Donovan's Donor Diary

If you are trying to raise money for your favorite charity/cause, Donovan's Donor Diary provides you with facts, tips and best practices on how to raise millions of dollars for people, pets and the planet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Consider the Facts and Ten Questions to Ponder

The Facts are that:

* Most wealthy donors will continue to give even if the charitable tax deduction was taken away. Nearly 52% of 700 households with a net worth of at least $1 million and an income of $200,000 indicated in a joint study by Bank of America and the University of Indiana Center on Philanthropy that their giving would remain the same even if the tax deduction was reduced or eliminated. While the remainder of the sampling said they would give less if deductions were wiped out, a third of them would somewhat decrease their giving.

* Over 92% of Americans are employed

* 70% of U.S. households give to charity, even in tough times

* Foundation portfolios are down an average of 30% or more. However, by law, they must give away 5% of their assets annually

* 94% of individuals in the U.S. have yet to make a bequest to a nonprofit

* Trillions of dollars will pass from one generation to the next in decades to come

* Gifts of stock, whether appreciated or depreciated, can be gifted to a bona fide nonprofit that has a Letter of Determination from the IRS. In this down market, donors can sell their depreciated stock, trigger a taxable loss and give the cash to charity. Donors get a charitable deduction for the cash gift and usually incur a second taxable loss (a second deduction) equal to the difference between the stock's taxable cost basis and its fair market value at the date of sale. Always encourage donors to consult their own tax advisor on such matters.

Sources: University of Indiana Center on Philanthropy, Foundation Center, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Ten Questions for Your Organization to Ponder in this Economy

1. Have you assessed your situation, adjusted or re-tooled your fund raising program/strategy? (Does your fund raising effort need a Second Opinion?)

2. Do you have a contingency plan or fund?

3. Have you done an inventory of what you must do to compete in this highly competitive fund raising environment, especially for the shrinking number of foundation grants and individual major gifts?

4. Have you tweaked your case by making it known how your organization is assisting those most affected by tough times?

5. Have you prepared a list of possible donor objections to giving in tough times and responses to the objections?

6. Have you devoted more time to training volunteers on how to ask for major gifts to bolster their confidence when making the ask?

7. Is it time to consider the feasibility of a merger with an organization with a similar mission?

8. Do you have a Stimulus Package shovel ready project and a special Board Task Force that can make the case for it with your legislative delegation?

9. Holding off on that capital campaign? Now is a good time to plan and prepare for that campaign. Have you considered a pre-campaign online survey to test the campaign project list among your constituency and ask them when they think the time is right to launch a campaign?

10. Finally, keep in mind the number one reason why people give money in good times and bad -- because they are asked (invited) to do so. How many invitations have you extended this month?

Please let me hear from you.

A special thanks to my friend and colleague, Mark J. Wolff, Professor of Law at St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens for his advice and counsel on this Blog.

All the best for continued $ucce$$.

Jim Donovan


  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Cecelia D - Treasure Coast Food Bank said…

    Love your blog – so much information. Really appreciate having access to such timely information.

  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Larry said…

    Jim - This is great.

  • At 11:41 AM, Anonymous CEO Social Service NPO, Stuart FL said…

    Just quickly read your blog and I have regained some of the faith I had lost. You always bring out the positive and where the real money is.

  • At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This IS very good counsel, thank you. I might add: Don't be mesmerized by the snake. Keep asking.



Post a Comment

<< Home