[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]
Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook

June 27, 2012

Giving Increases!

imageIt’s official: Our desire to help others is stronger than the recent years’ economic uncertainty. We’ve hoped that would be the case since last June, when Giving USA released its report on charitable giving in 2010. It revealed that U.S. taxpayers gave $290 billion to nonprofit organizations in 2010, four percent less than the $303 billion they gave in 2009.

In the 12 months since the June 2011 report was released, those who raise money have intuitively sensed things are picking up. Multi-year pledge periods have gotten longer. Foundations that temporarily suspended gifts to capital projects are again funding such initiatives.

Last week, giving USA released its 2012 Giving USA Executive Summary. It details 2011 charitable giving. The report confirms that U.S. taxpayers gave $298 billion to nonprofit organizations in 2011, three percent more than the $290 billion they gave in 2010. What’s more, it appears that the two-year decline in charitable giving that started in 2009 has turned around.

Within the numbers, giving by individuals increased 3.9 percent, giving by bequest increased 12.2 percent and giving by foundations increased 1.8 percent in 2011. Corporations gave the same amount in 2011 that they did in 2010. Fundraisers like such trends. In addition to a warming climate for progress, they affirm that several truisms of philanthropy continue to drive giving.

The first donor is essential. Whether a nonprofit organization is embarking on a capital campaign or raising money for programs, the first gift is the most important one. It sets the tone for others’ giving and sends a clear signal about the nonprofit organization’s importance and credibility.

We give to organizations and causes that are successful. Seldom does an appeal to help an organization pay the light bill or make payroll stimulate significant giving. People support things that are moving in a positive direction. Success breeds success.

Perception is reality. With philanthropy on the uptick, many nonprofit organizations that had held plans for programmatic and capital expansion in check because they believed the economy was tepid will now move forward with confidence. Although some donors will remain reluctant to give at levels they did before 2009, nonprofits will be emboldened by this weeks’ report on the growth in giving.

As we reflect on the three-percent rise in giving in 2011, it’s important not miss the news beneath the headline. Confirmation that we gave more last year than we did in 2010 is affirming and exciting, but it’s not the real story.

The message to remember is that those who gave in 2011 – a year preceded by two consecutive years of philanthropic decline totaling $17 billion – didn’t stop believing. They remained committed to the organizations they support when others gave less or not at all. They continued giving when personal financial circumstances may have made it more difficult than in previous years. And in so doing, they paved the way for the positive 2011 giving trends released earlier this week.

It will be fun to watch the nonprofit sector’s confidence in the future grow on the heels of Giving USA’s report on last year’s philanthropy. As we do so, let’s remember those who gave last year and made the good news possible.

Reprinted from the Examiner (Independence, MO)

Matthew J. Beem, MPA, CFRE, President and CEO, (Kansas City), matt@hartsookcompanies.com

logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving our mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Karin Cox and Janell Johnson will present "Board Fundraising Leadership" to the Diocese of East Carolina Interfaith Refugee Ministry Board July 11 in Wilmington, N.C.

Hartsook will be at the Boy Scouts of America National Top Hands Conference taking place August 22 to 24 in Phoenix.

To see the rest of the Growing Philanthropy Tour, click here. For Tour photos and updates, "like" the Tour on Facebook.

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keeping up to date on the latest fundraising trends has never been easier with the Kindle ASR Media collection. Titles from Hartsook Companies’ Chairman and Founder Bob Hartsook include:

  • On The Money! – an enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide
  • Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success
  • Reality Fundraising – ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide

imageBook Deal of the Month

Nobody Wants to Give Money Away!(2002, ASR Media) – CEO, Bob Hartsook, details his nine principles for raising major gifts, starting with, "Nobody wants to give away money." Learn the nine principles that helped him raise billions of dollars. Click here to order Nobody Wants to Give Away Money! for a special price of $12 (plus $5 for shipping and handling).

On the Web


Timely Tips and Tweets! Follow us on Twitter at HartsookTips and at MattBeem for tips and giveaways. Recent Tweet, "Intrigue your donors by sharing strategic goals and big dreams for your organization."




Facebook: Become a Fan and a Friend. Fundraising tips, event photos, news and updates – see what’s new at Hartsook Companies by becoming a fan of us on Facebook. "Friend" Hartsook Founder Bob Hartsook, CEO Matt Beem, or Chief Creative Officer Karin Cox for even more updates!




Examine This. President and CEO Matt Beem‘s article, "Help make Scouting accessible to more kids" was featured in the Examiner. Matt reflects on the benefits of scouting and how to further support Boy Scouts of America. Visit our website to read the entire article.




Lessons from Bob’s Blog.Chairman Bob Hartsook‘s blog is candid and often provocative – and always interesting and full of his interesting views and experienced perceptions. Click here to read his latest thoughts and post your own.

Another Smart Idea…From the Hartsook Best Practices Collection

"We are very dedicated and "strict" about holding our weekly development meetings." – Hillary Nather, Boys Town National Regional Hospital, (Omaha, NE)

Interested in Best Practices and smart ideas? See these additional resources from Hartsook Companies:

·         "Best Practices Coast to Coast," a compilation of best practices from every state in the union.

·         "Hartsook Best Practices Collection," our original collection of 250 best practices and great ideas.

For a free copy of "Best Practices Coast to Coast" or the "Hartsook Best Practices Collection", please email Tammy Weinman, tammy@hartsookcompanies.com, or visit our website. Would you like to be included in our next Collection? Send your Best Practices and smart ideas to Julie.

Visit the Hartsook Companies website for:
• Educational opportunities • Books/reference articles • Conference/workshop speakers

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with more than 2,000 fundraising professionals bi-weekly. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, kcox@hartsookcompanies.com. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact Tammy Weinman at tammy@hartsookcompanies.com or 866.630.8500, Ext. 8224.

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