Charity

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Fiona Apple Donates Two Years of Royalties to Charity

Artist Uses her Talents to Support Charities

Singer and songwriter Fiona Apple has pledged to donate all royalties earned for two of her songs when they are used in movies and TV for the next two years. The pledge first appeared on a Tumblr fan account called “Fiona Apple Rocks” and was later confirmed by a representative for Apple.

In April 2020, following the release of “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”, Fiona’s latest studio album, the artist made the announcement of her commitment to charity and which two tracks on the album she has selected for the song royalty donations. “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is the first studio album released since “The Idler Wheel” which was released in 2012. So far the album has received critical acclaim. It has earned the highest-ranked album of all time on Metacritic and was given four stars by NME where it was hailed as a ‘visceral listening experience’.

Shameika and Heavy Balloon

Royalties from the track “Shameika” will be donated to the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), a charity organization with a goal of ending intergenerational poverty in Harlem, a neighborhood in New York. HCZ offers children in Harlem customized educational support with a view of improving their future prospects. The indigenous women-led group Seeding Sovereignty will receive royalties from “Heavy Balloon”. Seeding Sovereignty is working towards decolonizing capitalism and dismantling imperialist institutions. The group advocates racial equality and works to replace colonial institutions with indigenous practices.

 

Not the First Time Fiona’s Compassion is Shown

If “Shameika” and “Heavy Balloon” make it onto a movie or TV show, it would not be the first time Fiona has produced music for the silver screen. It’s also not the first time she has shown the world how generous she is. In 2019 the singer donated approximately $90,000 to the While They Wait Fund, an organization that helps refugees to secure legal assistance, immigration fees and basic necessities. This amount was generated by royalties earned every time her song “Criminal” was used in movies or TV. In more recent times, Fiona co-wrote a song called “New York Doesn’t Like Your Face” for the animated comedy series Central Park.

How Fans Can Help

The more often the two tracks are used in shows and films, the more money Fiona will be able to donate to the charities. To maximize this, the benevolent singer has encouraged fans to send messages to Hollywood music supervisors and movie or TV show creators asking them to include the songs in their programming. And, just in case neither track is used on screen, Fiona will make sure that the charity organizations still receive a generous donation of $50,000 each. She posted a handwritten note making this commitment on social media which was shared far and wide by her fans. In the note, Apple stated that she’s hoping and trying to increase this donation by getting the songs used by Hollywood.

Charitable Donations in the Time of Covid-19

Covid-19: Will Charities Sink or Swim?

According to a survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals conducted in May 2020, over half of the non-profit charities that responded expect to see a decline in the coming year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As strict lockdown restrictions were implemented around the world, many charities were unable to carry out work that requires being face-to-face, and donations and volunteering are plummeting. The stark reality is that most charities now have to do double the work with half the money. And it could get worse. Over 72% of respondents expect that fundraising efforts beyond 2021 will continue to be seriously affected by the pandemic.

Are All Charities Struggling?

Only 30% of human service charities expressed that they anticipate an increase in fundraising in 2020. Some organizations reported that there is a possibility that individual donations would rise in the coming years, but it is also likely that contribution from corporations and memberships will fall dramatically. Overall, economies across the globe are shrinking, and with that, so is generosity. Unless major international economic reform happens in the near future, it is unfortunately likely that most charities will suffer, just like most other businesses. And many will shut their doors indefinitely. With this in mind, charities are scrambling to remain viable.

Foundation Guide - charities struggling due to covid

Current Focus

Nearly half the charities reported they have had to intensify their fundraising efforts and activities because of a drastic increase in needs related to the pandemic. When asked in what type of fundraising they plan to engage and on which areas they intend to focus, over 80% stated that their attention would be on donor retention and stewardship, i.e. activities related to establishing new connections and cultivating existing relationships with donors. Other areas of focus commonly mentioned include improving technology and the organization’s online presence. This includes hosting virtual events, launching email campaigns, and making online donation portals available and known to the public.

Staying Afloat in Stormy Seas

Since the demand for food and other types of relief has drastically increased, most nonprofits are now forced to get creative to make ends meet. This involves joining forces with other organizations, conducting larger appeals, and attempting to access emergency government grants. Charities that rely on shopfront collections have had to rethink their approach to take their fundraising efforts online. Not only are collections now being made online, but volunteers are also learning how to contribute digitally, instead of being there in person.

