2010 Giving Survey


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In this second annual survey, more than one hundred philanthropic leaders from across the United States shared their wisdom and insights about giving in the year ahead. The data provided in this Dini Partners’ survey report is encouraging and demonstrates the critical thinking that undergirds philanthropy in these challenging times.

From the valued impressions and insights that were shared, we have made recommendations to assist nonprofit leaders and volunteers. It is our hope that this survey report will help institutions continue to succeed in fundraising and mission advancement as our national and regional economies continue to recover.

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2010 Giving Survey

  1. 1. Dini Partners Ask Giving in 2009 Major Philanthropists About Dini Partners, a nationally recognized management consulting firm with a 40-year history of service to the nonprofit sector, surveyed a select national group of well- known philanthropists to obtain their opinions about the economy and its impact on charitable giving in 2009. Data gleaned from the December 2008 survey represented the opinions of individuals, families, corporations and foundations whose annual gifts consistently exceed $100,000 per year. Most of the respondents have contributed gifts of $1 million or more in any given year. While these donors acknowledge that the economy has had an adverse impact on the value of their assets, they continue to express a deep commitment to the institutions that they support. In this environment, several of the respondents expressed an increased desire to help people and institutions that are suffering or at risk in this economic climate. At the same time, others pointed to the importance of continuing fundraising for annual operating support and for capital campaigns focused on core programming. J a n u a r y 2 O O 9
  2. 2. D I N I P A R T N E R S S U R V E Y The Participants Of the 54 participants in the survey, 34 are individual contributors In response to questions concerning charitable giving in the coming or representatives of philanthropic families, 14 are foundation year, most expect a diminished capacity to give in the near-term: trustees or officers, and six represent historically philanthropic corporations. In this survey, participants were asked about their n Nearly 62 percent indicated their giving for 2009 will be outlook for philanthropy in 2009. adversely impacted. Twenty-six percent of the respondents expect a reduction of as much as 25 percent, while almost 11 The individual contributors surveyed were comprised of only percent expect a reduction in giving of as much as 50 percent. multimillionaires and some billionaires with most having a net worth in the $20 million to $50 million range. Many of these n Thirty-four percent responded that their giving or grant-making individual contributors have made generous seven- to eight-figure capacity will be the same as that of 2008. gifts, with several individual’s lifetime charitable giving exceeding n Just over 5 percent note that their giving will actually increase or the $100 million threshold. The majority of the foundations increase slightly in 2009. surveyed have assets between $150 million to $750 million, with a reduced By at other total giving of $240 million in the last year. The largest single gift In response to questions Least 50% 4% from these foundations reported in the last year was $5 million. The 11% concerning the primary factors will be the corporations surveyed are leaders in their respective industries and that will influence giving in 2009, will change saMe as 2008 have a history of active philanthropy, making gifts in the seven- to 34% the vast majority (64 percent) with eight-figure range. indicated they will be motivated the market throughout by the existing relationships they the year The Results enjoy with a particular institution 25% reduced By at Forty-five percent of the survey respondents anticipate that the for which the gift is being solicited. Least 25% The second largest group (33 adverseLy iMpacted 26% economy will begin its recovery in late 2009. Twenty-one percent of the participants responded that a percent) responded that their iMpact of the econoMy other restored economy is not likely to giving will focus exclusively on on phiLanthropic capacity 17% By Midyear 2009 occur until the fourth quarter of programs to help the poor or don’t know 2% 2010. Less than 2 percent of the those in need. Additionally, 50 percent noted that their giving will 15% respondents expect a recovery or be limited to fewer programs and projects in the coming year. turnaround as early as midyear 2009. When asked what single factor will have the greatest weight in their giving decisions in 2009, the majority again confirmed that an Included among the most existing relationship with the agency or institution will be of singular optimistic responses