2017 Philanthropic Trends: Implications for American Jewish Organizations

Steven Windmueller, Ph. D.

Posted on January 4, 2017 / 6 Tevet 5777

Written by Steven Windmueller, Ph. D.

 

phil_trends

As we enter 2017 it will be useful to examine various projections and assessments on the state of philanthropy in America. These twelve findings have implications for fundraising strategies as well as nonprofit policies, business practices, and educational programs within the Jewish community:

~Total giving expected to increase by 4.1% in 2016 and by 4.3% in 2017.
(source)

~Giving by foundations will likely increase by 5.7% in 2016 and by 6.4% in 2017.
(source)

~The rise of “wealthy millennials” may be more inclined to share their wealth by creating “social impact” in contrast to previous generations of donors.
(source)

~America has 100 million millennials, more than half of them are in the workforce; as a result, non-profits will need to take into account their growing economic clout. Over three-fourths of millennials have donated to charitable causes.
(source)

~Millennials and Generation X’ers are focused on social causes and often are well connected with others who are passionate about social good.
(source)

~In 2016 the millennial generation outspent baby boomers for the first time.
(source)

~“Social media has been such a phenomenon that it has distracted many nonprofits away from using email to engage their donors and supporters and recent data has revealed that was a mistake. 56% of emails are now opened on a mobile device (Litmus) and the number one activity on smartphones is reading email, not gaming or social networking. Furthermore, email revenue grew by 25% in 2015, faster than the 19% overall rate of online revenue growth (2016 M+R Benchmarks Study). In truth, email is resulting in more online donations than everdefinitely more than social media – and by 2019 the total number of email accounts worldwide will grow from 4.35 billion to 5.59 billion (Radicati Group). Email hasn’t even hit its peak yet.”
(source)

~The average annual household contribution is $2,974. Americans gave $373.25 billion in 2015. This reflects a 4.1% increase from 2014. Corporate giving in 2015 increased to $18.46 billion – a 3.9% increase from 2014. For 2016 and moving forward, these corporate numbers are expected to grow.
(source)

~Moguls and billionaires will continue to propose their own solutions and strategies to change the world, often bypassing traditional philanthropic institutions.
(source)

~Under a Trump Presidency, nonprofits could be impacted by proposed changes in tax rates on the wealthy and the possible reduction or elimination of the inheritance tax. Proposed cuts to many social programs will slash funding to many nonprofits.
(source)

~“Funders and nonprofit leaders are slowly starting to recognize that they must invest in financial models in order to be successful. …There will be a growing body of research into what works and what doesn’t, more case studies about nonprofits that have found financial sustainability, and a growing push to wield the money sword in the nonprofit sector.”
(source)

~More than 250 nonprofit executives answered a wide range of questions about issues facing nonprofit organizations. Here are a few of that Study’s findings: “It’s more challenging than ever to meet financial goals while staying focused on the mission. Lack of resources and limited budgets mean organizations need to make every dollar count.”
(source)


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