Foundation Guide - charities struggling due to covid

This May Be a Reset and an Opportunity

Even with all the challenges the pandemic has brought to the world, it has also made people more socially conscious. This has placed humanity in a unique position to make a change. Now is the ideal time for those fortunate enough to have weathered the storm with their finances intact to help those who have not. If you are able to, please consider setting up monthly donations to your favourite charity.

Charity Is Not Just for Christmas Time

Open Your Heart All Year Long

Every year, the festive season stirs a range of emotions in us and because of this, charities give their biggest marketing push to drum up donations in the weeks leading up to Christmas time. In recent years, corporate charity appeals have become a Christmas tradition. After all, isn’t Christmas a time for giving?

Actually, Every Day Is for Giving

Just because the festive season is a strategic time to ask people to dig deeper and give more, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only time of the year that we should be doing what we can for others who are less fortunate. For most, the end of the year is the time to take a little break from the pressures of everyday life and focus on the unique period that is the festive season. Consequently, many experience increased feelings of empathy, which can lead to thinking about charities and causes that we care about. Driven by emotion and charity marketing campaigns, individuals and corporations are more likely to give during this time.

Sadly, these charities and causes are not only in need in December. People are homeless and hungry; animals are abused and abandoned every single day of the year, and those are not the only charities in need of all the help they can get all the time.

Foundation Guide - donate all year round

How to Help All Year Long

Instead of only volunteering or donating to charity during Christmas time, we should use this period as a time to reflect on what we’ve done over the past year and how we can better apply our efforts in the coming year. Here are some ideas for keeping the charitable spirit flowing all year long.

  1. Get active on JustGiving

    JustGiving is an excellent platform for people who want to become actively involved in charity campaigns based on what’s close to their hearts and what they enjoy doing. You simply sign up, select a cause you want to support, and then decide how you would like to help them raise funds. Options include taking part in an event like a charity bike ride or walk, celebrating an occasion, or doing something in memory of somebody close to you. There is even a personal challenge option through which you can do something unique to raise funds like shaving your head or giving up beer.

  2. Donate blood

    By donating blood on a regular basis, you can directly help save lives. It also has a surprising range of health benefits like improving liver function and helping to reduce the risk of heart failure and cancer.

  3. Volunteer at an animal shelter

    Animal shelters are often severely short-staffed and short on funds. Everyone really can do something to help the animals who live there, even you aren’t able to adopt or foster one. You could take the dogs for walks or spend some quality cuddle time with the cats. Some shelters have charity shops where you can help out for a few hours a week. You could also assist with fundraising events or adoption drives by sharing their posts on social media. Foundation Guide - volunteer all year round

  4. Run a race for charity

    Keen to get fit and do something for a good cause at the same time? There are so many charity running programs around these days, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose! There are programs that offer training and other support like workout plans and nutritional advice as well as the option to join group runs. It gives you the amazing opportunity to connect with a network of like-minded people who all support the same cause.

  5. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen

    There is always a need for an extra pair of helping hands at homeless shelters and soup kitchens. This is also a great way to meet new people who are also interested in doing their part to make the world a better place.

  6. Set up a debit order donation or shop from socially responsible companies

    Not everyone has the time or the social ability to become actively involved with a charity in a personal capacity. The good news is that they can still help in

    Foundation Guide - make a difference

  7. some way. You could consider setting up a monthly debit order to make a regular donation or you could support companies that take an active approach to charity. For example, consider Everlane, a company that donates $5 to charity for every purchase of their Human Collection line. Or take STATE, which for every bag bought fills another bag with school supplies and donates it to a student in need.
  8. Ask for donations instead of gifts

    If you have a special occasion coming up like a birthday, engagement, or a wedding, why not ask for donations to a special cause close to your heart instead of gifts for yourself? Just like setting up a wedding registry, you could ask for specific items or cash donations for your charity.

Five Tips for How to Find the Right Charity to Support

How to Pick the Right Charity

Supporting a charity can be a rewarding way to give back. But before you start making donations, it is important to choose a charity that is in line with your objectives. There are so many different charitable organizations around these days, and some are not entirely honest about how donations are used. Sadly, there are also a lot of scams out there. While it’s not always easy to make an informed decision, these guidelines may prove helpful.

