The nonprofit sector continues to grow, despite the economic downturn and sluggish recovery.  The Urban Institute’s The Nonprofit Almanac 2012 by Katie L. Roeger, Amy S. Blackwood, and Sarah L. Pettijohn indicates that the number of nonprofits grew by 24% from 2000 to 2010, and their growth in revenue was even more striking at 41%.  Nonprofits contributed $804.8B to the U.S. economy in 2010, representing 5.5% of GDP.  Perhaps more important, nonprofits now employ 10% of the U.S. workforce, meaning one in every 10 working adults now finds meaningful employment at nonprofit organizations.  This growth in nonprofit influence is fueled in part by a rising demand for services as the recession fueled drop in wages and employment for Middle America feeds the ever-growing income disparity gap between the rich and the rest.Read more

As 2014 gets underway, predictions abound.  With full knowledge that “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” we offer the following ideas for nonprofits to ponder this year and beyond.  Trend One: With the Continued Growth of the Nonprofit Sector, Individual Donors Will Become More Important.  The nonprofit sector is growing in both size and influence, government cutbacks are negatively impacting nonprofit funding and corporate funding, while growing, is a mere 6% of total contributions. Nonprofits wishing to survive and thrive in this uncertain and unsustainable economic climate will have to rely heavily on individual donors.  Identifying, involving and integrating these individuals into partnerships to help solve our most pressing problems will be the challenge of 2014.  Nonprofits will need to understand their donors and supporters on a different level – go beyond wealth and beyond demographics – to dig deep into the psyche and motivations of their constituents.  Read more

GuideStar led the first revolution in nonprofit transparency by posting IRS Forms 990 online nearly two decades ago. That resulted in greater accountability in nonprofit practice and greater transparency in compensation, program effectiveness, and giving across the sector. Now we’re helping to lead a second revolution. We want to expand the definition of transparency to be more timely, interactive, inclusive, and comprehensive.  On Monday, February 24, at 2 pm ET, we are holding the first ever Impact Call, and we invite you to join us. Loosely based on the quarterly earnings calls held by publicly-owned companies, the Impact Call is open to everyone and will be the first step in addressing these new transparency definitions.Read more

There’s much talk about having an integrated marketing campaign to engage your donors. But what about a mobile campaign? Angela Whaley, Client Experience Director at mGive and Claudia Perrone, Marketing Specialist at No-Kill LA shared how they did just during WealthEngine’s webinar Puppies, Kitties and Mobile: Donor Engagement with mGive & Best Friends Animal Society.  Myths about Mobile: First, they addressed some common mobile myths which have discouraged many from going forward with a mobile campaign.Read more

I’ve long been a big fan of the wit and wisdom of Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry of the Veritus Group.  Recently, in their Passionate Giving blog they exhorted major gift officers to clean out their clogged middle donor pipelines. Say Jeff and Richard, “So in 2014, if you want to maintain a healthy major gift program, you’re going to need to invest in some good donor plumbing… to get your mid-level donor program flowing freely.” Truer words were never spoken.  But these two worthy fundraising gurus actually glossed over one of the most important tools (other than a Roto-Rooter) to clean out said pipeline: regular data screening of your donors.  They give a nod to it by suggesting you “…conduct a wealth overlay on all your midlevel and major donors to get a better understanding of capacity.”Read more

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