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2014 Trends of the Week


December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015

Arts Groups in Flux but Trying Out New Ideas

The Nonprofit Finance Fund received more than 5,000 responses to its annual State of the Sector survey in early 2014, including 919 arts and cultural organizations covering a broad cross section of artistic disciplines and budget sizes. Key findings include:


Program demand among arts & culture respondents continues to grow, but at a slower pace than across the nonprofit sector.


A majority of cultural organizations are keeping up with rising demand for their programs. Organizations report increasing demand for programming that is interactive, affordable, and appealing to all ages.


Arts & culture organizations are pursuing a range of strategies (e.g., program adaptation, data collection, targeted marketing) to build and engage their audience/visitor base. 65% of arts respondents report growth in their audience/visitor base as a result of engagement strategies. However, far fewer report positive financial return on their investments.


Organizations do not feel overly threatened by competition from other arts and non-arts experiences. Of those who did experience competition, <15% reported financial ramifications.


Arts & culture organizations cite some of the positive effects of competition: stronger programs, a more engaged audience, and opportunity for collaboration.


71% of arts & culture organizations reported break-even or better operating results in 2013. Trend data show declines in the percentage of arts organizations reporting deficits.


Nearly 50% of arts respondents cite “achieving long-term financial sustainability” as their greatest challenge.

Looking ahead, the survey identifies the following steps cultural nonprofits & their funders can take to propel change:


Develop strategies that integrate financial planning with operational and program planning,


Understand and seek funding for the full costs of projects/programs,


Budget and manage to operating surpluses,


Prioritize working capital and savings for periodic risk-taking and change, and


Clearly communicate your financial goals, priorities and timeline in the context of your art-making.

For more information, go to: nonprofitfinancefund.org

December 21 - 27, 2014

Lack of Investment In Social Sector Leaders

To better understand the state of leadership in this sector in the United States, McKinsey surveyed nearly 200 social-sector CEOs and other top managers leading nonprofit organizations, foundations, social enterprises, and impact-investing funds. These leaders were asked to identify the critical attributes for leadership success in their sector and then to rate the performance of leaders in the field against each attribute. Key findings include:


Across every category—including balancing innovation with implementation, building top executive teams, and collaborating to achieve outcomes—survey respondents found themselves, and their peers, to be deficient. The findings suggest that chronic underinvestment in leadership development within the US social sector, accompanied by 25 percent growth in the number of nonprofit organizations in the past decade, has opened a gap between demands on leaders and their ability to meet those needs.


At the same time, a number of sector leaders indicated they’re concerned that the sector’s priorities are at risk if the organizations lack leadership teams with the capabilities to fulfill emerging missions effectively and to adapt to fast-changing demands.

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

December 14 - 20, 2014

Growing Racial Disparity in Wealth

The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines. The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010. The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. For more information, go to: www.pewresearch.org

December 7 - 13, 2014

How Friends Affect Your Donations

A new American Red Cross survey found that even among social media users, it’s the messenger, not the medium, that’s key to motivating social media users to donate to charity, suggesting that personal appeals from friends matter more than trending topics and gimmicks. The Red Cross survey reinforced that personal relationships influence giving both offline and online. The majority (70 percent) of social media users would take some kind of action in response to a friend posting a story on social media about making a charitable donation. Moreover, while only three percent of respondents said social media was the most effective way for the charity itself to request a donation, the number jumped to 19 percent when asked if they would likely donate money to a charity if they saw a friend post about a recent donation. Even though they are giving in large numbers and are enthusiastic about their online interactions, social users still say face-to-face interaction is the best way to solicit donations. Other key findings include:

bullet Four in 10 (42 percent) social users said they are more likely to give this year over last year via an offline option such as putting money in a store countertop canister, giving to someone in a public place and mailing a check. This trumped options such as texting or using social media to donate.
bullet Nearly four in 10 people (37 percent) said they would likely make a charitable donation in response to an in-person request.
bullet More than seven in 10 (72 percent) said a charity’s popularity in the media or trending status on Twitter made no difference in their decision to donate.
bullet Despite only being in its third year, Giving Tuesday is on the minds of more than two in five social users (41 percent) who are aware of the charitable day of giving. And nearly half (47 percent) of those aware of Giving Tuesday said they planned to participate this year.

For more information, go to: www.redcross.org

November 30 - December 6, 2014

Youth Philanthropy Trends

Scanning the Landscape of Youth Philanthropy: Observations and Recommendations for Strengthening a Growing Field shares reflections on an in-depth examination of the story and needs of youth grantmaking (young people making monetary contributions to organizations through established institutions or governing bodies). The report finds that while more than 200 foundations worldwide offer youth grantmaking programs and more than 100 related resources exist, that information is not broadly available. Recommendations include providing wider access to youth philanthropy programs, centralizing resources, and increasing in-person gatherings. Initial observations gleaned about the youth philanthropy landscape through the literature scan, grants review, and convening include:


Foundations are financially supporting youth philanthropy, though the full extent is unclear. Establishing a shared definition for describing these grants and encouraging timely reporting of well-coded grants data by funders will help track youth philanthropy–related grants in the future.


There are many programs and resources for youth grantmaking worldwide. Through the literature scan, researchers discovered over 110 youth philanthropy programs at nonprofit organizations, some 200 foundations with a youth philanthropy board or committee, 55 university-based programs, 10 conferences with a specific youth grantmaking component, and more than 140 open and accessible content pieces including reports, white papers, blogs, videos, podcasts, recorded webinars, worksheets, guides, books, articles, and curricula.


There are many models for youth philanthropy. Youth use time, talent, treasure, ties, and community assets to make a difference locally and globally. Different models exist within youth organizations, schools, religious congregations, foundations, and online communities.

