Trends for Nonprofit Fundraising

Nov 25, 2016

Credit iStock via PBN

Fund-raising is a continuing challenge for all non-profit organizations. And a recent gathering in Honolulu highlighted several trends that have developed in the pursuit of donations.  

Here’s PBN editor-in-chief A, Kam Napier on the latest major issues in fundraising.

PBN recently participated in the annual conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Aloha Chapter. It brought together some of the top philanthropists and development directors in the nonprofit sector. Our cover story this week looks at four major trends these communities need to keep in mind.

One is that legacy giving is an untapped resource in the Islands. Nearly 33,000 households here have assets valued at $1 million or more and yet only 21% of them have committed to leaving behind a legacy gift. Nationally, 30% of high-net-worth households do so.

Philanthropists at the conference report they are often approached by non-profits with similar, overlapping missions. Their advice to non-profits is that they collaborate more and compete less.

Vetting is important. Philanthropists want to know their time and money is going to be used well and efficiently. Fiscal accountability matters as much for non-profits as it does for any business.

Finally, the conference touched on a growing, but unresolved tension between the non-profit and donor communities. Hawaii is a high cost state for any enterprise and non-profits feel that pinch too. Their challenge is that day-to-day operating costs don’t generally get donors excited. Philanthropists typically prefer to back specific projects or initiatives, with defined goals and a clear ending.  Expect this conversation over such unrestricted funding to be ongoing.