1. Choose Your Cause

Some of us feel passionate about a specific cause, like preserving the environment, helping underprivileged children, or funding research about a disease that has affected someone we love. If you don’t already have a cause that is close to your heart, start by investigating the options out there, such as the fields of medicine, education, art and culture, military veterans, and the environment. Eventually, something should resonate and you’ll realize what’s right for you.

2. Do Your Homework

Many causes have several specialized charities dedicated to them. Once you have chosen a cause that you believe in, start researching charities that support it. Unfortunately, some of the charities out there may not be legitimate. Once you have a short list of charities you are considering, do a search of each charity’s name. If any red flags come up, it may be best to avoid that particular organization. You can also use sites like GuideStar, CharityWatch, or Charity Navigator to help research the charities before committing to donations.

3. Check with the Charity Personally

The only way you will know for certain that the charity’s work is in line with your objectives is by checking in personally. Visit them, ask for a tour, call, or email them and ask important questions like:

  • Exactly how are donations used?
  • How is the effectiveness of your work evaluated?
  • What progress are you making towards your goals?
  • How is this measured?
  • What is your privacy policy?

4. Decide What to Give

Although it is probably the most common method of support, donating money is not the only option when it comes to supporting a charity. Time is valuable, too.

5. Give

  • Money – If you decide to donate money, consider setting up a regular donation you can afford. Remember that donations are often tax deductible. Make sure you check your bank account to make sure that you are only charged what you have agreed to donate and keep a record of all donations.
  • Time – Many charities need volunteers as much as they need donations. Let them know what you do for a living and what other skills you have. It can be extremely rewarding to donate your time, especially if you can provide a service at which you are particularly skilled.
  • Blood or hair – Donating blood requires just a few minutes of your time and can really help save a life. Human hair wigs can be costly so donating hair can help to drastically improve the life of somebody suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

Disaster Outreach – Help When (And Where) It Is Needed Most

2017 has seen some of the world’s most devastating natural disasters. Disasters that have decimated several nations, disasters that have necessitated an urgent need for philanthropists and donors to step up immediately to provide life saving help to these areas and communities.

While the list of significant annual donors, goes up every year, these are for the most part, planned donations, decided on months in advance and structured very carefully by finance and management teams. While philanthropy is much needed, it is also a big and sometimes complex business.

What Happens When Donations Are Needed Right Now?

We know who is on the list of the biggest donors in the world, but it is often a surprise at the numbers of large donations that appear from the most unlikely sources after a natural disaster has occurred.

Hurricane Harvey – Houston Under Water

In the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms to make landfall in the USA, Hurricane Harvey wrought havoc across the Texas coastline, bringing the city of Houston to its knees. While donations poured in from around the world, there were a number of significant philanthropic donations that may not have made the headlines, made all the difference. With cleanup costs alone estimated at over $40 billion, the need is very real and very urgent.

Kieu Hoang – $5 Million to Hurricane Harvey Relief

Growing up impoverished in Vietnam and now a billionaire resident of California, Kieu Hoang immediately stepped up to become one of the largest single donors to the relief efforts in Texas. His donation was targeted to help the most vulnerable members of society, illegal immigrants, many of whom he said were too scared to find city shelters for fear of being deported. Hoang also flew to Houston and spent time in the worst hit areas of the city.

Michael Dell – $36 Million – Michael and Susan Dell Foundation 

With a target of $100 million via his foundation toward relief efforts, Michael Dell started off with a personal donation of $36 million to a specific fund ‘Rescue Texas’. The billionaire tech guru is ensuring that donations go directly to relief organizations on the ground and for ongoing efforts to rebuild the worst hit areas.

Corporate Donations to Hurricane Harvey

Corporate donors also came in strong in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey with PepsiCo leading the way with a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross. Walmart also donated $1 million as did Amazon. The Home Depot also donated $1 million to the Red Cross for immediate need but added a donation of products to its Texas stores to help with the rebuilding and repairs.

Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria– Caribbean Nightmare

One of the worst hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma laid waste to several islands in the Caribbean before wreaking its devastation on the parts of Florida. Relief efforts were hampered by the ability of worker to access the areas affected. On the island of Barbuda, 95% of all structures were destroyed. Hurricane Maria soon followed with a direct hit to Puerto Rico, still reeling after Irma’s devastation. Some of the biggest donations to relief efforts in this region include ones from corporations like Starbucks, Lowe’s and Walmart with a $10 million donation to hurricane relief in 2017.

