National Philanthropic Trust's Blog
Last week, when Giving USA released its annual statistical report on charitable giving, it was hard to ignore the impact of donor-advised funds. One of the most significant numbers in the report is the 6.2% increase in public-society benefit organizations. Giving USA attributed this increase to “the growth in giving of appreciated assets to donor-advised funds, especially from high-net-worth donors who see advantages of giving to these funds over giving to private foundations.”
Charitable giving was on the rise in 2010 and a new report from Blackbaud, Inc. shows that the trend has continued into 2011. In the three-month period that ended this February, charitable giving rose 3% when compared with the same period last year. This represents the seventh consecutive period of increased giving, according to Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud’s chief scientist and creator of the Blackbaud Index.
In the wake of the earthquakes that struck Japan, many donors will be seeking information on how best to support relief efforts in that part of the world. Simply put, the most efficient and effective way to help is by donating money to a humanitarian organization operating relief programs in the affected region. Monetary donations are fast and organizations can use them to purchase the exact type and quantity of items they need. Furthermore, a gift of money helps ensure that relief efforts contribute to the long-term sustainability and self-reliance of the affected region.
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, a number of leading experts and institutions are attempting to predict future trends and developments in philanthropy. This is a difficult intellectual excercise, but important for donors to keep in mind as they determine their philanthropic goals and objectives.
Last week, I was at a conference on global philanthropy in New York City and a representative with an international humanitarian relief agency was speaking about how her organization handles the huge influx of donations they receive in a crisis relief situation. And then, this morning, I read a great blog post that talks about the complexity of responding to an emergency.
People often discount the practical side of philanthropy. In my experience, donors have a pretty clear sense of the charities they wish to support. Most often, these include their place of worship, alma mater, or a health care issue that has affected themselves or their family. What they often lack is context for their giving.