For more information, go to: foundationcenter.org

November 23 - 29, 2014

Child Homelessness in the US

A new report on child homelessness in America finds that 2.5 million children experience homelessness annually. Child homelessness has increased 8% nationally, and in 31 states and the District of Columbia. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the U.S. America’s Youngest Outcasts looks at child homelessness nationally and in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranks the states from 1 (best) to 50 (worst), and examines causes of child homelessness and the solutions. The report uses the newest comprehensive federal and state data, including the annual count of homeless children in public schools made by the U.S. Department of Education. The report notes that progress has been made in reducing homelessness among veterans and chronically homeless individuals due to concerted efforts by the federal government, but no special attention has been directed toward homeless children, and their numbers have increased. Major causes of child homelessness in the U.S. include: (1) the nation’s high poverty rate; (2) a lack of affordable housing across the nation; (3) the continuing impacts of the Great Recession; (4) racial disparities; (5) the challenges of single parenting; and (6) the ways in which traumatic experiences, especially domestic violence, precede and prolong homelessness for families. For more information and to download the report, go to: www.homelesschildrenamerica.org

November 16 - 22, 2014

Public Sharply Divided in Views of Americans in Poverty

While the nation’s poverty rate has dipped for the first time since 2006, the actual number of poor people (45.3 million) was not statistically different from the previous year, according to the figures released today by the Census Bureau. Poverty is an issue that deeply divides the American public when it comes to how much of a role government should play in alleviating the problems of the poor. Public is sharply divided in views of Americans in poverty When asked which view comes closer to their own, roughly half of the public (51%) says the “government today can’t afford to do much more to help the needy,” while 43% say “the government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt,” according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year. For more information, go to: www.pewresearch.org

November 9 - 15, 2014

Community Foundation Trends: A Global Picture

At the recent 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, an international research collaboration unveiled the "Community Foundation Atlas," the most comprehensive directory of the world's community foundation movement that has ever been published. The online platform, available at CommunityFoundationAtlas.org, maps the identities, locations, assets, roles and achievements of place-based philanthropies around the world. Among the key findings: The global community foundation movement is gaining momentum. Embracing an inclusive definition of "community philanthropy" field, the Atlas has identified 1,827 place-based foundations in 67 countries. While the movement began 100 years ago, the last three decades have seen explosive growth. In just the past 14 years, the number of known community foundations and community philanthropies nearly doubled, growing from approximately 1,000 in 2000 to more than 1,800 in 2014. Other key findings include
bullet Defining characteristics: Grantmaking and accountability to local residents were almost universally reported by survey respondents as central to the mission of community foundations.
bullet Collective impact: Combined grantmaking from community foundations in the last fiscal year totaled more than $4.9 billion worldwide.
bullet Education the most commonly cited program area: Foundations most commonly reported extensive programmatic engagement in education, followed closely by human and social services, arts and culture, and health.
bullet Strengthening civil society also a priority: In addition to grantmaking, nearly half of foundations surveyed actively foster collaboration between grantees or provide training and capacity-building services to local organizations.
bullet Populations served: Almost 30 percent of respondents work at least to some extent in a neighborhood-based service area. Forty percent report having a "local" orientation, while the service area of nearly one in four includes a regional focus. A very small percentage work at a national or international level.

To access the Atlas, go to: communityfoundationatlas.org

November 2 - 8, 2014

Trends in the Number and Finances of 501(c)(3) Public Charities

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 published by The Urban Institute highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities and key findings on two important resources for the nonprofit sector: private charitable contributions and volunteering. Each year, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 presents the most recent data available on the nonprofit sector. This particular edition of the brief presents data from 2002 to 2012. Key findings include:

bullet Approximately 1.44 million nonprofits were registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2012, an increase of 8.6 percent from 2002.
bullet The nonprofit sector contributed an estimated $887.3 billion to the US economy in 2012, composing 54 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
bullet Of the nonprofit organizations registered with IRS, 501(c)(3) public charities accounted for just over three-quarters of the nonprofit sector’s revenue ($1.65 trillion) and expenses ($1.56 trillion) and more than three-fifths of nonprofit assets ($2.99 trillion) in 2012.
bullet In 2013, total private giving from individuals, foundations, and businesses totaled $335.17 billion, an increase of just over 4 percent from 2012 after adjusting for inflation.
bullet According to Giving USA, total charitable giving rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2013 (Giving USA Foundation 2014). However, after adjusting for inflation, giving is still lower than at its pre-recession peak in 2007 ($348.03 billion in 2013 dollars).
bullet More than a quarter (25.4 percent) of adults in the United States volunteered with an organization in 2013. Volunteers contributed an estimated 8.1 billion hours in 2013 representing approximately $163.0 billion worth of work. Fewer individuals volunteered in 2013 than in 2012, and those that did spent fewer hours volunteering.

To download the report, go to: www.urban.org

October 26 - November 1, 2014

High Net Worth Donor Trends

A survey of high net worth investors reveals a common thread of uncertainty about the effectiveness of their donations. The latest issue of UBS Investor Watch yields surprising insights into why and how givers give—and how gender and age may shape their approach to philanthropy. Survey findings include:

Key findings include:


Virtually everyone gives—but very few believe their giving is effective. In the past year, nine out of ten millionaires have either volunteered or donated. But for many, “giving back” means writing checks—typically to an assortment of causes. Only one out of five givers considers their approach highly effective.


Women and men approach giving differently. Men are motivated by a sense of personal responsibility, while women are more likely to lead household decisions on giving, volunteer their time and donate to causes they're passionate about.


Millennials are redefining philanthropy. Contrary to fitting the stereotype of being lazy or self-centered, Millennials as a group are more engaged with philanthropy than their Boomer parents. They are also more intent on aligning investing, purchasing and career decisions with their core values. In fact, Millennials' behavior points to the future of philanthropy.


Thoughtful planning drives confidence in giving. The uncertainty about the effectiveness of giving is significantly lessened when people take a planned approach. By incorporating philanthropic strategies into their plans, they can optimize their giving and feel that it has greater impact. Although few people currently receive advice from their financial advisor about giving, those who do are much more satisfied with the impact of their giving.