Disney announced a $2,5 million donation to Irma recovery programs. However, with $105 million donated over 2017 specifically to hurricane affected areas, only $17 million went to relief efforts after Irma and Maria. Donor fatigue? Only time will tell.

Individual donations to help with rebuilding have been adding up, but the largest donors to relief efforts in Puerto Rico and other nations in the Caribbean have been Richard Branson of Virgin with donations to the Red Cross, and country star Travis Tritt with an undisclosed donation for Hurricane Irma relief work. Sports teams, Miami Dolphins and Florida Panthers each donated $1 million to Irma charities.

Mexico’s Deadly Earthquake

Mexico’s Richest Man – Carlos Slim Steps Up

After the devastating earthquake that hit Mexico in September 2017, Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim donated $110 million to relief efforts. Nearly 210,000 individual donors also provided funds to the effort bringing the total to $130 million. Slim, worth nearly $62 billion, said the funds were earmarked for rebuilding hospitals, schools and housing.

Mark Zuckerberg pledged $1 million to the Mexican Red Cross to help with immediate rescue and rebuilding programs. Apple donated $1 million to the cause, and actress Salma Hayek donated $100,000 to UNICEF to help with relief.

From the monsoon flooding in Bangladesh, to landslides in Columbia. From terrible flooding in Sierra Leone to storm ravaged islands in the Atlantic – help is needed everywhere, and generous philanthropists are making sure that donations and fund raising for natural disasters remains high.

2017 Trends in Philanthropy – Has Charitable Giving Changed in 2017?

2017 has been an interesting year. It’s been a tough year for nonprofit organizations: Natural disasters, shifting political fluctuations, and a global economy that appears to be flirting dangerously close to a recession. All these factors, and more, have influenced donations in 2017 and seem set to affect the world of philanthropy for the next few years.

Who Benefited from Donations in 2017

There are nine major categories of recipients around the world; religion, human services, education, healthcare, arts and culture, environmental, public-society, international affairs, and giving to foundations. 2017 has seen growth across ALL sectors making it only the sixth time in over 40 years that donations have been ‘up’ across all sectors. Despite a certain amount of ‘belt-tightening’ in 2017 and uncertainty about the shifting political landscape in many countries, individual donations have seen an increase in 2017. In the United States, donations by individuals increased by 4% over 2015/16.

It is true that the political climate plays a significant role in many donors’ decisions on how to disburse their donation, it is found that it is largely economic factors that influence the overall trend of charitable giving.

The Profile of Donations in 2017

  • Individual donations grew at the highest rate in 2016 and 2017. Donations by individuals far outpaced donations by foundations and corporations.
  • Foundation donations continue to grow but at a much slower rate than previous years.
  • Bequests and donation from estates dropped significantly in 2017.
  • Corporate giving and donations showed small gains, but was influenced by weaker markets and the threat of recession

Where the Money Went in 2017

  • International affairs, public-society and the arts all saw growth in 2017. This is considered largely attributable to the increase in publicized natural disasters and the need for immediate relief in several regions of the world.
  • Sectors with the largest growth included arts and culture, the environment and healthcare
  • The sectors with the slowest growth in 2017 was education with just 3,6% growth over previous years, and religion with a 3% growth.

Millennials vs. Generation X vs. Baby Boomers – Donation Profile

Different generations have very distinct ways of donating money, as well as different trends in the types of organizations and nonprofit groups that they favor. These trends and patterns can help organizations target key audiences and invest in better ways to encourage people to donate in 2018.

One factor that is common across all three generations is the fact that more people prefer to donate money online as opposed to at fundraising events or by direct mail. 67% of millennials and 59% of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers prefer to donate money online. This means that it is imperative that nonprofits ensure that the path to donate online is seamless, secure and easy to navigate. Improving online donation paths may be the biggest trend in 2017, and it is here to stay.

