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By January 25, 2017February 9th, 2017No Comments

The fundraising consulting firm Marts & Lundy and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University have released the third edition of the Philanthropy Outlook. It should be required reading for nonprofit executives, board members and funders. This edition, “The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018,” paints a picture of a dynamic nonprofit sector where funding is expected to remain stable but where funders continue to exercise more control over how and where they give. There continues to be a need for innovation on behalf of nonprofits when it comes to their fundraising efforts. Today’s generation of funders also expect a high level of honesty and transparency from the organizations to which they give.

Here are some quick pulls from the study that should tempt you to read the all 20 pages.

  • In 2017, 70.7% of total giving is expected to come from individuals, followed by 15.6% from foundations, 8.7% from estates, and 5.0% from corporations.
  • The rates of growth for total giving in 2017 is expected to be 3.6% (3.8% in 2018). These rates of increase are higher than normal for the last ten years.
  • Giving by individuals is predicted to increase by 3.0% in 2017 (3.2% in 2018). This rate is still dependent upon the growth of household incomes and personal wealth.
  • Giving by corporations is expected to increase by 2.4% in 2017 (2.7% in 2018). This rate of growth is dependent upon average growth to the county’s GDP and a higher than average growth in corporate saving.

The report also helps paint a clear picture of the size and scope of the nonprofit sector and its affect on the nation. In their conclusion the authors write,

Projected growth in total giving in the years 2017 and 2018 is likely to continue to outpace predicted growth in U.S. GDP. These increases mean that philanthropy will continue to stake a larger share of the U.S. economic landscape in years to come. Average annual giving is expected to increase $15.34 billion per year between 2014 and 2018, much larger than the average increase of $1.70 billion seen during the years 2009 to 2013. Nearly $30 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars will be raised by charities in 2017 and 2018 beyond the 2016 total.

This information should be very sobering for lawmakers in Washington as they look to overhaul the nation’s tax code in the coming years. How much of this giving is reliant upon the charitable deduction and would any change to it negatively affect the resources of the nonprofit sector?

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