Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of
Advancement Research
Is prospect research teachable to anyone, or are there specific qualities that are required to master it? How can you manage a fundraiser who is asking a lot of research staff's time? These are questions that are common among prospect research offices and in this article, Marisa Spittal from Yale University's Office of Development discusses these questions as well as how their office is training junior researchers using a methodology based in megacognition. Spittal shares her thoughts on the need for training advancement staff in research and what training looked like in 2020.
Prior to COVID's arrival, Forbes writer Timothy McClimon identified the following trends that would drive corporate social responsibility (CSR) work in 2020: searching for the truth, achieving carbon neutrality, standing with employees, pursuing purpose over passion, and looking for the next big thing. In 2021, McClimon believes these trends still stand in addition to the following: diversity, equity, and inclusion; the rise of global giving; virtual volunteering; supporting small businesses as a philanthropic priority; and the United National sustainable development goals. Read more here.
Research has found that despite the pandemic, charitable giving was up in 2020. A report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project shows that charitable giving grew by 7.6 percent in the first nine months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. A key takeaway from the findings is that nonprofits should continue to fundraise through trying times. There is a sense of optimism among donors with the COVID-19 vaccine's distribution and the article predicts that giving will increase if Americans feel more confident about their financial situations as we move forward.
In December 2019, Montgomery College received a $1 million gift from the Kimmy Duong Foundation to establish a scholarship endowment for students with financial need. The College named the Rockville Student Services Center the "Long Nguyen and Kimmy Duong Student Services Center" and planned to recognize the naming with a dedication ceremony in 2020. COVID-19 forced the college to shift their plans and instead of an in-person ceremony, they recorded a video and followed the presentation with a live, virtual party. These virtual events and innovative engagement approaches can serve as a model for other institutions, as virtual events and stewardship are likely to stick around even when the pandemic subsides. Click here to read more about Montgomery College's approach and to watch the dedication video.
The Giving Institute published a report, Fundraising Through a Pandemic, that examines where nonprofits are finding success and how they are planning for the future. The number one challenge cited by participants in the survey was the impact COVID-19 had on fundraising. Other top challenges included donor engagement, year-over-year fundraising growth, donor fatigue, and recurring giving. The report found that 62 percent of nonprofits converted to virtual fundraising events and that the majority of those that converted to virtual believed that their events were successful. The participants cited mobile optimization and creative donation options as the most important aspects when engaging a virtual audience. Looking to the future, 78 percent of nonprofits are planning to host one or more events next year and 45 percent are optimistic that the event may be in-person. Read more here.