Summertime, and the living ain't easy for nonprofit administrators and fundraisers. Many of you are already gearing up for your 2012 planning sessions. If you need help with formalizing your fundraising planning process, don't forget that the Foundation Center offers a free class called Introduction to Fundraising Planning, both as an in-person class and as a live or recorded webinar. You can find additional information on this topic at GrantSpace.org.
Two recent reports will help as you begin your program and fundraising planning for 2012 -- Giving USA 2011, and Our Region, Our Giving: Philanthropy in the Greater Washington Region.
The 2011 edition of Giving USA contained no real surprises. Giving was up slightly by individuals (2.7%), and a bit more by charitable bequests (18.8%) and corporations (10.6%), even when inflation was figured in. Only giving by foundations fell, and that was just by a little (down .2%). The report also looks at giving by subject areas (i.e., health, arts, etc.). This offers you an opportunity to sit down with staff and board members to do a reality check on your overall fundraising strategy in comparison with what is going on nationally. It is a good time to think about where should be putting your efforts. Soliciting individual donors? Approaching corporations? A recent PND article on the report can supplement your thinking as it includes somber commentaries by a number of nonprofit thought leaders on different funding streams.
The second important report is Our Region our Giving: Philanthropy in the Greater Washington Region. If you are fundraising in the DC community, this report provides you with insights into how the recession has affected local grantmakers and how the region is recovering. It contains a list of the region's leaders by total giving and total assets as well as tables showing which were the top nonprofit grant recipients in arts and culture, education, health and human services. It is a great piece to share with your board, staff and fundraising committee. To help your board better understand their role in fundraising, you can show them our recorded webinar Your Board and Fundraising to stimulate their thinking.
So, download these reports and spend some time brainstorming with your team -- in fact, why not do it outside in comfortable summer clothes? If you have resources that have helped you create an effective fundraising plan, please share them with our readers in the Comments section!