To download the report, go to: www.ubs.com

October 19 - 25, 2014

Disruptive Forces: Driving a Human Services Revolution

Disruptive Forces: Driving a Human Services Revolution is now available to download free-of-cost. The Alliance for Children and Families developed this report to help organizations plan for successful futures by illuminating complexity, inspiring tough conversations, and pushing them to think outside of their comfort zone. The report asserts that the future landscape of the sector will require successful organizations to have a well-honed radar for adaptation. The six forces include:


Disruptive Force One: Purposeful Experimentation: Increased and purposeful experimentation will be required of organizations, driven by: (1) risk-taking activities of for-profit competitors, (2) low-cost information technologies, (3) growing role of social media in communications, and (4) desperation as funding sources decline. Further, the demand for new, innovative solutions will be high.


Disruptive Force Two: Information Liberation. Regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act go to great lengths to ensure information confidentiality, but they will become outdated. A new generation of consumers will share information about themselves with friends, family, and communities, both live and virtually. Information sharing can improve service delivery models such that they ultimately give consumers more control over how their information is shared and allow other agencies in the same continuum to provide better care.

bullet Disruptive Force Three: Integrating Science. Extraordinary advances in technology will blur the lines between what is possible, what is affordable, and what is acceptable. Advances will alter the ways in which individuals are diagnosed and treated. Successful human service organizations will not only leverage these advances, but will partner with the research community to shape how these sciences can be applied cost-effectively to demonstrate impact.
bullet Disruptive Force Four: Uncompromising Demand for Impact. The ability to demonstrate that particular interventions have efficacy will result in payment. Funders and communities will expect greater impact at a lower cost. Key sector stakeholders will first define the desired impact, and then consider what organization or groups of organizations can deliver at the lowest cost.
bullet Disruptive Force Five: Branding Causes, Not Organizations. It will be much more effective for human services organizations to leverage support by emphasizing core issues and causes, rather than on their individual agency brands and programs. While brands can seem somewhat artificial and institutional, movements create a vision and goal for change.
bullet Disruptive Force Six: Attracting Investors, Not Donors. The current model of nonprofit funding will shift to an investment paradigm. Performance-seeking portfolios will be aimed at achieving a return on investment that solves a societal problem, contributes to a movement, or eliminates a community issue.

To download the executive summary and full report, go to: alliance1.org

October 12 - 18, 2014

2014 Kids Count Data Book

Demographic, social and economic changes combined with major policy developments have affected the lives of lower-income children in both positive and negative ways since 1990, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 25th edition of its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book. The good news is that there has been steady improvement in the numbers of children attending preschool and a decline in the number of schoolchildren not proficient in reading and math. There also is a positive trend in parental education that benefits kids: A smaller percentage of children live in families in which no parent has a high school diploma – from 22 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2012. In addition, the teen birth rate is at a historic low and the death rates for children and teens has fallen as a result of medical advances and increased usage of seat belts, car seats and bike helmets. Worrisome trends include a rise in the official child poverty rate as defined by the federal government. Although the rate dropped from 18 to 16 percent from 1990 to 2000, the rate had reached 22 percent by 2010 and has remained at roughly that level. In 2012, nearly 16.4 million kids were living in poverty. The percentage of children living in single-parent families has risen significantly – in 1990, 25 percent of children lived in a single-parent household and by 2012 the figure had risen to 35 percent. Since 1990, the rate of children growing up in poor communities has also increased, with 13 percent of children living in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 30 percent or more. To access the full report and state by state data profiles, go to: www.aecf.org

September 28 - October 11, 2014

Women-Owned Business Startups

Women are starting 1,288 new businesses per day. According to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report published by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses has increased at 1.5 times the national average. This new report, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, includes up-to-date insights on the growth of women-owned businesses and pinpoints how policy and programmatic support can help even more of these companies reach their full potential. Learn more, read the full report. To download the full report, go to: www.womenable.com

September 21- 27, 2014

Foundation Grantmaking To Advance Human Rights

According to Advancing Human Rights: Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking published by The Foundation Center, 745 foundations in 34 countries made over 17,000 grants totaling $1.7 billion in human rights funding in 2011. These statistics are brought to life in an interactive website that enables funders, activists, researchers, academics, and others interested in human rights funding to explore giving by issue focus, population focus, and region. Some of the key findings of the report include:


In 2011, foundations allocated more than $1.7 billion in support of organizations or specific initiatives seeking to advance human rights.


27% of global foundation funding goes to Equality Rights and Freedom from Discrimination


The 745 foundations included in the report made over 17,000 grants supporting human rights.


The 745 funders included in the analysis of 2011 giving are based across 34 countries and seven major world regions


After North America, the second most supported region was Sub-Saharan Africa ($227m or 13% of overall funding)

The Advancing Human Rights: Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking report and the interactive website can be accessed for free at: humanrights.foundationcenter.org

September 14 - 20, 2014

Wealth Transfer to Boost Charitable Giving Through 2061

In what is shaping up to be the greatest wealth transfer in U.S. history, an estimated $59 trillion will be transferred from 93.6 million American estates between 2007 and 2061 according to a new study from the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. Based on a scenario assuming 2 percent economic growth and the continuation of current tax provisions, the report, A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons: National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy, estimates that through estates, heirs will receive up to $36 trillion, federal estate taxes will claim $5.6 trillion, and bequests to charities will total $6.3 trillion. Over the same period, giving to charity is expected to total roughly $27 trillion, with more than $20 trillion of that given by donors who are still living. To download the report, go to: www.bc.edu

September 7 - 13, 2014

Top 10 Major Donor Fundraising Trends for 2014-15

Gail Perry is recognized as one of the top 30 most effective fundraising consultants in the U.S. by The Giving Show, aired by the Wall Street Network. She has compiled a list of major donor fundraising trends. Included with each trend is a set of strategies offering guidance to nonprofits on how to respond to each trend. Here is an example: Rise of the Boomers as Donors. The Boomers are the major donors of today. They are 34% of all the donors, but they are giving 43% of all the money. Remember the older generation of donors? They would give out of a sense of duty. To Boomers, giving is a form of self expression. To Boomers, giving is a form of self expression. Boomers, on the other hand, see giving as a means of self-expression.  Your strategy: Let Boomers’ personal interests and passions guide their individual cultivation plans. Help them connect to what is most meaningful to them.  For the full list of trends, go to: www.gailperry.com

August 24 - September 6, 2014

Philanthropic Giving Through Donor-Advised Funds

Vanguard Charitable, one of the largest charities in the United States and a leading donor-advised fund (DAF), has released an analysis of its donors' charitable impact based on ten years of granting data and surveys of donors and nonprofit organizations. In An inside look: 15,330 donors who are giving to charity with a donor-advised fund, Vanguard Charitable examines granting trends of its donors across gender, generation, and geography. The study, which analyzes 10 years of data, also shows the growth in donor-advised funds as a mechanism for charitable giving and reveals who is using DAFs, where they are granting money, for how much, and for what purpose. Specifically, An inside look found that:


56% of donors use a DAF for the majority of their giving.


