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IDEA-related takeaways from Giving USA 2021

Thursday, June 24, 2021 9:51 AM | Deleted user

By Emily Loof 
IDEA Committee Chair

Giving USA Foundation released their much-anticipated report, Giving USA 2021, on June 15. This year’s report, which offers an annual comprehensive and data-driven look at the state of philanthropy in the U.S., was perhaps even more anxiously awaited than its predecessors, given the effects that the tumultuous last year had on philanthropy. Here are some IDEA-related takeaways, synthesized from the reactions of experts in the philanthropic sector. 

Corporate giving declined--and was funneled into IDEA

Corporate giving was down 6.1% in 2020 compared to 2019, and many corporations redirected their giving to IDEA-related initiatives that they had previously not supported. As Katrina Klaproth, Emily Christaldi, and Carole Arwidson from BWF reported, “Corporate giving declined, and most found themselves addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice issues head on in the wake of social unrest and heightened awareness of systemic racism and calls to once and for all address it. Many corporations will be reviewing their giving programs based on DEIJ considerations, which will likely impact particular appeals, grant opportunities, and campaign priorities.”

Retention will be key for organizations who experienced an influx of donors

Some small-budget nonprofits experienced an unprecedented increase in donors in 2020; this was especially true of community or grassroots organizations that are involved in social and racial justice work. Eric Javier, Principal & Managing Director at CCS Fundraising, reported that some of these organizations saw their budgets increase 10 or even 20 times over. Going forward, solid retention strategies will be the way for these organizations to attain sustainable growth, as conventional wisdom states that only 27 percent of first-time donors to an organization ever give again

Interest in planned giving increased, thanks in part to changing demographics

As Eden Stiffman, senior editor at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, reported: “Giving by bequest increased 9 percent in 2020. This category of giving is historically volatile. While some of this was because of the pandemic’s deadly toll, changing generational demographics were the biggest driver.” Stiffman cited professor of charitable financial planning at Texas Tech University Russell James, who explained that as Baby Boomers, (who are more likely to be charitably inclined than their predecessors) age, interest in planned giving will continue to spike. 

You can view the entire Giving USA 2021 report by subscribing to Giving USA for an annual fee of $139.95. To do so, visit here: AFP SOCO is not affiliated with Giving USA Foundation and does not receive any portion of subscription revenue. 

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