Nonprofit news roundup, 12.01.17

Donor retention declining

The overall rate of retention of charitable donors has fallen this year from last year, and is expected to continue dropping through the end of the year, a new report says

Overall donor retention fell to 32.6 percent for the first nine months of 2017, down from 34.5 percent in the same period last year, says the Fundraising Effectiveness Project Quarterly Report.

For the first six months of 2017, overall donor retention fell to 28.1 percent from 28.7 percent in the same period last year, says the report, which is based on data, from five fundraising software firms, on 4.8 million U.S. donors who gave a total of $4.69 billion.

The retention rate among previous-year donors, other than new donors, fell to 45 percent for the first nine months of this year, compared to 48 percent for same period each of the last four years.

That retention rate has declined each year since 2013, and is expected to drop again in 2017, the report says.

“If this downward trend in retention continues, the cost of fundraising will certainly increase with it,” the Fundraising Effectiveness Project says in a statement.

For the first nine months of the year, the retention rate for new donors was 17.6 percent, down from 23.2 percent for the same period last year, when it reached the highest level in five years.

Elizabeth Boris, director of Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and a member of the steering committee for the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, says some fundraising experts believe “there’s not been enough effort made to build a relationship and communicate with donors outside fundraising.”

Those experts believe “nonprofits have to do a better job keeping in touch with their donors, and communicating with them when they’re not asking for money, and helping them care about the organization,” she says.

Among many factors that may be affecting donor retention, nonprofits also may be “getting used to doing one-off social-media giving,” Boris says. “If you’re just relying on social media, it’s not a way to build trust and long-term relationships.”

But she adds, “There’s a lot we don’t know.”

Gift donations of over $1,000 fell eight percent in the three months ended September 30, compared to the same period last year, while overall giving for the first nine months of 2017 fell four percent, compared to the same period in 2016, the report says.

Donations under $250 grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, and donations of $250 to $1,000 grew 21 percent, but those increases likely reflect a response to natural disasters in the three-month period, the report says.

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project, launched in 2006 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, is based on data from by five donor software firms, with the report produced by two data-processing-and-analytics firms.

Bank of America gives $2.8 million in Charlotte

Bank of America awarded $2.8 million in grants to 36 nonprofits working in Charlotte to address the roots of economic mobility.

It also named the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte the 2017 recipients of its Neighborhood Builders awards.

For each of those two nonprofits, the bank will provides leadership development for the executive director and a developing leader, $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and access to capital to expand their impact in the  community.

Food drive generates 3,200 meals

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina generated over 3,200 meals in its inaugural one-day Caring for the Community Food Drive, hosted and promoted by the Pulse FM in coordination with Carli C’s IGA locations.

Habitat Greensboro to open second ReStore in spring

Habitat Greensboro plans in mid-spring to open a second ReStore on the southeast corner of Lawndale Drive and Cornwallis Drive after the Walgreens Drugstore there closes December 31.

The new location will focus on furniture and do-it-yourself projects from a slightly-smaller space than its other location at 3826 W. Gate City Blvd. that featured new and used appliances, building materials and furniture.

Benefit gala for Carolina Theatre to feature Gladys Knight

Soul singer Gladys Knight will be the featured performer for the 7th Annual Command Performance Benefit Gala on April 19, 2018, that will benefit The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro.

Sponsored by TCDI and VF Corporation, the event will include a dinner at 5:30 p.m. and a concert at 8 p.m.

Co-Chairs for the event are Seth D. Moore of Fidelity Bank and lawyer Don Vaughan of Don R. Vaughan and Associates.

Brady Services first veterans sponsor for Heart Association

Brady Services is the first Guilford County veterans sponsor for the American Heart Association in the Triad and will sponsor a special VIP area for veterans and their families at the Association’s High Point Healthy For Good Expo on February 24 and at the Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk on May 19.

Davidson Hospice honors Young

Philip Young, vice president of business development at Radians Inc. in Thomasville and a former chair of the board of directors of Hospice of Davidson County, was honored by the Hospice board for his service and support to the agency.

Young and his family recently made a donation to the serenity garden just outside Hinkle Hospice House.

EnergyUnited Foundation gives $10,000 for hurricane relief

The EnergyUnited Foundation in Statesville made a $10,000 gift to Samaritan’s Purse to help fund its relief efforts for people in the U.S. and Caribbean affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

NC Global Leadership awards $1,000 scholarship

NC Global Leadership in Greensboro, formerly Piedmont Triad Council for International Visitors, has awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Barry “Justin” Spencer, a senior from Huntersville at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro support his plan to study next semester at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

Professional-development available for artists

January 5, 2018, at 5 p.m. is the deadline for artists and collaborative groups in Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties to submit applications to the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County for Duke Energy Regional Artist Project Grants that offer support professional development.

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