Donor Engagement

The idea of coordinated giving days is gaining momentum. These social media campaigns provide an image-building opportunity for community foundations as well as opportunities to build the capacity of our grantees to raise money for themselves.

Giving online is increasing in double digit percentages year over year, yet in our community, many of the nonprofits we serve have barely have a website let alone a “Donate Now” button. As a result, we thought it was important for us to help our nonprofits become familiar with raising money online.

Guy David Gundlach’s story of philanthropy is unique. This is not your typical planned giving story involving a long relationship between a donor and a charitable organization resulting in an estate gift dedicated to a specific cause. It is the story of a businessman with global interests who left the vast majority of his entire estate, totaling nearly $150 million, to his hometown of Elkhart, Indiana through the community foundation.

“You can do a lot with $1.” A simple but powerful phrase at the heart of GiVE 365, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’ dollar-a-day giving circle. Formed in 2010, GiVE 365 unites and informs emerging philanthropists to make a collective impact on Greater Memphis. Members donate $365 a year, pool their money with others, and vote on both an annual grant making theme and grant recipients.

Austin, Texas, is the top spot to be an entrepreneur, make movies, get fit, have a dog, and eat barbeque—but as recently as a decade ago we ranked near the bottom of per capita giving. While other Texas cities, like Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, have a long history of philanthropy, ours was principally a university town and state capital. That is, until the 1990s when the limestone outcroppings west of downtown sprouted glass office buildings and became the “Silicon Hills.”

The Council on Foundations and CF Insights today released Guideposts for Growth and Aspirations,the field’s most comprehensive report on U.S. community foundation assets, gifts, and grants. The data were collected from 285 U.S. community foundations, including those representing more than 90 percent of total estimated community foundation assets in the United States. In 2013, community foundation assets, gifts, and grants continued to grow and exceed the new heights experienced in 2012.

At the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., some funders were expressing a move toward a new way of doing business with their grantees. Accountability has long been a theme in grantmaking. It has traditionally been top-down – foundations being held accountable to the people whose money they are spending and grantees being held accountable to the foundations.