73% of DAF donors are involved with the charities that they support.


94% of donors recommend grants to the same charity more than once.


61% of donors are strategic about their philanthropy when giving with a DAF by following a long term plan that includes a budget, investment strategy and appropriate time horizon to meet their current and long-term giving objectives.

Go to: www.vanguardcharitable.org

August 17 - 23, 2014

The State of Nonprofits in 2014

The State of the Not-For-Profit Industry in 2014 report, published by Grant Thornton focuses on issues specifically trending for nonprofits, acknowledging that the industry is in flux for all sorts of reasons — among them, changes in the economy, technology, demographics and regulation. The not-for-profit organizations that grow and thrive will do so because they have adapted and planned for a future that looks very different from their past. This publication is meant to help our not-for-profit readers consider the issues that will influence their forward-thinking activities. To browse the articles or download the full report, go to: www.grantthornton.com/issues or www.grantthornton.com

August 10 - 16, 2014

Latest US Foundation Trends

Overall foundation giving is estimated to have reached nearly $55 billion in 2013, $8 billion more than in 2008, the peak year for giving prior to the economic downturn. According to a preview of the forthcoming Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, overall foundation giving will continue to grow ahead of inflation in 2014. Giving has held steady over the past several years, which is partly the result of foundations having kept their giving at higher-than-expected levels during the Great Recession. Key Facts on U.S. Foundations is the primary publication in which the Foundation Center documents the overall size of the U.S. foundation community and provides perspective on the giving priorities of the nation's largest foundations. To download the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

August 3 - 9, 2014

Digital Fundraising And Engagement By Social Justice Nonprofits

Public Interest Projects and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees surveyed more than 30 funders interested in finding ways to help social justice nonprofits strengthen and diversify their funding bases. Nearly every small social justice nonprofit organization is experimenting with online giving. They are also using Facebook, Twitter and mobile technology but for different purposes, meaning that they need help in all approaches, not just one. The results showed that nonprofits engaged in social justice efforts clearly need resources to become more comfortable, strategic and adept at using digital fundraising and engagement tools to build stronger and more diverse funding bases. Other key findings include:


Four out of five organizations—about 82%--said they’d never received funding to strengthen their abilities to raise money or mobilize supporters through digital tools.


Nonprofits pointed to their marketing and communications efforts, rather than fundraising, as most reliant on digital tools, but they were slower to use those tools for program-related efforts.


The top two barriers groups cited in using digital tools to raise money and rally supporters were lack of funding and too few staff members, rather than time constraints and limited knowledge.


Half of the groups haven’t been able to add any staff members to oversee online activities so they are asking workers to take on digital tasks in addition to the duties they are already juggling.

For more information, go to: www.publicinterestprojects.org

July 27 - August 2, 2014

State Rankings On Overall Child Well-Being

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Using an index of 16 indicators, the 2014 report ranks states on overall child well-being and in four domains: (1) economic well-being, (2) education, (3) health, and (4) family and community. For 2014, the three highest-ranked states for child well-being were Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa; the three lowest-ranked were Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi. The report also provides national trends, comparing the latest data with mid-decade statistics. To download the report, go to: www.aecf.org

July 20 - 26, 2014

Greater Milwaukee Nonprofit Revenue Trends

A new report by the Public Policy Forum, “Give and You Will Receive: An analysis of nonprofit revenue trends and charitable giving in Greater Milwaukee,” analyzed revenues and contributions at public charities in the four-county Milwaukee Metropolitan Statistical Area from 1989 to 2011 (the most recent data available). Its intent is to inform policymakers and citizens about the health of the nonprofit sector, and to identify possible threats or opportunities regarding its future well-being. Trends are identified for the entire nonprofit sector and also nine subsectors (or “categories”). Further, the Forum report analyzes the sensitivity of contributions to certain economic and fiscal policy factors. From this analysis, policy considerations emerge related to the sector’s diversity and the sustainability of historical trends. The report found that total revenue for public charities in the area was $3.68 billion in 2011, up 134 percent from 1989. Contributions were up 193 percent to $1.86 billion during that span. At the same time, the number of public charities increased from 824 to 2,333, a 183 percent jump. Meanwhile, the size of the average organization in terms of revenue has decreased by 17 percent since 1989. According to the report, this is because new organizations have formed faster than the total revenue has grown. The diminished per-organization revenues demonstrated in the report could have a detrimental effect on the administration of large-scale nonprofit programs according to the report. The download the full report, go to: publicpolicyforum.org.

July 13 - 19, 2014

American Attitudes About Poverty

The Center for American Progress has published "50 Years After LBJ’s War on Poverty -- A Study of American Attitudes About Work, Economic Opportunity, and the Social Safety Net". Here are the most important findings from the research:


One-quarter to one-third of Americans—and even higher percentages of Millennials and people of color—continue to experience direct economic hardship…


A majority of Americans have a direct personal connection to poverty…


Americans vastly overestimate the annual income necessary to be officially considered poor…


Americans now believe that nearly 40 percent of their fellow citizens are living in poverty.


