So, what’s the real contest? Props to The Chronicle of Philanthropy for their look at the metro areas of the two teams competing in the Super Bowl this Sunday—San Francisco and Baltimore—from the perspective of charitable giving. Based on an analysis of tax data, The Chronicle found that Baltimore scores, with a “median charitable contribution of $2,683 in 2008,”— 4.8 percent of their discretionary income—while San Francisco trails at $2,180, 3.9 percent.
Friends, Recently a colleague of mine posted a question on an email forum, asking participants whether or not their mission statement makes a reference to philanthropy. I found this pointed and insightful. In the most recent issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a front page article says that half of our nation's top fundraising executives want to quit their jobs. Findings from a large national study suggest that blame falls on the CEOs. Why? Because they aren't doing enough to create a culture of philanthropy within their institutions and because they generally "don't understand fund-raising." This is consistent with what the MajorGiving team finds in the field, especially when we are recruiting fundraisers. While several years ago The Chronicle frequently carried articles about fundraisers' tendency to leapfrog from job to job, there now seems to be a shortage of qualified fundraising professionals. I encourage you to check out the article, as we can safely assume that we'll be reading much more about this. Talk to you soon! Bob
When I was in college riding the subways in New York City in the early 70s there was a series of advertisements that stood out from the rest. Stark, black and white posters regaled a famous Hollywood or New York icon draped in a Blackglama mink coat--with the caption: "What Becomes a Legend Most?" Stars such as Judy Garland, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Leontyne Price, now animal rights activist Bridget Bardot, and even Luciano Pavarotti posed shamelessly. But it was their slogan that always stuck with me (it's also a song title by Lou Reed).
Amidst the roller-coaster ride of the stock market, along with great skepticism and uncertainty about the federal government's bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, banks, homeowners--you name it--philanthropy seems to be holding its own for the time being. On the MajorGiving.com listserv this past week we've been discussing the fact that many nonprofits are leaving money on the table by not having in place at least a rudimentary planned giving program in place.
I find this not only shocking, but reckless.
A story in today's New York Times reports that while the trend of building donations into the cost of retail items has escalated, it has led to a host of worries about the accountability of those dollars. With very little transparency and often just the word of the retailers that the funds will find their way to the nonprofits, many observers and analysts feel that the lack of regulation, along with no registration requirements by state charity boards, makes it likely that consumers will be scammed. In some cases, the charities are unaware of products carrying their logos or that money is due them from the sale of items.
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