  • Baby Boomers – With 19% preferring to donate via direct mail, baby boomers are also the group that is most influenced to donate by attending a fund raiser, followed by an appeal by email. Only 19% of Baby Boomers are inspired to donate to an appeal on social media.
  • Generation X – Gen Xers prefer to donate at fundraising events over direct mail and are most inclined to give following an appeal on social media (28%), fundraisers (24%), and then email (20%).
  • Millennials – This generation show the highest numbers of online giving (62%), followed by fundraising events (16%), and are the only group to have actively embraced mobile as a path to donate (9%). A millennial donor is more likely than any other generation to respond to requests on social media.

One of the biggest factors affecting donation is the personal one. Volunteering and encouraging people to actively help a nonprofit with their time and skills is the best way to ensure that donations grow. 88% of donors who volunteered at an organization also donated funds to that organization.

The Influence of Social Media on Donations in 2017

With a whopping 75% of donors noting that they stay up to date with news about their charities on social media, it’s little wonder that social networks are also a growing trend in inspiring people to donate. Facebook takes with top spot with 62% of donors inspired to give by news and appeals on Facebook, followed by Twitter (14%), Instagram (10%), YouTube (6%) and LinkedIn (3%).
Social media in 2017 is about connecting people and sharing information. Nonprofits need to ensure that they invest more in social media outreach and in keeping the channels of information open at all times.

Trends in Philanthropy in 2017

What have we seen in 2017 that has made a difference in the way that people donate money? In Europe and the United States, uncertainty and opposition to political leaders has shown an increase in ‘oppositional donations’. There is growing mistrust at the often-vague structure of some foundations and people are preferring to donate money personally to specific organizations. If you’re a small nonprofit then look for ways to attract individual donors, and ensure donors that their money is reaching the hands of people and programs who need it most.

One of the biggest trends in philanthropy in 2017 was the increase in ‘Impact Investing’. This is a way of investing in small groups, and even individuals to ensure that society is positively impacted. The Open Society Foundation, Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Emerson Collective all made multimillion dollar investments around the world. The tech world is leading the way as the sector with the largest number of donors. They are also the group who has come relatively recently to philanthropy. This trend looks set to rise exponentially in years to come as the tech billionaires find their feet.

Donations by women have increased in 2017, and this sector of donors looks to be the highest growing sector in philanthropy. Look at the recent donations by Sheryl Sandberg (US) and Jamie Cooper (UK) hitting well over $100 million.

There is generally quite a pessimistic view of everything that is happening in the world right now, but trends in philanthropy show that many more people are prepared to step-up and donate to ensure that the world is better for everyone. That’s the key trend that has shown up in 2017: hope + truth = more donations from more people.

Giving Big in 2017 – Who Donated the Most Money to Charity?

It’s not enough to pledge your wealth after you pass away. Putting up actual cash to help build a better world is what sets these generous donors apart. While the total dollar value of donations may have dipped in 2017, we have a rise in the numbers of philanthropists who are prepared to give big, to give back to worthwhile causes around the globe in 2017. Who will end up as 2017’s biggest donor and philanthropist?

Who Takes the Top Spot?

Philanthropists, entrepreneurs, celebrities – these are the people that have effected significant change in the world in 2017, by ensuring that funds are directed to foundations, organizations, charities and individuals who not only need them the most, but who are working, often at a grass roots level under difficult circumstances around the globe.

Michael Bloomberg – Often in the headlines for his work in politics, Michael is a committed environmental advocate and has used his position and his platform to fight climate change. The former mayor of New York City is worth over $47 billion and through his foundation, ‘Bloomberg Philanthropies’, he donates in excess of $200 million annually to environmental advocacy initiatives, medical research, education and the arts.

Bill Gates – He may be the world’s richest man, but Bill Gates is also one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. In 2017, Gates donated $4,6 billion worth of Microsoft shares to an unspecified recipient. Many believe that the recipient is the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ which continues to support programs that work in global healthcare, and in poverty reduction.

Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook and founder of two nonprofit groups: LeanIn.org and OptionB.org, Sheryl recently donated 2590,000 Facebook shares, worth nearly $100 million, to a fund that she utilizes for charitable giving. The ‘Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation’ works in several diverse areas including women’s rights and overcoming grief and adversity. Sandberg regularly donates funds of over $100 million annually to her foundation and programs that seek to end childhood hunger and work to help college students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

George Soros – With a donation of £13,6 billion to his ‘Open Society Foundations’ Soros definitely tops the list of philanthropists who gave big in 2017. Open Society works in diverse regions of the world, donating funds to programs that “build vibrant and tolerant democracies”. The foundation has given away over $14billion since it was founded in 1979.