Americans strongly believe that poverty is primarily the result of a failed economy rather than the result of personal decisions and lack of effort…


Despite mixed feelings about the original War on Poverty, there is strong support for a more realistic goal of reducing poverty by half over the next 10 years…


The public is clear about its priorities for reducing poverty: jobs, wages, and education…


Americans also express very strong support for a number of policies to help reduce poverty rates, particularly with jobs, wages, and education but also on more traditional safety net items

According to the authors, policymakers should feel confident that the American public will support efforts to expand economic opportunity, increase access to good jobs and wages, and maintain a robust social safety net.  Harsh negative attitudes about the poor that seemingly defined political discussions throughout the 1980s and 1990s have given way to public recognition that many Americans—poor and middle class alike—are facing many pressures trying to stay afloat and get ahead in the difficult economic environment. Supporters of anti-poverty efforts should not be complacent in their efforts, however, and should recognize that although Americans back government action to reduce poverty, questions remain about the structure and scope of these efforts and how effective they have been over time. To download the report, go to: cdn.americanprogress.org

July 6 - 12, 2014

National Value of Volunteer Time

According to Independent Sector, The estimated value of volunteer time for 2013 is $22.55 per hour. 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. The value of volunteer time is based on the hourly earnings (approximated from yearly values) of all production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls average (based on yearly earnings provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Independent Sector indexes this figure to determine state values and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 64.5 million Americans, or 26.5 percent of the adult population, gave 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth $175 billion in 2012.1  For the latest information, please see www.volunteeringinamerica.gov. For more information on the economic impact of nonprofits by state, you can visit a state-by-state profiles portal. For more information, go to: www.independentsector.org

June 29 - July 5, 2014

New Research on the Field of Black Male Achievement

The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations’ report Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement is the latest addition to a growing suite of resources at BMAfunders.org, a web portal that facilitates engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among those working to promote positive outcomes for black men and boys in America. Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government, and business sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in this area and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward. To download the report at no charge, go to: foundationcenter.org

June 22 - 28, 2014

Inequality Increasing

During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data. From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896. These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat. Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home. From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data are available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion. Because of these differences, wealth inequality increased during the first two years of the recovery. The upper 7% of households saw their aggregate share of the nation’s overall household wealth pie rise to 63% in 2011, up from 56% in 2009. On an individual household basis, the mean wealth of households in this more affluent group was almost 24 times that of those in the less affluent group in 2011. At the start of the recovery in 2009, that ratio had been less than 18-to-1. For more information, go to: www.pewsocialtrends.org

June 15 - 21, 2014

Mobile Technology Trends

The Pew Internet Project has summarized research related to mobile technology on one of its website. This page is updated whenever new data is available. As of January 2014:


90% of American adults have a cell phone


58% of American adults have a smartphone


32% of American adults own an e-reader


42% of American adults own a tablet computer

For more information, go to: www.pewinternet.org

June 8 - 14, 2014

Nonprofit Finance Trends

The economic recovery is not offering signs of relief for the nonprofit sector, and many organizations are now looking to new models of funding, according to the results of the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. Leaders from more than 5,000 nonprofits nationwide participated in this sixth annual survey. Key findings include:
bullet The economic recovery is leaving behind many nonprofits and communities in need: 80% of respondents reported an increase in demand for services, the 6th straight year of increased demand; 56% were unable to meet demand in 2013—the highest reported in the survey’s history; and only 11% expect 2014 to be easier than 2013 for the people they serve.
bullet Nonprofits are working to bring in new money; in the next 12 months: 31% will change the main ways in which they raise and spend money; 26% will pursue an earned income venture; and 20% will seek funding other than grants & contracts, such as loans or other investments.
bullet 41% of nonprofits named “achieving long-term financial stability” as a top challenge, yet: More than half of nonprofits (55%) have 3 months or less cash-on-hand; 28% ended their 2013 fiscal year with a deficit; and only 9% can have an open dialogue with funders about developing reserves for operating needs, and only 6% about developing reserves for long-term facility needs.

To download the full report, go to: nonprofitfinancefund.org

June 1 - 7, 2014

Updated U.S. Wealth Transfer Report

An estimated $59 trillion, distributed among heirs, charities, estate taxes and estate closing costs, will be transferred from more than 90 million U.S. estates from 2007 to 2061, in the greatest wealth transfer in U.S. history, according to a new report issued today by researchers at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College. “The baby boomers are in the process of receiving the largest wealth transfer in history and then they will, in turn, provide even a larger wealth transfer to their heirs, to charity, and to taxes,” says Paul Schervish, the Center’s director who authored the report with CWP researcher John J. Havens. “One major finding in this report is that the very wealthy are applying a greater proportion of their net worth to charity during their lifetimes," says Havens.  "More and more money is being put directly into charity and foundations during a donor’s lifetime and not as great a proportion is showing up in the estate.” Among the highlights in the study, titled “A Golden Age of Philanthropy Still Beckons, National Wealth Transfer and Potential for Philanthropy:”


The sum directed from final estates (for which there is no surviving spouse) toward charity is estimated at $6.3 trillion, $36 trillion toward heirs,  and $5.6 trillion in Federal estate taxes.


Total gifts to charity during the study period are vastly greater, according to the study, which estimates that lifetime giving will yield an additional $20.6 trillion for charity from 2007-2061.

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

May 25 - 31, 2014

Nonprofit-Government Contracts and Grants

In 2012, the Urban Institute conducted a national survey, Nonprofit‐Government Contracts and Grants: Findings from the 2013 National Survey, expanding the scope of a previous 2009 study to include most types of nonprofits. The latest survey indicates that nonprofit‐government contracts and grants reached approximately 56,000 nonprofits and totaled $137 billion and that the effects of the recession were still evident. The research reveals that problems reported with government contracts and grants in 2009 are not confined to human services nonprofits, although problems are less pronounced for grants than for contracts. Nonprofit organizations in 2012 were still dealing with many of the same issues as in 2009. This report provides data on government contracts and grants with nonprofits, problems encountered, and the current fiscal situation of nonprofit organizations in each state. This compilation of state profiles provides national and state-by-state snapshots of most types of nonprofit organizations that have contracts and grants with local, state, and federal governments. The individual state profiles are designed to document the extent of nonprofit-government contracting, processes and problems. States are also ranked according to number of grants, types of issues, and actions taken by nonprofits to address the challenges they face. To download the full report, go to: www.urban.org

