Tainted Donors in a Scandal-Prone Era

“Finding funders has never been easy work,” writes The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Martin Levine in How Nonprofits Consider Donations Differently as Donor Challenges Proliferated (September 4, 2019). But it’s much harder now “... in this time of public accountability for societal malefactors and philanthropic money launderers….”      Tainted-Donor Predicament Mr. Levine describes the current tainted-donor dilemma facing Read More

A New eDonor Bill of Rights

More than a quarter-century ago, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) spearheaded an effort to create a list of “rights” to define and govern the important interactions between charitable donors and the organizations they choose to support financially.  Now, there's a new version for eDonors.  In 1993, AFP joined with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Giving Institute: Read More

Online Charitable Giving: Cal AG’s New Guide

In the past decade or so, charitable giving and fundraising have been turned upside by the swift and dramatic rise of the internet.  As quickly as new means of asking for and giving money to charity have developed, legislators and government officials have responded as swiftly as possible to keep up with developments in this brave new electronic world.  The individual states - rather than the Internal Revenue Read More

Another University Gift Hits Donor-Intent Wall

One Sherlock Hibbs, a 1929 graduate of the University of Missouri (MU) was a successful financier and a lifelong fan of the Ludwig von Mises Austrian School of Economics. “Austrians emphasize private property, entrepreneurship, free markets, and sound money as the key drivers of economic performance.”  He wanted future students at his alma mater to become fans and followers of this philosophy as well. Read More

Giving USA Report Has Troubling News

On June 18, 2019, the Giving USA Foundation issued Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, its once-a-year publication that is the “longest-running and most comprehensive report of its kind in America.”  In 2017, charitable giving was at a record rate. But in the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), effective January 1, 2018, Congress hurriedly jammed through dramatic Read More

Thanks for Your Generosity, But … (Part 2)

The devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame sparked a massive outpouring of financial support that reached $1 billion in a matter of days after the event on April 15, 2019. The fundraising drive was given a boost by immediate pledges from four French billionaires. So much money was raised in the first week or so that officials in Paris faced the unusual dilemma of having received a larger sum than French Read More

Thanks for Your Generosity, But … (Part 1)

“Everything for Notre Dame, nothing for Les Misérables”— protest sign The visual and emotional horror of watching The Cathedral of Notre Dame engulfed in flames on April 15, 2019, grabbed the attention of the world that day and for some time afterward. Media here and abroad stopped in their tracks, providing massive coverage led by the top news anchors.   The result was an immediate outpouring of philanthropic Read More

Behested Payments: Now, It’s L.A.’s Turn

On February 17, 2019, the Los Angeles Times ran a story with the headline: An L.A.councilman promoted a charity. Should he have disclosed the donors? The story was about (former) Councilman Mitchel Englander who, for many years, had taken an active part in fundraising for the North Valley Family YMCA. He had, according to this reporting, probably run afoul of a California law requiring “... elected officials to Read More

Getting Rid of Board Members Who Don’t Spark Joy

One of the nonprofit sector’s most prolific and entertaining bloggers, Vu Le (“voo lay”), is intrigued by the KonMari craze sweeping the nation.   Organizing guru Marie Kondo tells us all how to simplify and organize our surroundings. Her method is clean and simple: In tidying up, we should pick up an object and ask ourselves: “Does it spark joy? If not, get rid of it.”  The special appeal of the KonMari Read More

Cause-Related Marketing: New Aggressive Enforcement

In the 1980’s, the American Express company tried out an advertising technique that had not been done before. The financial services giant joined with the nonprofit organization that was leading the fundraising campaign to pay for restoring the Statue of Liberty.  This experiment was a huge success for both sides. Here’s how it worked: American Express launched an advertising campaign to sign up new Read More