Warren Buffet – While Bill Gates may have pipped Warren Buffet with his donation, the financial entrepreneur also donated $3,2billion to the Gates Foundation in 2017. Through the ‘Buffet Foundation’, millions of dollars are donated annually to US and international organizations working in healthcare and education, specifically to provide financial support to low-income students via the Buffet scholarship.

David Sainsbury – Lord Sainsbury not only comes from a family who founded the British supermarket chain that bears his name, but from a family with a rich tradition of philanthropy and charitable giving. Sainsbury founded the ‘Gatsby Charitable Foundation’ in 1967 with a donation of £50 to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 2017, he donated £196 million to the foundation that works in education, the arts and diverse humanitarian efforts around the world. Sainsbury often donates funds to Cambridge University for research and the advancement of science in education.

Jack Ma – The wizard of Alibaba is currently China’s most generous philanthropist with his recent donation of $2,4 billion worth of Alibaba stock to the foundation that he set up with Joe Tsai. The foundation focuses on environmental and health issues and the charitable trust is rumored to be one of the largest in Asia. This is a massive change, as traditionally, Chinese entrepreneurs tend to be on the lower end of the donor lists, but it seems that 2017 may be just the start of big philanthropy in China.

Robert Kuok Hock Nien – Staying in the east, Malaysia’s richest man and Chairman of Hong Kong-based Kerry Group is a philanthropist on a large scale. He founded the nonprofit ‘Kuok Foundation’ in 1970 and is one of the region’s largest donors to programs that focus on education and social welfare including several prestigious scholarships.

Sir Elton John – He remains deeply committed to the issue of AIDS and the ‘Elton John AIDS Foundation’ is a tireless advocate for the treatment, prevention and cure of the virus. Elton uses his celebrity to raise money for various causes and never ceases to be a leading celebrity light in the philanthropic firmament. He may not be one of the biggest donors in 2017, but Elton John is a dedicated and relentless campaigner for this cause.

Gordon Moore – Mathematics genius and the author of Moore’s law, Gordon Moore and his wife Betty are the founders of the ‘Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’ which was started with a donation of $5 billion in 2000. The foundation focuses on education and environmental conservation in California. The couple donated $600 million to Caltech in 2001 and continue to support science-based projects at the university. In 2017, Gordon and his wife donated over $250 million alone to various programs and causes.

2017 was a tough year… everywhere. Devastating natural disasters, wars, an ever-increasing refugee crisis and political instability in many regions. That has not stopped many philanthropists from making sure that money gets into the hands of people who are working to make the world better…for everyone.

The Giving Season is Getting Started – A Guide for Non-Profits

The last quarter of the year is known as the ‘Giving Season’ by nonprofit organizations. There are a number of national holidays in the last few months of the year and this may make people feel inclined to give more generously than other months in the year.

A study undertaken by The Center on Philosophy in 2012, surveyed donors in the higher income brackets and their trends and habits surrounding when they donate the most. The study found that 42% of respondents gave significantly more during the holiday season. In similar studies, this time of nonprofit organizations, it was found that more than half of all charitable and nonprofit groups received over 50% of their total annual donations between the months of October and December.

Attracting Donors – Helping a Non-Profit Stand Out From The Crowd charity on the rise

Heading into October – the race is on to attract donors, to deliver a message that will touch the hearts and minds of individuals to encourage them to donate to charity. The Chronicle of Philanthropy noted that donations to charitable organizations rose by 4% in 2015 and that the trend looks set to continue. In the same article it was noted that it was individuals that make up over 70% of all donations each year.

Shout It Out – Billboards? Radio? Television?

Cultivating support for your cause doesn’t mean that you have to try to attract the
wealthiest of donors or spend the largest amount of money on advertising to get donations. It’s more important to start raising awareness by reaching out within communities as opposed to tailoring your donation ‘pitch’ to a wealthy stranger. With the news that over 70% of all annual donations coming from individuals and not necessarily high-net worth donors, there is a lot to be Billboard - Charity tips said for making sure that your message is personal, evocative and reaches people on a community level.
Educate potential donors – Get people to get involved, visit your programs, experience the work that you do.
Face Time Your Donors – Go ahead and ask for donations. Set meetings and ask for appointments and be completely upfront about why you’re there. The biggest donors and donations come from face-to-face interaction.