May 11 - 24, 2014

Trends in Corporate Giving

Developed by CECP in association with The Conference Board, Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition is based on data from 240 companies, including 60 of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune 500. The sum of contributions across all respondents of the 2012 survey, from which the data is pulled, totaled more than $20 billion in cash and in-kind giving. This report not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2012, but also pinpoints how corporate giving is evolving and becoming more focused since before the recession of 2008 and 2009. This is the ninth annual report on trends in corporate giving. Key findings of the latest study include:


The average company provides most of its giving in cash from corporate budgets and its corporate foundation, with other contributions provided in the form of non-cash resources.

bullet Through matching-gift programs, companies match employee donations of money or volunteer time to eligible nonprofit organizations. In 2012, 181 companies shared details about their matching-gift programs. Among that group, matching gifts comprised a median of 12% of a company’s total cash giving.
bullet Employee-volunteer programs are planned and managed efforts that enable employees to volunteer under their employer’s sponsorship and leadership. In 2012, 188 companies reported having a formal domestic employee-volunteer program, a formal international-volunteer program, or both. Paid-Release-Time, Dollars for Doers, and Company-Wide Days of Service were listed among the most successful engagement programs in 2012.
bullet In 2012, 81% of companies reported having a corporate foundation. The most common foundation structure was a pass-through model, wherein the company annually funds the foundation. Education (comprising both K-12 and Higher Education) was the most funded program area (collectively, 29% of average allocations) for the first time since Giving in Numbers was first released in 2006, inching past Health and Social Services for the top spot.
To download the report, go to: cecp.co

May 4 - 10, 2014

Grantseeking Trends

The State of Grantseeking from GrantStation reports spotlight recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. These survey results, which reflect the grantseeking experiences of over 1,200 respondents, can serve as benchmarks for organizations to compare their grantseeking efforts with those of other, comparable organizations. Key findings include:


Fewer organizations relied on grant funding for over 75% of their annual budgets (10%), reflecting a 33% decrease in the past two years.


In this report, 44% of respondents applied for more grants; 33% were awarded more grants, and 30% reported receipt of larger awards than during the same period in the prior year.


Compared to the Fall 2013 Report, private foundation awards increased by 5%, community foundation awards increased by 9%, and corporation awards in the form of gifts of products or services increased by 14%.


Private foundations continued to trend as the largest source of total award funding. In the Spring 2012 Report, private foundations were separated from the Federal government as the source of the largest award by only three percentage points; in this report they were separated by 15 percentage points.


Private foundations were most often the source of the largest award. For the first time, state government awards surpassed Federal awards as the second most frequent source of the largest grant award.


Compared to the Fall 2013 Report, the median award size of the largest grant increased by 2%, to $47,000.

To download the report, go to: www.grantstation.com

April 27 - May 3, 2014

Older Adults and Technology Use

According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, two different groups of older Americans emerge with respect to technology use. The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically. As the internet plays an increasingly central role in connecting Americans of all ages to news and information, government services, health resources, and opportunities for social support, these divisions are noteworthy—particularly for the many organizations and individual caregivers who serve the older adult population. Among the key findings of this research:


Six in ten seniors now go online, and just under half are broadband adopters


Younger, higher-income, and more highly educated seniors use the internet and broadband at rates approaching—or even exceeding—the general population; internet use and broadband adoption each drop off dramatically around age 75


Older adults face a number of hurdles to adopting new technologies


Once seniors join the online world, digital technology often becomes an integral part of their daily lives


Seniors differ from the general population in their device ownership habits


27% of older adults use social networking sites such as Facebook, but these users socialize more frequently with others compared with non-SNS users

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

April 13 - 26, 2014

Fundraising Effectiveness Trends

The 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report developed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Urban Institute, summarizes data from 2,840 survey respondents covering year-to-year fundraising results for 2011-2012. Key findings include:


Gains of $769 million in gifts from new, upgraded current, and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of $735 million through reduced gifts and lapsed donors. This means that, while there was a positive $34 million net growth-in-giving, every $100 gained in 2012 was offset by $96 in losses through gift attrition. That is, 96 percent of gains in giving were offset by losses in giving.

bullet Gains of 866,000 in new and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of 909,000 in lapsed donors. This means that there was a negative (44,000) growth-in-donors and every 100 donors gained in 2012 was offset by 105 in lost donors through attrition. That is, 105 percent of the donors gained were offset by lapsed donors.
bullet Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size (based on total amount raised), with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones.
- Organizations raising $500,000 or more had an average 16.6 percent net gain.
- Organizations raising $100,000 to $500,000 had an average net loss of -5.1 percent.
- Organizations in the under $100,000 groups had an average net loss of -13.5 percent.
bullet The largest growth in gift dollars/donors came from new gifts/donors, and the pattern was most pronounced in the organizations with the highest growth-in-giving ratios.
bullet The greatest losses in gift dollars came from lapsed new gifts, particularly in the organizations with the lowest and highest growth-in-giving ratios. The greatest losses in donors came from lapsed new donors in all growth-in-giving categories.

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

April 6 - 12, 2014

Charity and Philanthropy in Russia, China, India, and Brazil

Charity and Philanthropy in Russia, China, India, and Brazil, by Joan Spero and published in collaboration with WINGS, builds greater awareness and understanding of the diversity and challenges of civil society in the so-called BRIC countries. In the absence of comprehensive data on philanthropy in these emerging market economies, the report identifies the cultural, economic, social, and political forces shaping giving in the BRIC countries and describes the growth and nature of their philanthropic activities. To download the report, go to: foundationcenter.org

March 30 - April 5, 2014

2014 Trends to Watch

The National Council of Nonprofits has prepared a trends summary with implications for nonprofit staff, board members, donors and community leaders. Here is a sampling:


The Resource Squeeze: One prominent trend that began with the Great Recession will continue its drain in 2014: scarce financial resources. The vast majority of charitable nonprofits will continue to be squeezed for financial resources in 2014. In the current environment of increased competition for scarcer financial resources, no nonprofit’s board of directors should be caught ignoring its fiduciary duty to help the nonprofit fundraise.


