Nonprofit Research Collaborative Brings News from the Perpetual Campaign

Posted by National Association of Charitable Gift Planners on Jan 4, 2016 11:30:13 AM

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative, which includes PPP as a partner organization, has released its “Special Report on Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns.” More than 1,000 organizations responded to a mid-year survey, including 109 that received the survey link from PPP (watch for a link to the next NRC survey in e-mail from PPP on January 21 and plan to respond).  Forty-six percent of organizations reported being actively in a fundraising campaign—substantially higher than in summer 2011, when 12% reported being in a special, capital or comprehensive campaign and 34% were planning campaign but not in one.

Percentage of organizations in various stages of engaging in capital, endowment, or comprehensive campaigns, by size (determined by annual expenditures)

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When an organization has a planned giving program, it is possible that a capital, endowment or comprehensive campaign will either ramp up activity for the planned giving staff or slow it down, if emphasis shifts to current gifts. In this survey, 262 respondents with campaigns underway in their organizations reported about the “change in effort” for planned giving activities during the campaign. A plurality (the largest portion but not a half) said that effort for planned giving increased during the campaign, compared with just 9 percent who reported a drop in effort.

Respondents were also asked if their organizations created new or updated existing policies for counting planned gifts toward campaign goals during the planning phase of a campaign. Organizations that revised or set new planned gift counting policies as part of the planning for the current campaign were more likely than other organizations to see an increase in total charitable receipts (all sources, not just planned gifts) in the first six months of 2015.

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This finding does not prove that setting policies makes a difference in amounts received. Instead, it and other findings from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative suggest that organizations with $3 million or more in expenditures are most likely to have the resources to implement some of the best practices in fundraising. In fact, further analysis from this survey shows that the organizations most likely to have set new policies are the larger charities (expenditures of $3 million and up), where more than half (52%) of those in a campaign completed such a review. This is more than double the 25% of organizations with budgets less than $3 million that are in a campaign and completed a review of planned gift policies as part of campaign planning.

Two-thirds of respondents count revocable gifts toward campaign goal

The majority of organizations with policies to include planned gifts in the campaign plan to use the following types:

  • Irrevocable planned gifts (e.g., trusts) likely to be received after the end of the campaign (80 percent plan to use)
  • Revocable planned gifts (e.g., bequests in wills, insurance beneficiary designation) likely to be received after the end of the campaign (67 percent)
  • Beneficiary designation on commercial annuities or life insurance (72 percent)

Blended gifts reported at nearly three-quarters of those in campaigns

For organizations using planned gifts in their capital, endowment, or comprehensive campaigns, nearly three-quarters (71%) of responding organizations expect to receive blended gifts, which are gifts that would be partially contributed during the campaign with cash or securities and partially deferred such as through an estate plan or trust. A couple statistically significant insights:

  • The percentage of education organizations that expect to receive blended gifts (84 percent) was statistically significantly higher than the percentage of human services organizations that expect these gifts (52 percent).
  • Eighty-three (83) percent of the largest organizations (more than $10 million in expenditures) expect blended gifts, whereas 48 percent of the smallest organizations (less than $250,000) expect to receive these gifts.

By June 2015, 59% of responding charitable organizations reported an increase in charitable receipts in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. It’s possible that the next round of the survey, to be launched in mid-January, will show that 65% or more of responding organizations are reporting increased charitable receipts.

Year  Organizations reporting an increase in charitable receipts from all sources
2015 59 %
2014 52 %
2013 58 %
2012 46 %

The planned gift pipeline continues to produce income for organizations that have invested in filling it. This chart shows the percentage of responding organizations that reported change in dollars received through planned gifts between 2004 and 2014 .

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To add to this data, In the most recent NRC report:

  • 47% of respondents said dollars received from planned gifts had increased
  • 36% of respondents said dollars received from planned gifts had stayed the same
  • 17% of respondents said dollars received from planned gifts had decreased

To read the full “Special Report on Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns” from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, click here.

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Topics: philanthropy, donors, fundraising, planned giving, General, Research