A Thank You Goes a Long Way

Thank donors for their help, and leave the door open for future donations and ways to get involved in your work.
Asking for money is hard work, it’s thankless and tiring, often filled with daily disappointment. Start by getting people interested and involved on a community level and see how much easier it is to ask for donations during The Giving Season.

Thank you for the donation

Politics vs. Non-Profits – Does An Election Year Dampen the Spirit of Giving?

Election year! With an ever-increasing media frenzy surrounding the US presidential campaigns in 2016, more airtime, column inches and internet pixels being given over to reporting on the election and the candidates – will non-profit organizations be left to fend for themselves?

Do Political Donations Take Away from Charitable Donations?

Thankfully, that’s not the case. There have been a number of studies in recent months to track the value of political donations, which are increasing every day, and it looks like the value of charitable donations is on the up as well. With the presidential election set to cost a whopping $5 billion, many charities and non-profits were asking whether or not there was cause for alarm and whether there would be a significant drop in donations in 2016.

A survey conducted by Dunham and Company shows that many people will still continue to donate to charity in 2016. In fact 79% of donors said they would continue to support charitable causes and organizations this year.

Does Politics Help or Hinder Charity?

If a politician throws their weight behind a charitable cause, does it help by driving more people to donate to the charity, or could it possibly have the opposite effect, by in some way tainting the organization with perceived political maneuvering? It’s an interesting question, and one that comes up time and again when foundations, trusts and non-profit organizations are planning their campaigns and their fundraising efforts. While having a celebrity, or powerful person can have an extremely positive effect on increasing donations and awareness of a specific campaign, it can also have negative consequences if the celebrity or political endorsement falls afoul of an increasingly fickle media and public.

Choose Alliances with Care

Alliances and partnerships have to be chosen with care. Leaning one way or the other, politically at least, may have disastrous consequences for a charity. It is far better to keep campaigning based on the importance of the charity, rather than the importance of the ‘face’ of the charity.

It’s interesting to note that the same aforementioned survey by Dunham and Company shows that the biggest factor in whether donors will repeat and even increase their donations to a charity is how they are treated after they make the donation. Despite media hype and sensationalization on the internet, something as simple as a telephone call to thank your important donors can make all the difference in terms of whether they will donate again next year.

Russian Oligarchs Give Big, Even When Business Is Bad

Philanthropy is on the rise across Asia and Russia. It’s not just a thing to be seen to be done, either. Some of the biggest names in Russian business are doubling down on their charitable donations. According to a Bloomberg survey, even with business losses of millions of dollars, businessmen like Gennady Timchenko, Alisher Usmanov and Suleyman Kerimov have increased their philanthropic donations and are committed to financially helping charitable organizations both within Russia, and increasingly, around the world.

Gennady Timchenko Doubles his Charitable Giving

Despite the loss of over half his entire fortune, Timchenko’s total donations in 2014 rose by over 84%, to $39 million. The focus of his philanthropy is youth programs with an emphasis on sponsorship of international events. Sometimes referred to as the Russian Bill Gates, Timchenko and his wife Elena are founders of the Swiss based Neva Foundation, which promotes cultural programs in Russia and Switzerland. The couple reside in Geneva and they are both passionate about preserving and promoting lyrical art.

Alisher Usmanov is Top of the List

With charitable contributions of $172 million in 2014, the founder of Metalloinvest is the biggest philanthropist in Russia, but he is certainly no longer the richest. Recent losses have toppled him from the top of the list, but he remains committed to a number of philanthropic causes in Russia and Europe.

Other Russian businessmen to increase their donations in 2014 include Alexei Mordashov, Viktor Vekselberg and Vladimir Potanin who, in 2013, became the first Russian to make a commitment to the ‘Giving Pledge’, the organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates that invites some of the world’s wealthiest individuals to make a pledge to give most of their wealth away to philanthropy.

In 2014, Suleyman Kerimov donated, via the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation, a tidy $55 million, which is just over 1.2% of his entire wealth and Vagit Alekperov donated $23 million, an increase of over 90% from 2013.
The worsening Russian economy doesn’t seem to be slowing down the increase in donations and many programs, schools, artists and charitable groups would simply cease to exist without the donations and support of the Russian business community.