High-net-worth individuals donated $5.8 billion during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic — generous giving by most standards. This is according to a recent report, “Philanthropy and COVID-19 in the first half of 2020,” from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and information service Candid. However, that $5.8 billion amount is deceptive, because nearly three-quarters of it came from one donor, Mackenzie Scott (the ex-wife of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos).

two women writing on papers with data and pie charts on a table; image used for blog post about not-for-profits reaching out to high-net-worth individuals for funding

In fact, a 2020 study from the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy found that only a relatively small percentage, 36%, of the ultra-wealthy are involved in charitable giving. This may sound like ominous news for not-for-profit organizations. But there are ways to tap this group’s ample resources.


Continue Reading Consider High-Net-Worth Individuals for Your NFP Efforts

The PKF Texas not-for-profit team hosted its next Zoom webinar, “Forging Ahead: Planning Your Fundraising and Investment for 2021.” Once again, PKF Texas Audit Senior Manager, Nicole Riley, CPA, CFE, moderated a panel, which included Ryan McCauley, Regional Director of Foundation & Institutional Advisory, Northern Trust; and Sara Wise, Senior Consultant, Mission Advancement.

Thumbnail image spotlighting Nicole Riley, Ryan McCauley and Sara Wise for PKF Texas' Zoom webinar “Forging Ahead: Planning Your Fundraising and Investment for 2021"

With 2021

A warning if your not-for-profit organization is looking for expenses to cut: Don’t skimp on insurance. Should your not-for-profit experience a fire, major theft or other calamity, you’ll be glad you have the coverage. Of course, you may also be required by your state, certain funders, lenders and your own bylaws to carry adequate insurance. Donors certainly expect you to protect their investment in your not-for-profit by managing risk with insurance.

man pointing to a laptop screen showing a client what's on the screen; image used for blog post about not-for-profit insurance as part of a risk management plan

But to ensure you’re not wasting money, consider what you need — and what you might not.


Continue Reading How Insurance Fits into Your NFP’s Risk Management Plan

As unemployment and financial insecurity become widespread during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many not-for-profit donors find themselves unable to provide monetary support to favorite charities. Instead, your organization may receive offers of gifts in kind (GIK) or donated services. Although you likely welcome these gifts, you may be unsure about how to record and value them.

a person forming a heart with their hands against the sun; image used for blog post about how not-for-profits can handle gifts in kind and donated services during COVID-19 pandemic

Here’s a brief summary.


Continue Reading Handling Gifts in Kind and Donated Services During COVID-19

Some of your not-for-profit’s communications are of interest only to a select group of your supporters. But your organization’s annual report is for all stakeholders — donors, grantmakers, clients, volunteers, watchdog groups and the government.

a person's hands holds paper with circle and arrow diagrams and a pie chart, showcasing an annual report with data to engage support for a not-for-profit organization

Some report elements are nonnegotiable, such as financial statements, but you also have plenty of creative license to make your report engaging and memorable for its wide-ranging audience.


Continue Reading Your Not-for-Profit’s Annual Report Could Engage Support

How well do you listen to your not-for-profit’s supporters on social media? If you don’t engage in “social listening,” your efforts may not be good enough.

This marketing communications strategy is popular with for-profit companies, but can just as easily help not-for-profits attract and retain donors, volunteers and members.


Continue Reading Engage Your Supporters on Social Media by “Listening”

Restricted gifts — or donations with conditions attached — can be difficult for not-for-profits to manage. Unlike unrestricted gifts, these donations can’t be poured into your general operating fund and be used where they’re most needed. Instead, restricted gifts generally are designated to fund a specific program or initiative, such as a building or scholarship fund.

It’s not only unethical, but dangerous, not to comply with a donor’s restrictions. If donors learn you’ve ignored their wishes, they can demand the money back and sue your organization. And your reputation will almost certainly take a hit. Rather than take that risk, try to encourage your donors to give with no strings attached.


Continue Reading How to Persuade Donors to Remove “Restricted” from Gifts

Traditionally, Americans have supported charities not only for tax breaks and a vague sense of “giving back,” but also for a variety of other financial, emotional and social reasons. Understanding what motivates donors and how their motivations vary across demographic groups can help your not-for-profit more effectively reach and engage potential supporters.

Money Matters
Asset

In the not-so-distant past, charity watchdog groups such as GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance were notorious for giving overhead ratios significant weightings in their rankings of not-for-profits. While such a practice can help potential donors weed out spendthrift organizations, it also tends to unfairly penalize not-for-profits making reasonable expenditures