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Using Giving USA Numbers to your Advantage

Wednesday, July 5, 2017  

By Robert K. Lewis III, CFRM, President and CEO of Global Advancement, LLC

Last week, Giving USA released its annual numbers, which were up considerably in 2016 from the previous year. Are non-profits and consulting member firms of the Giving Institute using these numbers to our best advantage?

Non-profits and consultants alike are trying to increase revenue every year to further their mission and best serve their donors. We, as consultants, are trying to have a greater impact upon non-profits. Every year at this time, a number of firms host the Giving USA announcement events disclosing the amount of money contributed to the sector in the prior year. This is a great way to promote our Giving USA product and the fundraising sector, while also creating more opportunities for our firms.

How many firms can look at the record amount of money contributed to the non-profit sector every year and say there is a direct correlation to the bottom line at year end? In 2013, Charitable Giving was more than $335B. That same year, the now-famous TED talk by Dan Pallotta made the case that there is not enough money being invested in fundraising by non-profits. He made the point that modestly increasing the historical average of 2% GDP, by 1% to 3%, would help the sector by $150B. Click HERE to see the video. When you translate those numbers to your revenue over the past 10 years, you can see the impact this could have on your firm, as well as the difference we, as consultants, can have on more worthy causes.

If we are successful in helping others achieve their dreams and goals, this will have an impact upon realizing our own dreams and goals as well. The next time you are talking to a potential client, look at their 990s from the past five years and see if there is a direct correlation to the Giving USA numbers. If there is, this will put us all in a stronger position to encourage that non-profit to hire one of our firms for their next project.

Best of luck in using the numbers to your advantage!

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