Growing ‘inequity’ seen in charitable giving
Charities in the U.S. increasingly are counting on bigger donations from smaller numbers of high-income, high-wealth donors, while getting smaller gifts from lower-income and middle-income donors who represent the vast majority of the population, a new report says.
The report, by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., calls for “urgent reform of the philanthropy sector to encourage broader giving, protect the health of the independent sector, discourage the warehousing of wealth in private foundations and donor-advised funds, and increase accountability to protect the public interest and the integrity of our tax system.”
From 2003 to 2013, itemized charitable contributions from people making $500,000 or more — roughly the top one percent of income earners in the U.S. — grew 57 percent, while itemized contributions from people making $10 million or more grew 104 percent, says the report, “Gilded Giving: Top-Heavy Philanthropy in a Age of Extreme Inequality.”
The number of grant-making foundations in the U.S. grew to 86,726 in 2014, up 28 percent from 2004, while those foundations’ assets grew 35 percent, the study says.
From 2003 to 2013, it says, itemized charitable deductions from donors making $100,000 or more grew 40 percent, while itemized charitable deductions from donors making less than $100,000 fell 34 percent.
According to one estimate, the report says, low-dollar and mid-range donors to national public charities — donors who traditionally represented the “vast majority of donor files and solicitation lists for most national nonprofits” — fell by as much as 25 percent from 2005 to 2015.
The rate of decline in low-dollar donors is closely correlated to indicators of overall economic security in the U.S., including wages, employment and homeownership, indicating that donor declines are likely closely related to changing economic conditions, the report says.
“If these trends continue,” it says, “we will witness the rise of ‘top-heavy’ philanthropy dominated by a small number of very wealthy donors.”
The report calls for changes in the rules governing philanthropy, including increasing the minimum annual five percent distribution payout for private foundations; excluding foundation overhead from the payout percentage; linking the excise tax on foundations to payout distribution amounts; and establishing a “two-tier tax benefit structure” for charitable gifts, with incentives that encourage direct donations to public charities focused on “urgent social and community needs.”
It also recommends “exploring a lifetime cap of tax-deductible charitable giving to ensure that those who possess some of the largest fortunes in the United States cannot use such deductions to entirely circumvent tax obligations.”
Participation gap seen in nonprofit services
Nonprofits are not getting enough people to participate in their programs, the participation gap is getting bigger and, to fill it, nonprofits need to a do a better job marketing their programs, a new study says.
Seventy percent of 85 nonprofit leaders surveyed by The Bridgespan Group reported shortfalls in program participation, and half said the shortfall had increased over the past five years.
“Our research points to the need for U.S. and international nonprofits to recognize that innovative social programs don’t sell themselves,” Taz Hussein, a Bridgespan partner who led the study, says in a statement. “Getting a new idea adopted, even when it has proven effective, is often very difficult.”
The study, the focus of “Selling Social Change,” an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, calls for nonprofits to “recognize the limits of designing primarily for effectiveness and design for ‘spreadability;'” to “go beyond identifying a broad group of potential beneficiaries and focus first on a subgroup most likely participate;” and to “develop and resource a sales and marketing capability from the outset, right alongside budgeting for program delivery.”
Donor advised funds post record-high grants, assets
Grants from donor advised funds and those funds’ assets available for grantmaking climbed to record highs in 2015, a new report says.
Grants grew 16.9 percent to $14.52 billion, continuing a double-digit “payout” rate of 20.7 percent for the 10th straight year, compared to the mandatory five percent minimum payout for private foundations, says the “2016 Donor-Advised Fund Report” from National Philanthropic Trust in Jenkintown, Pa.
Assets grew 11.9 percent to $78.64 billion, continuing double-digit growth every year since 2010, the report says.
It is based mainly on data from Form 990s filed with the Internal Revenue Service by 1,1016 charities that sponsor donor advised funds, including national charities, community foundations and other sponsoring charities.
