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Archive for the ‘stewardship’ Category

In its second edition of the World Giving Index, the Charities Aid Foundation has determined that the United States is the most charitable country in the world.

The study found that out of the 153 countries evaluated, the people in the United States were the most generous with their donation and volunteering for charities and other nonprofit organizations.

The study also showed that giving globally has increased by 2% and that volunteering has increased by 1%.

The report also has a great picture showing how giving has been distributed (originally found at http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/12/world-giving-index-2011.html ) shown below:

Map of Giving

Charities Aid Foundation

 

For more information read the report at https://www.cafonline.org/publications/2011-publications/world-giving-index-2011.aspx

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Earlier this week Guidestar posted the results of a survey that asked nonprofits about their fundraising and operations for 2011.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • 41% of Charities saw an Increase in Giving for the first 9 months of 2011 over 2010 (28% had less income & 31% no change)
  • 65% of nonprofits saw an increased need for their services– over the past 9 months compared to 2010
  • Approximately 50% of charities have some financial stress – income, cash flow, # of donors, non-donor income

For more information, visit Guidestar’s website

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If you have read the book Freakonomics, or listened to Marketplace on NPR, then you probably are familiar with Stephen J. Dubner’s use of statistics to explain common behaviors in economics and society.

As a stats junkie myself, I love their work, and on Tuesday’s Marketplace radio program- Dubner reported on some truths and myths about fundraising (to listen to the program, click the NPR link above). Dubner’s report included an interview with John List, who is a professor at the Univ of Chicago. Professor List studies the economics of charities

So here is a taste from the interview:

  • Seed Money helps– The more seed money that you have induces more people to give, and those people tend to give more money.
  • Matching Gifts– only work up to a 1-1 match.  People will not usually give more than the original match amount (this is contrary to most expert advice)
  • Raffles are a Big Deal– Research shows that by offering someone a prize will increase their gift by almost 100%
  • One & Done- This is new, but it gives control to the donor. Donors who are offered the “give us one gift and you can tell use never to contact you again” option, tend to give more money and more often. Few actually choose to not be contacted again.
  • Guilt Pleas Don’t Work– You may get a 1 time gift from guilt or shame tactics, but in the long run you are only burning bridges.

As you think about how to raise money for your organization and its operations, I would encourage you to consider this information. Take a moment to think about how you raise money for your annual fundraising, and take a second to listen to the full interview.

Blog Notes- the above bullets are paraphrases from the interview found in the Freakonomics & Marketplace Report for Nov. 29, 2011.

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White Chapel

photo: edgeplot

Unlike most commercial businesses, which have a common standard by which to rate their financial operations and health, churches struggle to identify healthy financial norms.

Part of the reason for this struggle has to do with the following reasons:

  • Churches are faith based organizations
  • Church are contextual
  • Churches are organized by mixed polity (denomination or independent)
  • Churches are exempt from many IRS and government reporting requirements
  • Churches vary in size, financial support, and ministry
  • Churches don’t usually follow GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles)
  • Churches are run by volunteers

However, while all of these factors cause incongruity, there are a number of common ratios and principles that many churches share related to income, expense, debt, membership and worship attendance. I have highlighted a few of these in some of my earlier posts (please see: Financial Rules: Ministry Distribution), but another resource is a new financial database that was created by Capin and Crouse, CPA. (more…)

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mobile wallet

Feuillu

The holiday season is upon us, and I have begun to plan out my end of year donations. So far it has been fairly easy to make donations online, but in a few cases I have become frustrated by the multiple steps/screens to set up an account.

If you have ever tried to make an online donation, then likely you share my pain.

  • First, you log on to a website of your favorite charity.
  • Then you click the “Donate Now” button.
  • Next you are taken to an second screen and asked to fill out an online form with your name, address, and contact information.
  • Then are asked to enter your bank account or credit card info.
  • And finally you are asked to enter your amount and to click submit.

Now if you were not counting… that is approximately 5 steps.

Not bad, but what if it only took 1 step… sort of like swiping your credit card, writing a check, or dropping cash into an offering plate?

If banks and retail stores have figured out away to make shopping convenient, why can’t charities and banks find a way to make online giving easier?

Enter the mobile wallet.

Originally designed to assist customers to shop at online merchants, (more…)

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Graph showing giving in December

Network for Good

Most churches know that December is a big month for income, and overall online giving for nonprofits mirrors this trend.

In a recent report by Network for Good, research found that 33% of all online giving happens in the month of December.  This is an important statistic to help organizations plan for their operating cash flow, but it also highlights the need to keep websites active and easy to navigate.

Further research shows that many people will make a final blitz of giving on Dec. 31,  in order to beat the tax deadline, a date when many nonprofits are closed.

If you have or are considering online giving, I hope this information will encourage you to review your online giving plans before Dec. 1.

Blog Notes: Special thanks to Network for Good for sharing this information.

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10 Dimes

The Good Foundation

Today my wife sent me an article entitled, “Is Tithing Realistic?” It is written by Peter Dunn, aka Pete the Planner, on his blog www.petetheplanner.com.

If you don’t know Pete, you may not be aware that most of his blogs are about how to manage money. Usually they are logical, funny, and a bit crass, but rarely do they tackle religious topics.

However, in this blog, Pete tries to tackle the religious spiritual practice of tithing. Or in layman’s terms, the philanthropic practice of giving 10% of your income to God, for the support of the church, its charitable programs, and its operations.

It is an interesting article because it is written by a financial planner, who admittedly says:

  1. He is a Christian
  2. He struggles to tithe- and doesn’t quite achieve it
  3. That his post is not about scripture or the religious reasons of the practice
  4. And that he feels uncomfortable writing this blog

However, what I really loved about the blog, was that Pete didn’t stop there… He continues by admitting what makes tithing hard:

  1. God doesn’t have a bank account- God isn’t going to knock on your door to collect (more…)

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