The Upward Spiral Of Need: The dramatic decline in government funding often increases demand for services, as communities and individuals continue to struggle and look to nonprofits to provide basic services. In 2013, more than half of nonprofits surveyed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund reported they didn't expect to have enough resources to meet increased community needs. The upward spiral of need for basic services is likely only to increase in 2014, while the resources that nonprofits have available to them will continue to be squeezed.

To download the full summary, go to: www.nprcenter.org

March 23 - 29, 2014

Nonprofit HR Trends for 2014

Nonprofits are letting fewer people go and plan to create more positions in the coming year, but they continue to struggle to adopt new and innovative human resources practices, according to the 2014 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, conducted by consulting firm Nonprofit HR. Of the more than 400 groups surveyed, 46 percent reported increased hiring in 2013, the highest total in the last five years. Only 17 percent said they decreased hiring, the third consecutive year that that number has dropped. And, for the first time since the end of the Great Recession, more groups said they plan to hire new staff to support new projects (45 percent) than use current staff (43 percent). A number of staffing challenges still present major hurdles and include:


Extended time needed to fill positions, particularly for mid and high level vacancies


The lack of formal diversity strategies and formal succession plans


One fifth of nonprofits indicate that turnover is their biggest challenge


Retention challenges from competitive pay, excessive workloads through to struggles to advance staff

The study also noted that entry and mid-level professionals are the hardest to retain. This is a concern as these are often going to be the front-line/public facing staff who most typically are interacting with the donor audience on an individual basis. To download a summary of the study report, go to: www.nonprofithr.com

March 16 - 22, 2014

5 Nonprofit Technology Trends to Watch in 2014

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good, 2014 will be an exciting year for nonprofit technology. Numerous communications and fundraising trends are on the verge of going mainstream and nonprofits committed to early adoption have a number of new tools and strategies to pioneer this year. Social media will remain a top priority for nonprofits in 2014, but 2013 helped solidify social media as a mandatory set of communication tools. It’s no longer cutting edge, but rather an integral component of a successful online communications and fundraising strategy similar to website and email communications. The five top trends are:

  1. Mass Adoption of Responsive and Flat Design

  2. Integration of Digital Wallets Into Social Networks

  3. Live Reporting During TV Events

  4. Maturation of Mobile Fundraising Apps

  5. Increased Employment Opportunities in New Media

For information about the trends including implications for nonprofits, go to: www.nptechforgood.com

March 9 - 15, 2014

Millennials in Adulthood

The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 331, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future. They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now. Pew Research Center surveys show that half of Millennials (50%) now describe themselves as political independents and about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion. These are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics.

At the same time, however, Millennials stand out for voting heavily Democratic and for liberal views on many political and social issues, ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization. These findings are based on a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 14-23, 2014 among 1,821 adults nationwide, including 617 Millennial adults, and analysis of other Pew Research Center surveys conducted between 1990 and 2014. For more information and to download the full report, go to: www.pewsocialtrends.org

March 2 - 8, 2014

Volunteering at 10-Year Low

The volunteer rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 25.4 percent for the year ending in September 2013 according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2012 and September 2013. The volunteer rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been since the supplement was first administered in 2002. These data on volunteering were collected through a supplement to the September 2013 Current Population Survey (CPS). The supplement was sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment for the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. Key findings include:


The volunteer rates for both men and women (22.2 percent and 28.4 percent, respectively) declined the year ending in September 2013. Women continued to volunteer at a higher rate than did men across all age groups, educational levels, and other major demographic characteristics.


By age, 35- to 44-year-olds were most likely to volunteer (30.6 percent). Volunteer rates were lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds (18.5 percent). For persons 45 years and over, the volunteer rate tapered off as age increased. Teens (16-to 19-year-olds) had a volunteer rate of 26.2 percent.


Among the major race and ethnicity groups, whites continued to volunteer at a higher rate (27.1 percent) than did blacks (18.5 percent), Asians (19.0 percent), and Hispanics (15.5 percent). Of these groups, the volunteer rate fell for whites (by 0.7 percentage point) and blacks (by 2.6 percentage points) in 2013. The volunteer rates for Asians and Hispanics were little changed.


Married persons volunteered at a higher rate (30.7 percent) in 2013 than did those who had never married (20.0 percent) and those with other marital statuses (20.5 percent). The rates declined over the year for each marital status category. In 2013, the volunteer rate of parents with children under age 18 (32.9 percent) remained higher than the rate for persons without children (22.7 percent). The volunteer rate of persons without children under age 18 declined over the year, while the rate for parents was little changed

For more information, go to: www.bls.gov

February 23 - March 1, 2014

Fundraising Trends in Federated Organizations

In national and international organizations with local chapters, approaches to fundraising run the gamut from “we get more money when we work together” to “it’s a free-for-all when it comes to major donors.” But whether fundraising is collaborative or independent, competitive or complementary, one thing’s for certain: Donors expect organizations to speak in a unified voice. Campbell & Company, a national fundraising and executive search consulting firm for nonprofits, recently completed a series of qualitative conversations with eight federated nonprofit organizations, seeking to better understand the fundraising relationships between these entities’ national and local arms, as well as the opportunities and pitfalls inherent in a federated structure. The results of this work underscore the challenges of federated fundraising, including the potential for confusion among donors and concerns about donor “territory” between national and chapter staff. But the Campbell & Company study also highlighted some of the opportunities that are unique to federated organizations, such as working with a supporter to craft a truly meaningful and donor-driven gift that has an impact locally and globally, or convening staff from across the country to learn from one another’s successes and challenges. Study findings clearly show there is no single “best practice” or ideal structure for federated fundraising, but the keys to success are the same regardless of how you operate: clearly defined roles, guidelines and practices; open communication and transparency; and, most of all, a relentless focus on doing what is right for your donors. To download the study report, go to: www.campbellcompany.com

February 16 - 22, 2014

US Giving Trends for 2014

The Atlas of Giving today released its U.S. report, announcing a record $416.7 billion in charitable giving last year, a 13% increase over 2012. According to the report, charitable giving was fueled largely by significant gains in stock prices, and the biggest gains in gift revenue were enjoyed by human services organizations, environmental charities, donor advised funds and educational institutions. While all measured sectors grew significantly, giving to churches and health organizations failed to keep pace with giving in other sectors. Key highlights from the Atlas of Giving report include:


Giving to human needs organizations (up 19.1%) and environmental causes (up 18.5%) showed the highest rate of growth in giving.


