Drakes Bay Fundraising
A Next Generation Fundraising Company

Archive for June, 2011

The Census is In; Cue the Fundraisers

Posted by Christopher Dann
Friday June 24, 2011
Categories: 2010 Census, Fundraising

The 2010 Census confirms in numbers what we have been anticipating for several decades: More than a third of the adult population is now in the age range of prime giving, 45 to 64, the time in their lives when people have the most discretionary money.

Because the boomer generation is now fully within this age range, the prime giving market has expanded 31% from the last census and represents huge financial opportunity for nonprofits. Boomers have notoriously saved less and spent more, and they may have less discretionary money than the generations preceding them. But there are twice as many of them as there are those over 65.

We’ve known for a long time that marketing and selling to this generation has special challenges. They are very different than their forebears. While fundraising has lagged behind the commercial sector in learning how to engage boomers – nonprofit CRM is tantamount to lowering drawbridges over castle moats – if we can get things right with this cohort, we can have a couple decades of promising fortune ahead. The next contingent, those 25 to 44, is even larger. The 45 to 64 population is slightly over 81 million; the population 25 to 44 is slightly over 82 million.

But let’s not forget the 40 million adults over 65. While these folks have less discretionary money now – indeed less than they used to have, the percent holding mortgages increased from 18% in 1999 to 27% in 2009 – their loyalty to the nonprofits they started supporting in their years of peak discretionary income has tended to hold, and they have demonstrated their generosity.


Giving is Up. So What’s the Problem?

Posted by Christopher Dann
Tuesday June 21, 2011
Categories: Fundraising

The news this week from Giving USA, dutifully passed along, by both trade and general media, is that total giving in 2010, at $280.89 billion, increased for the first time since 2007. The increase was an inflation-adjusted 2.1%, but it still left giving below pre-recession levels.

It’s good news that the decline – the steepest since the recession of 1973 to 1975 – has been reversed, but the funding problems most nonprofit organizations have been encountering aren’t likely to be resolved any time soon.

First, as Stephanie Strom notes in the July 20 New York Times, “Still, if giving were to continue to grow at the same pace it did last year, it would be five to six years before it reached the 2007 peak of $326.57 billion.”

Second, competition for charity has been out-pacing giving for some time. In their publication, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief – Public Charities, Giving, and Volunteering, 2010, the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy reported that the number of public charities reporting to the IRS (and required to do so) increased 56.1% from 1998 to 2008 while their revenues increased 42.8% (adjusted for inflation) and their expenses increased 45.8% (also adjusted).

Third, as the Nonprofit Research Center Collaborative documented in its first fundraising survey, increased demand for services between 2009 and 2010 was reported by between half to more than three-quarters of organizations across all nonprofit sub-sectors, the least being the arts (48%) and the most being human services (78%).

And finally, while organizations have widely varying dependence on service revenues, we have to remember that the overall average dependency is 45%, and that income is substantially affected by recession in the economy.


Next Generation Fundraising and Drakes Bay Fundraising merged in the fall of 2013, bringing the longstanding professional acquaintances of their four principals – Tim Oleary, Carol Leister, Cindy Germain, and Christopher Dann – into a single company and combining the special resources and experiences of each to provide clients greater breadth and depth of service.

For more information about Next Generation Fundraising, click here.