was the importance. The second and third factors respectively include By year-end 2010 By Late year 2009 comment that “The best case the economic or social need of the asking agency or institution 21% 45% is for the economy to stabilize (13.2 percent) and the vision of the asking agency or institution (13.2 percent). Contrary to popular opinion, the person who is expectations for econoMic recovery in 2009 with modest to no real growth for several years.” A more asking for the gift is ranked as the most important factor in giving commonly held point of view expressed by a corporate CEO was, decisions by only 5.7 percent of the participants. The dollar amount “I am planning for no recovery over the next two years.” requested or the pledge payment period are key to giving decisions for only 2 percent of the respondents. The chief concern among leaders of charitable foundations is the time that will be required for assets to be restored: Each year, philanthropic individuals, families, foundations and corporations are asked to support varieties of programs from “Even if the economy is restored by 2010, it will require a longer annual funds to capital campaigns and endowment drives. When period of time to restore foundation assets to pre-2008 numbers. asked about what types of programs they are more likely to There will be less to work with and the needs have not changed.” support in 2009, 65 percent responded in favor of annual appeals or programs in support of annual operations. Capital and special —An anonymous foundation trustee project funds for construction and new programs will continue to Even with diminished income, several foundation representatives be supported by 38 percent of the respondents. Additionally, 36 acknowledged a commitment to honor all existing multiyear percent will support emergency or rescue funds for organizations. commitments “regardless of the economy” while examining the It is important to note that only 11.5 percent anticipate supporting need to reduce or limit giving in the coming year or two. endowment fund campaigns in 2009. J a n u a r y 2 O O 9
  3. 3. D I N I P A R T N E R S S U R V E Y participant insights When asked “If you could make one statement to the larger “I think that it is important for every organization to carefully look nonprofit community about your outlook or giving in 2009, what at its mission and ensure that programs and activities are consistent would you say?” respondents had some important words of advice with the mission. Also, I think it important to look at every program and encouragement characterized by the following testimony: and project to make sure that it is necessary, accountable and responding to a genuine need.” “Special attention to donors is a must. Non-profits cannot take support for granted just because they’ve received it in past years. Barbara Gentry Donors will be making some difficult choices about who to support Vice-Chairperson and President, The USAA Foundation and at what amount. Non-profits who cultivate and nurture donors (San Antonio, Texas) respectfully will have greater success than those who appear entitled to their support.” “Every effort to keep the cost of operations low and the efficiency of the effort high will be appreciated.” Debbie Montford Community Leader (San Antonio, Texas) Erle Nye Chairman Emeritus, TXU (Dallas, Texas) “This is a time when organizations will discover how well they have worked to cultivate their individual donors. Organizations will be Other respondents offered genuine words of encouragement: sustained by individual donors who are passionate about the mission.” “When times are difficult, the needs are the greatest and our An anonymous foundation trustee foundation will continue to give generously in poor economic “I think those nonprofits that have invested time and energy into times.” forming relationships with their stakeholders will be the ones that do Bill Greehey well. In this economic duress, those nonprofits with strong Executive Greehey Family Foundation (San Antonio, Texas) Directors and active boards will prosper.” “For those fortunate enough to be able to support nonprofits in An anonymous philanthropist 2009, please remember that operating funds are essential to a Other respondents had advice concerning the mission focus and healthy organization and that in lean times it is important to efficiencies of nonprofits in this environment: increase dollars to operating whenever possible.” “Be ready and able to clearly communicate how you have tightened Bettye Nowlin your belt and trimmed your budget, because everyone else certainly is.” Philanthropist (Austin, Texas) Bob Manning “Our foundation will continue to support, to the best of our ability, M2P Capital, LLC (Denver, Colorado) agencies that work with the underserved. We feel that an uncertain economy is a time to stand fast and help people who, otherwise, “This is an excellent time to re-evaluate all aspects of your would be unable to help themselves. As a result, our 2009 giving will organization and focus on core programs. There will be serious demonstrate that we are partners in tough as well as in good times.” retrenching that may require mergers and collaboration with other like organizations.” Linda May President, The Simmons Foundation (Houston, Texas) Jane O’Connell President, Altman Foundation (New York, New York) J a n u a r y 2 O O 9
