providing a financial donation, giving most commonly occurs through direct collection at a church, temple or place of worship (36%), followed by direct mail (23%). However, online giving through a charity’s website is now the third most popular way to give (15%) and giving through social networking/media (5%), banner ads (4%) and text messaging (4%) are now statistically meaningful and will likely grow as Americans look for more and easier ways to give. According to the Vision Crtical survey, the giving picture for 2011 doesn’t look much better. The plurality of survey respondents say they will be able to give about the same (40%) as they did in 2010. While one fifth (21%) say they will be able to give more in the coming year, 15 per cent say they will give less, and yet another fifth of respondents (21%) say they will not be able to give at all in 2011. For more information, go to: www.angus-reid.com

January 2 - 8, 2011

Nonprofit Technology Use

According to the latest Communiqué from the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies "The Nonprofit Technology Gap – Myth or Reality?" despite the common impression that nonprofits lack adequate, up-to-date information technologies, this latest issue of the  revealed that nonprofits have integrated current information technologies into a wide range of their organizational activities. Key findings include: An overwhelming majority of all respondents (88 percent) reported that technology is integrated into “many” or “all” aspects of their organization. The vast majority of all respondents indicated that information technologies are “moderately important” or “critical” to almost all of their organizational activities, including accounting/finance (98 percent), external communications (98 percent), tracking users (94 percent), internal communications (94 percent), administration (93 percent), marketing and publicity (93 percent), fundraising and donor management (91 percent), and program and service delivery (91 percent). The vast majority of all organizations (98 percent) reported using information technologies for program/ service delivery; Roughly two-thirds of all respondents (65 percent) described this use as moderate or significant. To download a copy of the latest Communiqué, go to: www.ccss.jhu.edu

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

To view 2010 Trends of the Week, click here.

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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