32 Sure Fire Ways to Grow Philanthropy after 40 Years of Static Giving | npENGAGE

32 Sure Fire Ways to Grow Philanthropy after 40 Years of Static Giving

By on Nov 4, 2011


Growing Philanthropy in the United States: A Report on the June 2011 Washington, D.C. Growing Philanthropy Summit

Growing Philanthropy in the United States: A Report on the June 2011 Washington, D.C. Growing Philanthropy SummitResearch shows that the level of giving in the United States has remained static over the past 40 years.

Staggering, I know.

With that in mind 35 influential leaders from across the nonprofit industry came together at the Growing Philanthropy Summit to develop an action-oriented agenda on growing philanthropy.

Their mission: grow giving!

Adrian Sargeant and Dr. Jen Shang compiled a report on the outcomes of the Summit.

Key themes that emerged include:

  1. Enhancing the quality of donor relationships
  2. Developing public trust and confidence in the sector
  3. Identifying new audiences, channels, and forms of giving with strong potential for growth
  4. Improving the quality of fundraising training and development

Based on those themes Sargeant and Shang compiled a list of 32 recommendations to help guide the nonprofit industry in growing philanthropy in the coming years.

After you read the list I’d love to hear what additional ideas you’ve got. I’ll get us started with one – Master the multichannel approach to fundraising.

32 Sure Fire Ways to Grow Philanthropy in the U.S.

  1. Redefine relationships from donor relationships to individual relationships.
  2. Re-orient toward longer-term measures of fundraising performance.
  3. Enhance focus on retention and building supporter loyalty.
  4. Develop a more integrated approach to fundraising.
  5. Break down organizational silos and encourage greater collaboration between teams.
  6. Give supporters greater control over the relationship.
  7. Promote the development of shared back office facilities.
  8. Tackle high turnover rates in the fundraising profession.
  9. Educate all stakeholders about the necessity of a longer term and integrated approach.
  10. Empower the regulators to enforce 100 percent filing of Forms 990 and increase their utility.
  11. Blow the whistle on organizations claiming to have zero costs of fundraising.
  12. Fund the development of a website in the United States to educate the public, boards, and other stakeholders.
  13. Encourage nonprofits to develop complaints schemes.
  14. Fund the development of a website to facilitate peer-to-peer evaluations of nonprofits.
  15. Develop new and more appropriate measures of performance.
  16. Develop the self-regulation of fundraising.
  17. Encourage the adoption of monthly giving.
  18. Improve the sector’s engagement with young people.
  19. Encourage and promote best practices in social media.
  20. Encourage asset-based giving.
  21. Develop expertise in broadening participation in giving.
  22. Improve the quality of bequest fundraising practice.
  23. Challenge the wealthy to plan their own philanthropy.
  24. Create a nonprofit mutual fund.
  25. Leveraging companies to promote philanthropy.
  26. Invest in the development of fundraising research.
  27. Create a fundraising research institute.
  28. Redesign the system of professional development and certification for fundraisers.
  29. Encourage the development of academic qualifications in fundraising.
  30. Appoint a “sales force” for the body of fundraising knowledge.
  31. Call out institutions offering certificates purporting to be qualifications.
  32. Educate board members about the intricacies of fundraising.

To read the detail of each recommendation, download the complete report or check out the executive summary to get the highlights.


Now it’s your turn …

Now that you’ve see the 32 ways to increase giving in the US it’s time to expand the list. What tips would you add?

Let’s try to make this list 50 strong!



Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

Comments (3)

  • Nicolas Reis says:

    Great stuff!
    But its only 31…right?
    Number 6&7 are identical.

    Cheers from Germany

  • Todd says:

    The most successful way to raise money is to hold a banquet dinner. The banquet table should have condiment plates of gold (gold colored foil wrapping works fine), water goblets of similar gold appearance, gold foiled trays of munchies, waitresses/waiters catering dinner plates etc. to each member with the caring exhibited by airline stewardesses/stewrads, a speaker speaking from a slightly elevated platform during the dinner who at the end of his speech, c. 15 min, will ask for donations. You will be astounded at the flow of donations!

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