The lingering effects of high unemployment continue to hurt churches and organizations that rely on a large number of small gifts from many donors.

bullet Publicity related to the Affordable Care Act appears to be having a negative impact on giving to hospitals and health related charities.
bullet Giving to churches and religious organizations is a shrinking proportional share of total giving (35% in 2013, down from 36% in 2012 and 37% in 2010), but it is still the largest giving sector in the U.S. This proportional decline is a function of several years of high unemployment combined with decreasing church membership and attendance.
bullet Among wealthier donors, significant charitable assets are moving away from family foundations and into donor advised funds where there is less cost and fewer management issues.

The initial outlook for giving in 2014 is positive, but growth in giving is not expected to keep pace with 2013 levels, which jumped up significantly from the previous six years of data. The full Atlas of Giving report on 2013 charitable giving results and the forecast for 2014 can be accessed at www.atlasofgiving.com. A free registration is required.

February 9 - 15, 2014

Social Media Use

Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. These are among the key findings on social networking site usage and adoption from a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. As of September 2013:

bullet 71% of online adults use Facebook
bullet 18% of online adults use Twitter
bullet 17% use Instagram
bullet 21% use Pinterest
bullet 22% use LinkedIn

To download the report, go to: pewinternet.org

January 19 - February 8, 2014

2013 Nonprofit Employment Trends

The nonprofit sector is an often overlooked and important economic driver with its 10.7 million employees making up just over 10% of the nation’s private workforce. The 2013 national Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey is intended to provide a snapshot of current employment practices and discuss the economic trends and implications of employment practices in the nonprofit sector. This report, which has been produced annually by Nonprofit HR Solutions since 2007, includes responses from 588 nonprofits nationwide. Key findings include:

bullet Nonprofits are planning for growth. In addition to 40% of nonprofits indicating their staff size increased in 2012, 44% of nonprofits plan to create positions in the upcoming year.
bullet Turnover rates are expected to remain steady. Eighty-seven percent of nonprofits reported that they do not anticipate their overall turnover rate to increase in the coming year, the same percent as in the 2012 Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey.
bullet Nonprofits are not prepared for leadership succession. Sixty-nine percent of nonprofits surveyed reported not having a formal succession plan for senior leadership. As the baby boom generation of nonprofit leaders retire, the lack of a formal succession plan may endanger nonprofits’ ability to effectively prepare for leadership transition and put organizational sustainability at risk.
bullet The majority of nonprofits lack formal retention strategies. The vast majority of nonprofits surveyed (90%) do not have a formal strategy for retaining staff despite many indicating that staff retention is an organizational challenge.
bullet Social networking sites are continuing to grow in popularity as recruitment tools in the nonprofit sector.
bullet Nonprofits continue to struggle with workforce diversity and inclusion. While the majority of nonprofits surveyed indicated that gender, age, and ethnic and cultural diversity are important to their organization, many still face challenges in ensuring a diverse workforce.
bullet New hiring practices indicate an effort by nonprofits to avoid employee burnout.

To download the report, go to: www.nonprofithr.com

January 12 - 18, 2014

African Americans and Technology Use

This report on African Americans and technology is the first in a series of demographic snapshots of technology use and adoption among different groups of adults in the United States. Based on a survey of 6,010 American adults, including 664 who identify as African American, it offers a detailed look at a number of key subgroups within the black population such as: men vs. women, old vs. young, low income vs. high income, and parents vs. non-parents. Among the findings:

bullet African Americans trail whites by seven percentage points when it comes to overall internet use (87% of whites and 80% of blacks are internet users). At the same time, blacks and whites are on more equal footing when it comes to other types of access, especially on mobile platforms.
bullet Overall, 73% of African American internet users—and 96% of those ages 18-29—use a social networking site of some kind. African Americans have exhibited relatively high levels of Twitter use since we began tracking the service as a stand-alone platform.
bullet 92% of African Americans own a cell phone, and 56% own a smartphone.

To read or download the full report, go to: pewinternet.org

January 5 - 11, 2014

NPQ’s 10 Trends and 10 Predictions

The editors of the Nonprofit Quarterly have chosen to spotlight 10 trends for 2013 and make 10 predictions for 2014.

Societal Trends:

  1. The country’s economy is unsustainably unbalanced.

  2. We have allowed the government to invade our privacy in unfathomable ways and freedom fighters who seek to liberate information are the new era’s “beloved outlaws.”

  3. The government grinds to a halt over and over again, as most of us experience trickle-down dysfunction.

  4. A more progressive agenda emerges for cities and local economies.

Field Trends:

  1. Obamacare launches—kind of—as nonprofits reorganize for their various roles.

  2. Journalism is in upheaval as some major entities change hands and new experiments emerge.

  3. 2013 contained what appeared to be new momentum on some issues, including those related to gay civil rights and legalization of marijuana.

Organizational Trends:

  1. The business models of some nonprofits failed in significant ways.

  2. Discussions of social enterprise begin to alight on the ground in the U.S. after years of fluttering around.

  3. Transparency and dialogue become even more obviously essential core capacities of a twenty-first century organization. 

For the complete list of trends and predictions including commentary, go to: www.nonprofitquarterly.org

December 15 , 2013 - January 4, 2014

Global Giving by U.S. Corporations

Companies increasingly expand their philanthropic initiatives globally, opening many questions for practitioners and researchers. How do companies donate across borders? What factors influence their philanthropic decision-making? What attributes do companies look for in a nonprofit partner? In which areas do companies seek improvement in the future? Commissioned by Global Impact, this study provides insights into these questions by analyzing the data obtained from secondary databases, a web-based survey of a select group of Fortune 500 firms, and interviews with four large U.S. companies. This study provides key insights and implications both for companies expanding their philanthropic footprint internationally and for nonprofits partnering with corporate funders to address social issues around the globe. For the executive summary including key findings, go to: www.philanthropy.iupui.edu

To view 2013 Trends of the Week, click here.

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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.

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