  4. 4. D I N I P A R T N E R S S U R V E Y Dini Partners Observations and Recommendations Based upon the survey and our observations of the philanthropic In the light of these survey results and observations, Dini Partners marketplace across the U.S. in these early days of 2009, we would makes the following recommendations for 2009: make the following observations: 1. Noting that each donor’s concerns about the economy are unique, it is important to listen and respond to the perspective 1. There is a general recognition that our economy is troubled and and context of each prospect. that we are in an economic environment that is beyond what most imagined to be possible. 2. Focus attention on existing donor relationships. Prove the genuineness of your relationships with your existing 2. There is a consensus that the economic challenges of 2009 and base of support with attentive stewardship and transparent perhaps 2010 will be significantly graver than those of 2008. communication. 3. Continue to plan and conduct capital and special project 3. Individual reactions to these economic challenges reflect campaigns for those projects that advance the institutional personal risk tolerance or reaction to perceived danger. For mission and strategic vision or support core programming. some, the current environment is one in which we should just forge ahead. For others, the best approach is to be cautious. 4. Campaign goals and timetables should be moderated to reflect the challenge of forging expanded or new relationships during 4. For nonprofit institutions, the messages are clear: this period. n As for mission, vision, values and core 5. While planning for programming and fundraising campaigning, programming – stay the course. be good stewards of resources – use the same judgment you n As for operations – be efficient, lean, and trim the excess. would expect for-profit corporations to use in this environment. n As for donors and prospective donors – treat them with great care and sensitivity. 6. For those institutions that serve the poor and marginalized, this will be a year of expanded opportunity. Build new relationships 5. Most donors see their giving for 2009: and then take the care to steward these relationships as the n Focused on institutions where there are current relationships. economy turns for the better. n Allocated for operations and select “important” capital 7. The consistent themes emphasizing relationship projects. development and care, sound planning and efficiency, n Reduced in line with the negative impact of the economic and best practices and mission focus, suggest that for downturn. many institutions, this is a year for strategic planning and n Directed to people and institutions in need. strengthening the development function. As consultants who are actively engaged in capital campaigns, strategic planning, development assessments, data optimization and a full array of services to the arena of nonprofit institutions, Dini Partners knows that each institution – like each donor – is unique with its own story, relationships and history of philanthropic support. Every day we see the impact of the economy on our friends and colleagues, while in the same day, we see that major philanthropic commitments continue to be made. This reminds us to treat every person, corporation and foundation as a unique relationship, to listen to their story and to continue to encourage their philanthropic involvement. In campaigns under our management, we have continued to see million-dollar and multimillion-dollar gifts being made in the fourth quarter of 2008 and in these early weeks of 2009. One survey respondent seemed to sum up a truly positive approach to giving in 2009. “As one of the lucky ones, I’m giving as much as possible. This is going to be a year that tests everyone’s creativity and patience.” A Dallas philanthropist Founded in 1969, Dini Partners — with offices in Houston, For more information, contact: Dallas, Austin and Denver — has served as counsel to many Mr. David B. Jones Principal and Managing Partner of the nation’s premier institutions. While our roots lie, and Dini Partners the core of our business remains, in the management of major 2727 Allen Parkway, Suite 1650 capital campaigns, we are a full-service consulting practice, Houston, TX 77019 713-942-8110 addressing virtually all of the planning, leadership and (toll free) 800-836-0411 fundraising challenges faced by nonprofit institutions. www.dinipartners.com THIS SURVEY MAY BE REPRODUCED AND SHARED ONLY WITH SPECIFIC ACkNOWLEDGMENT OF DINI PARTNERS.