The Trifecta: Uber, Dell and Goodwill?

I love finding examples of partnerships between businesses and nonprofits that are clearly win-win scenarios, providing benefits and positive exposure for both parties. So when I find a “win-win-win” scenario, it’s even better. (more…)

Happy Employees, Positive Image: Strategic Corporate Giving is a Necessity

If you are a business owner, marketing director or HR professional, you likely play a key role in your organization’s charitable giving decisions. What does that process look like? When you think about your business and philanthropy, is something missing?

Does it feel sometimes like you or your company go through the motions of writing a few checks of support – or even underwrite a cause-related event or two – without a real strategy for corporate giving?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re not alone. (more…)

Family Foundations – who is really making the decisions?

Have you ever wondered who really manages all those Family Foundations?  Follow along for a quick snapshot of who is making the decisions—

Family Foundations are almost always under the purview of immediate family members only.

When setting up a Family Foundation the founder will determine who is eligible for Board service—the vast majority of Family Foundations are exclusively controlled by the donor, the donor’s spouse, and their immediate children.  Adult grandchildren are sometimes involved (30%), but donor’s siblings (9%) and parents (2%) rarely are—and how Board members are selected: 12.5% confer membership automatically based on age, 6% select members to represent different branches of the family, and 17% select board members based on skills.

Family Foundations continue to rely on their own network to identify grantees. Only 10% of Family Foundations said they accept unsolicited requests. (more…)

Global Giving – Where Does The U.S. Fall?

Private charity is critical in making America the unique country it is, but we are not the only country in the world with thriving philanthropy.

Forbes Insights and BNP Paribas recently release its annual Individual Philanthropy Index. The Philanthropy Index measures charitable motivations, interests and giving around the world. Key findings:

The U.S. ranks #1 for both current and projected giving. Europe placed second.

The U.S. again ranks first for the total dollar amount given. The Middle East had the sharpest increase in giving year over year.

Religious faith is the top motivator for charity in the Middle East.  It is personal experience in the United States.  European respondents report giving out of a sense of duty, and Asians are motivated by a desire to give back to society.

American and Middle Eastern philanthropists prefer to give locally, Europeans give regionally, and Asians give nationally. (more…)

Do you know where your money went?

Each of us have made donations whose impact we can see and measure—and donations for which we could not tell you where the money went if our lives depended on it!

Are you interested in seeing your charitable efforts evolve from something that simply feels good to something that actually does the most good?  (more…)

The value of Giving Back does get passed down!

Grandparents who actively pursue philanthropic endeavors are more likely to have grandchildren who give charitably and volunteer in the community.

While giving priorities may differ (grandparents are more inclined to religious giving and grandchildren to secular giving), grandparents play a role in developing their grandchildren’s giving habits.

Recent research released by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy provides a first-of-its-kind look at the role parents and grandparents play in shaping the third generation’s giving habits. (more…)

Searching for corporate sponsors? Three tips for smarter fundraising.

The approach many nonprofits take to attract corporate support appears to be sending out multiples of mass produced sponsor material in hopes of garnering a donation; after all they have so much money–certainly they can give you just a little, right?

You have a much better chance of attracting corporate support by thoughtfully identifying a handful of companies that naturally align with the nonprofit mission, and then crafting individual communication for each of them. (more…)

How does business philanthropy affect your company’s vaule?

Most owners have considered the correlation between business giving and the success of the business.  Strategic giving improves reputation management and strengthens relationships with vendors, customers and clients. But how does business philanthropy affect the company’s value?

Since valuation is typically a function of available cash flow it stands to reason that a company designating a portion of its profits to the community means less money flowing to the ownership—decreasing the overall business value. (more…)

When unhappy donors want their money back

A donor was approached by the Executive Director of the local Humane Society with a $25,000 proposal to fund the development of an onsite low-cost spay and neuter clinic.  The donor was told that bringing those services in-house would save $60,000 in annual operating costs at the Humane Society and that the clinic would be operational within 12 months.

The Executive Director left the organization, the clinic never opened, and the donor wants his money back.  Is he right? (more…)