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Giving Smart: Giving is on the Rise & the Local Perspective

Giving on the Rise

The 2014 Giving USA report, released by Indiana University?s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, delivers good news about the state of charitable giving.  The data suggests that giving has almost returned to pre-recession levels.

A recent blog by Gail Perry – What You Need to Know about the New 2014 Giving USA Report ? does a great job of sharing the highlights.

         Total gifts last year totaled $335 billion.

         Total giving increased by 4.4% in 2013, reflecting increases in giving from all sources.

         Individual gifts and bequests lead the way, making up 80% of all giving.

         Health care and education saw the greatest increases among all sub-sectors.

Generally, these national trends are reflected in local giving patterns as well.  GiveRichmond data suggests that local organizations in the education, health care and human services fields are seeing the most increase in support.  However, all organizations, regardless of category, are remaining consistent or have been steadily gaining in revenues over the past 5 years.

What does this mean for you?

As individuals bounce back from the recession and feel a greater sense of confidence about their own financial situations, what can we do as nonprofits to ensure that they have access to the data they need to make informed giving decisions?  And, are we providing them with the tools to make giving easy?

We believe that when nonprofits pair heartwarming stories, often found in mailers and on their websites, with the data found on GiveRichmond (indicating the overall health of their organization and the progress they are making towards standard measures), they have the tools they need to make a compelling case for support. 

When organizations open multiple channels for fundraising, they are helping to meet donors where they are.  This can include traditional forms of fundraising such as direct donor cultivation, direct mail and events and emerging models such as online giving, social media and giving days like the upcoming Amazing Raise

What?s the local forecast?

This fall, as more local organizations upload their latest financials in GiveRichmond, we will present the data from the 2013 financials to produce a report comparing some of our local statistics to those found in the Giving USA report.  We can look at total revenues for all of the organizations in GiveRichmond for 2013 and compare them to 2012.  The data can be broken down further by organizational category, budget size, region and donor source. 

A preliminary report representing about a third of the portraits reveals a 20% increase in total revenues from 2012 to 2013.  The vast majority of donations came from individuals (70%).

Don’t have a portrait or want to learn more? Visit GiveRichmond.org and register to attend an upcoming training:

7/14 & 7/15: Beginner and Advance Portrait Trainings – With different sessions avialable based on your familiarity with GiveRichmond, join us to learn how to create and maintain an effective nonprofit portrait.  These working sessions will allow you to ask questions and receive guidance on how to complete/update even the more complicated data fields.

Organizations must create their portrait by 8/1 for the Amazing Raise!

New to fundraising? Nonprofit Learning Point is offering a Fundraising Crash Course on 8/22.


GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsideVA is a program of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia (TCF). As strategic partners with ConnectVA, TCF and GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsdeVA encourage smart giving by identifying trends and success stories in local philanthropy through their Giving Smart blog series. If you have ideas about topics you would like to have covered, please comment below!

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