Inspiration for growth is a silver lining in philanthropy’s 2022 results

For only the fourth time in its history, Giving USA reported a rare decline in overall charitable giving in the United States. In 2022, Americans gave 3.4% less to nonprofit organizations than they did in 2021. Still, total giving reached nearly $500 billion, even though this number was dampened by stock market declines and inflation.

Certainly financial pressures at the individual household level contributed to the decline. In 2022, 64% of giving came from individual donors, but individuals’ portion of the overall giving pie has declined over the last decade with fewer households overall giving to charity in recent years.

It’s worth considering, if individual giving is so low, is there an opportunity for charitable organizations to double down on efforts to encourage individual giving–especially planned gifts to organizations’ endowment funds at the community foundation? Perhaps!

Here are a few ideas for your organization to consider as you begin to build your strategies for year-end giving and endowment building.

Tap into the empathy factor
Though the CDC declared the Covid-19 pandemic over as of May 11, 2023, those of us who work in the nonprofit sector hope the lessons about empathy and human connection will continue indefinitely. Consider sharing the Giving USA statistics with your donor base. Many donors appreciate the macroeconomic view of philanthropy and may be motivated to increase their giving when they understand the magnitude of the drop in individual giving and how it affects charities’ ability to serve the community they love.

Review the benefits of planned giving
Times may be tough now, but setting up a bequest to your organization’s endowment fund at the community foundation or arranging for another type of planned gift, such as an IRA beneficiary designation, does not impact a donor’s wallet today. Instead, these future gifts flow from a donor’s estate at death and are an important source of permanent funds to help the organization’s mission stay strong for many years.

Encourage donors to review their stock portfolios for appreciated assets
Even in a market downturn, not all stock is down! Your donors can make gifts of highly-appreciated stock to their endowment funds at the community foundation and avoid the capital gains tax, thereby giving your organization even more security for its future than if the donor would have sold the stock, paid the tax, and given the rest of the proceeds.

Our team is always happy to help you and your team build strategies to grow your endowment fund at the community foundation. We are here for you and the people you serve, now and in the future.