Contributions to donor advised funds grew 11.4 percent to $22.26 billion, an all-time high, the report says.
The number of donor advised fund accounts in the U.S. grew 11.1 percent to 269,180, while the average donor advised fund account grew 8.8 percent to a record-high $235,727.
Younger women seen having more charitable influence
Women ages 25 to 47 — known as “Generation X” and “Millennials” — have more influence in charitable giving than their counterparts four decades ago before the “Baby Boom” generation, or those born from 1946 through 1964, a new report says.
Among GenX and Millennial married couples who give large amounts, women have more influence on decisions about giving than their pre-Boomer counterparts, says “Women Give 2016,” a report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
For GenX and Millennial married couples whose giving decisions were influenced by women, estimated giving is higher than that of their pre-Boomer counterparts, the report says.
And for GenX and Millennial married couples whose giving decisions are made by men only, it says, estimated giving is lower than that of their pre-Boomer counterparts.
While estimated giving by GenX and Millennial single women is comparable to that of pre-Boomer single women, estimated giving by GenX and Millennial single men and married couples is lower than their pre-Boomer counterparts.
Giving to orchestras exceeds earned income
Contributed income accounted for 43 percent of total income at U.S. orchestras in 2014, while earned income accounted for 40 percent and investment income accounted for 17 percent, a new report says.
Audiences at orchestras fell 10.5 percent between 2010 and 2014, says “Orchestra Facts: 2006-2014,” a report commissioned by the League of American Orchestras and prepared by the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University.
In 2013, for the first time, single-ticket revenue and group sales exceeded subscription revenue, the report says.
Still, it says, while single-ticket revenue and income from group sales grew six percent, that growth did not fully compensate for a drop of 13 percent in subscription sales.
Orchestra trustees and other individual donors contributed nearly half of contributed funds to orchestras in 2014, and roughly 75 percent of gifts made by individuals who were not trustees were under $250.
In 2014, foundations provided 13 percent of contributed income to orchestras that were members of the League, while corporations provided 10 percent and government sources provided seven percent.
In 2014, the U.S. was home to 1,224 orchestras that contributed $1.8 billion to the national economy, with two in three orchestras operating with annual expense budgets under $300,000.
Statewide Habitat effort focuses on hurricane relief
Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina is recruiting the 78 Habitat ReStores in the state to try to raise up to $100,000 to help pay for rebuilding 93 Habitat homes in Fayetteville damaged in October by flooding from Hurricane Matthew.
Our Towns Habitat for Humanity ReStores are donating 20 percent of sale proceeds to the effort.
The 93 homes represent over half the 154 houses the Fayetteville Habitat affiliate has built over the past 30 years. Only 27 of the homes had flood insurance.
Community Matters gives $175,000
Community Matters gave a total of $175,000 to Charlotte Family Housing and Crisis Assistance Ministry, its charity partners for 2014-16, bringing its three-year contribution to the two charities to $550,000.
Combined with its donations to Safe Alliance in 2012-13, Community Matters now has contributed $925,000 to charity since its was formed five years ago.
Grant supports program for adolescent boys
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina received a grant of $56,980 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem that will support continued access by adolescent men in Forsyth County to the Wise Guys male responsibility program.
The national program is taught to boys ages 11 to 17 in schools and community-based sites.
Wise Guys works to promote healthy concepts of masculinity and responsible behavior while educating young men about wise choices on sexual relations.
Wise Guys has grown from serving 500 boys in Greensboro in 1996 to 5,400 boys in 14 counties last year.
High Point University gets $10 million
High Point University has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor that will support a new undergraduate sciences school and building.
Construction on the facility will begin next summer.
Guilford College gets $30,000
The Hillsdale Fund in Greensboro has awarded Guilford College a $30,000 grant to support start-up funds for a major in sustainable food systems the School will launch in spring 2017.
New Hanover funder gives $30,000
New Hanover County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation, awarded $30,000 from the Riegelwood Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to Wesley United Methodist Church to assist victims of Hurricane Matthew in the Riegelwood community.
