of Economic Recovery
says charitable giving
may be ready to rebound
they found 2010 challenging
(January 2011) After several tough years,
there are indications that strapped-for-cash non-profit organizations
may find fundraising a little easier in the days ahead.
A national survey of 2,356 public charities and 163 private foundations
concluded that charitable giving may be on the increase following the
end of the recession.
The GuideStar 2010 survey found:
The proportion of participants reporting decreased
contributions dropped 14 percent, from 51 percent in October 2009 to
37 percent in October 2010.
The percentage who said contributions had increased grew 13 percent,
from 23 percent in October 2009 to36 percent in October 2010.
These figures may herald the beginning of an economic recovery
in the non-profit sector, although only time will tell if the trend
will continued, concluded GuideStar, an organization that gathers
and publicizes information about non-profits.
Madison, Ind.-based fundraising consultant Wayne Kyle of Woodburn Kyle
& Co. sees that trend in his work with hospitals, museums and libraries
who are clients of his firm. People are gaining confidence again.
Its coming back but slowly, said Kyle.
People on boards are afraid to start fundraising because they
are not sure how fundraising will be received. If theyre unsure
of the reception, theyre less likely to initiate a fundraising
effort. Thats why these statistics are so important, to say that
we are turning the corner, Kyle said.
Local non-profits could use some good news about fund-raising after
several lean years.
2010 has been the most challenging of the three years she has worked
for United Way of Jefferson County, said Sheila Coffin She was recently
named interim director after the resignation of executive director Stacy
Its been a lot rougher, actually, said Sheila Coffin,
comparing 2010 fundraising to prior years. Our goal was higher
$325,000, compared to $300,000 last year. Were at
92 percent, she said in mid-December. United Way of Jefferson
County supports 12 agencies.
The economy has had a huge effect on United Ways fundraising,
she said. Since much of its revenue comes through voluntary payroll
deductions, United Way also feels the impact when employees health
insurance premiums go up. Employees shrink their giving in order to
maintain their take-home pay.
Meanwhile, the need for services for various United Way agencies has
increased as households experience money problems.
Fortunately, the United Way has a matching grant to help fill its coffers,
Coffin said. Lilly Endowment has promised to match 2010 or 2011 gifts
that represent an increase in giving over 2009 levels, up to a cap of
The Lide White Boys & Girls Club in Madison is one of the 12 United
Way agencies, but it also conducts its own fundraising effort.
Ray Black Jr., executive vice president of the Boys & Girls Club,
said, Its been difficult with the recession and the economy
the way it is. Weve definitely had to work longer and harder to
get the grants we did get. Theyre more competitive.
The Boys & Girls Club got through this difficult year, Black says,
because of a $42,500 federal stimulus grant. It enabled him to keep
four part-time employees on the staff to supervise members.
It was a critical component of our financial survival this year,
said Black. That type of grant is not available for the year that started
Nov. 1, so gifts from individual donors will be increasingly important.
During 2009 and 2010, the Boys & Girls Club targeted more individual
donors in an annual campaign called It Just Takes One. Madison
and Jefferson County as a whole is a very generous and giving community,
He has seen an increase in families asking for assistance or scholarships
to pay their Boys & Girls Club dues. The club policy is to turn
no one away. A state of Indiana program called Mitchs Kids
helps in this effort. Students in grades 1-8 who agree to do homework
at the club for 20 to 30 minutes each day will receive free membership
for up to 12 weeks.
Black says in his experience, not-for-profits have financial difficulties
for two years before an economic downturn, and for another two years
after the economic picks back up. Im really expecting another
year where well have to rise and meet the challenges, said
Susan Stahl, executive director of Girls Inc. of Jefferson County (Ind.),
had a similar assessment. The last couple of years have been challenging
and I dont think were out of it yet. She noted that
its always challenging finding money for operating expenses. Its
important to invest in the people who work with our girls. Thats
where our priorities are in our programming. We need people to
supervise our girls.
Girls Inc. is currently conducting a capital campaign to raise money
for buildings and endowment. That kind of giving may attract different
donors than those who give for annual campaigns, Stahl said. Both operating
funds and capital funds are important to the organization.
People have been incredibly generous and have responded to the
needs of organizations like us, where the girls needs and the
families needs have gone up, said Stahl.
As for 2011, Were always optimistic, but we will be working
very hard to stay connected to our donors. Well be looking for
new donors who believe in our mission.
Kyle, the fund-raising consultant, tells his clients that successful
campaigns can be accomplished even in a tight economy.
Organizations that have done well with communicating with their
donors will do well with their campaigns, said Kyle. People
have been giving to organizations with a solid history of giving, strong
cases of need and a well planned fund-raising effort.
Back to January 2011