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

Ford Foundation, Others, Move to General Operating Support

In Are Funders Read to Throw The Overhead Myth Overboard? we explained that in the past decade or so, the nonprofit world has moved away from a pervasive allegiance to the entirely misguided concept that overhead is taboo. Now, we see the beginnings of a more enlightened era: Thought leaders, nonprofit organizations, and funders and donors recognize that adequate spending on general operating expenses - including Read More

History of Anonymous Giving: A Forum

A year ago, we posted To Give or Not To Give - Anonymously, That Is (March 27, 2018). With a light-hearted touch, we discussed the reasons why current-day donors choose either to give to charity with great fanfare or to conceal their identities as benefactors of certain institutions or causes. Of the two paths, the more intriguing is that of anonymity.  Why do philanthropists make this choice? The two most Read More

Rage Giving: The RAICES Example

In  Rage Giving: What’s the Formula For Success?, we described an example of this phenomenon following the tumultuous 2016 presidential election that resulted in windfalls to certain nonprofit organizations. “Americans turned in droves to well-known groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Environmental Defense Fund.”   We asked: “So Read More

Second Thoughts About Cryptocurrency Donations?

In early April 2018, we posted Bitcoin and More: The New World of Donations. Cryptocurrency was Introduced just a decade ago, but by 2017, it was taking the world by storm. Cryptocurrency has applications and implications across the economic spectrum. The nonprofit world has begun to sit up and take notice: This new technology offers an added type of payment option for charitable donations; it has some notable Read More