Winston-Salem State gets $26,000
Winston-Salem State University received $26,000 from AT&T to support a fund that helps students who need financial assistance continue their education.
The gift will allow the school to award need-based scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 each to about 20 students.
In the last three years, first-year retention of students at Winston-Salem State has increased to 80 percent from 71 percent, marking the biggest increase in the 16-campus University of North Carolina System.
Food drive to benefit hurricane relief
UNC and UNC Rex, including co-workers at UNC Wayne Memorial and UNC Lenoir Memorial Hospitals in Goldsboro and Kinston, teamed with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to host a food drive to benefit people affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The drive filled over 17 bins of 27 cubic feet each with essential items and non-perishable food weighing over 10,245 pounds, or the equivalent of 8,627 meals.
The effort also raised $1,250 that was matched to total $2,500.
Event to benefit heart research
Hand for Hearts, a Greensboro charity that raises money to benefit research on congenital heart defects, will host its third annual “Casino Night” on February 25 at 7 p.m. at Greensboro Country Club.
The event, which last year raised $100,000, this year will benefit The Children’s Heart Foundation.
Shook joins Hospice of Davidson County
DeeDee Shook, former human resources and accounting manager at Talon of NC in Winston-Salem, has been named director of human resources for Hospice of Davidson County.
Singleton joins Forsyth United Way
Aaron Singleton, former director of news and media relations at Winston-Salem State University, has joined United Way of Forsyth County as director of communications.
Bank employees assemble bikes
Triad employees of eight Carolina Bank locations and eight First Bank locations were scheduled on November 16 to assemble 16 bikes to benefit the Angel Tree Program of The Salvation Army.
The bikes will be distributed among the First Bank and Carolina Bank branches across the Triad for inclusion in their respective Salvation Army donation boxes.
Farmers Market gets grant
Greensboro Farmers Market received a grant from Cone Health Foundation to participate in the Orange Card Program of Guilford Community Care Network, allowing 5,460 participants enrolled in the program to have access to fresh foods.
The network is a nonprofit program of community supporters that coordinates health care services for low-income or uninsured individuals in Guilford County.
Orange Card beneficiaries will get $15 in tokens each week to shop at the Market for fresh produce, breads, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.
Duke Energy employees package food
Employees and retirees of Duke Energy’s 11 operations centers in the Triad were scheduled on November 17 to sort and repackage thousands of pounds of donated food at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and prepare it for distribution to local food pantries.
Since late October, the operations centers have hosted food drives for local food banks.
Syngenta employees assemble snack packs
About 30 employees of the customer marketing department of Syngenta in Greensboro assembled 850 trail-mix snack packs that were delivered to the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope.
Before the packaging effort, the employees routed The Salvation Army Royce and Jane Reynolds Center for Worship and Service and Boys & Girls Club.
United Way of Greater Greensboro and The Volunteer Center coordinated the project, which had a goal of assembling 750 packs.
Truliant giving $21,000
Truliant Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem is awarding a total of $21,000 in to 23 nonprofits in Alamance, Randolph, Mecklenburg, Cleveland, Gaston, Guilford and Forsyth County in North Carolina; in Greenville, S.C.; and in Wytheville and Radford in Virginia.
The Mini Grants program, which has awarded over $200,000 in eight years, considers proposals to support operating, programming or capacity-building needs for projects that focus on financial education, basic needs, arts and culture, or youth programming.
Ten nonprofits get $40,000 each
GSK in partnership with Triangle Community Foundation awarded $40,000 each to 10 local nonprofits.
Elon University gets two gifts
John R. Hill, a graduate of Elon University and a member of its board of trustees, and his wife, Lesley, of Severna Park, Md., have given the school an estate gift that will provide it with funding in the future, and have made a commitment to give $100,000 to support construction of Richard W. Sankey Hall, a new facility that will provide space for the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.