THE CHRONICLE OF
PHIL A NTHROPY®
The Newspaper of the Nonprofit World
Volume XXV, No. 3 • November 15, 2012 • $5
Charities Unveil Bold Year-End
Appeals in Storm’s Big Shadow
By Jennifer C. Berkshire
DESPITE the struggling economy, along with fundraising compe- tition from Superstorm Sandy
and the 2012 elections, many charities
are developing audacious end-of-year
plans to seek contributions.
Among them: The Children’s Miracle
Network is releasing a holiday catalog
that offers donors the chance to give
$12-million for a hospital. The antipoverty charity Heifer International, which
usually emphasizes modest contributions of $20 to $100, is seeking $25,000
donations in its year-end appeal.
Such high ambitions are seen as necessary given that nonprofit experts project an overall rise in giving for 2012 of
probably just 1 or 2 percent above last
year. In a study of returns from 3,000
nonprofits, the Blackbaud fundraising-software company found a slight dip in
donations this fall, but a largely positive picture for the year.
“For most of the year fundraising numbers have been up by low and
single digits,” says Charles Longfield,
Blackbaud’s senior vice president.
Focus on the Wealthy
As charities fashion their year-end
appeals, they may be wise to focus on
the wealthy, say people who advise affluent donors.
Uncertainty about the economy and
how Washington might overhaul the tax
code, including the possibility of limiting charitable deductions, is one reason
many rich people are especially eager to
give now, says Kim Laughton, president
of Schwab Charitable, a nonprofit that
offers donor-advised funds.
She notes that Schwab has seen a big
increase in contributions from its clients—roughly double the levels in the
third quarter of 2011. When people put
money into the advised funds, they can
Continued on Page A-7
JASON COLSTON/AMERICAN RED CROSS
Support for disaster-relief efforts by the American Red Cross
shouldn’t erode gifts for other charities, say fundraising experts.
State Tax Credits Let Donors Give Big for Much Less
By Ben Gose
YOUTH IN NEED, a St. Louis group that runs 50 programs for chil- dren and families at 25 sites,
goes out of its way to honor its biggest
donors. The charity recognizes its “
Children’s Partners”—the 33 couples and
companies that give $1,500 or more per
year—in a prominent spot on its Web
But missing from the list is perhaps
the charity’s most generous donor: the
State of Missouri.
Thanks to a generous 50-percent
state tax credit available to donors who
give to Missouri youth-development
organizations, some of the wealthiest
supporters of the charity say they part
with only about $150 for every $1,000
gift they make to the charity.
For individuals in the highest tax
bracket, Missouri pays for half the
gift—$500—through the state tax credit, and the federal government picks up
35 percent through the charitable deduction.
Each year, about a quarter of the
money that Youth in Need raises comes
from gifts tied to this state credit and a
similar one for businesses. The credits
allow the charity to show donors how
a “stretch gift” might be within easy
CAROLYN KAS TER/AP IMAGES
WHI TNEY CURTIS, FOR THE CHRONICLE
Nonprofit leaders offer their
ideas about what President Obama
should do in his second term to
help charities and foundations.
reach, says Rob Muschany, vice president of development and marketing.
“We absolutely love them,” he says.
The credits have become increasingly
popular as states look for ways to bolster charities providing essential services and help community foundations
build their endowments.
But the biggest reason for the growth
is that tax credits allow legislatures to
Continued on Page A-13
Grant makers are stepping up
their search for ways to fix the
ailing political process. PAGE A-25
At least 20 states offer tax credits to
residents to encourage giving to certain
types of charities.
Fundraisers are trying to get
their voice heard in Washington by
supporting a PAC. PAGE A-9
THE CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY •
NOVEMBER 15, 2012
2012 is poised to be the second year in a rowwith lackluster investment results,
a ne w Chronicle study finds—putting many nonprofits in a rough spot
Investing for Good
A growing number of foundations are aggressively using their endowments
to achieve both strong financial and social returns
Seeking Gifts for the Future
The bad economy has depressed donor interest in supporting endowments, but some charities have
found ways to persuade supporters to earmark some donations for tomorrow’s needs
n Endowment at the nation’s
charities and foundations are
on pace for a second year in a
row of lackluster investment
returns, according to a new
Chronicle study of 268
organizations. Page B-3
Investing for Good
n Foundations are increasingly
making investments that seek
both social and financial returns
as they search for new ways
to do more with fewer dollars.