News for Nonprofits – Winter 2019

Uneven nonprofit concentrations leave communities vulnerable

Nonprofits often step in when governments can’t or won’t provide necessary services. But, according to an article in Governing, a magazine about state and local government, some locations have much stronger nonprofit support than others. For example, the top 10 metro areas have more than twice the number of nonprofits per capita as all of those in the bottom quarter.

Older, more established communities — particularly in the Northeast and the industrial Midwest — have more nonprofits than more newly developed regions, like the South and West. Capital cities, such as Madison, Wis., and Trenton, N.J., generally are home to more nonprofits, too.

Gender matters: Study examines women donors

Women’s fund and foundation donors give more than general high-net-worth-donors. That’s just one nugget found in All in for Women & Girls, a report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University. The report explores the characteristics of these donors, the vast majority of whom are women, and reveals how they stand out.

For example, these donors often are motivated to give by serving on the board of directors or volunteering for an organization, as well as believing their gift can make a difference. Only 11% indicate they’re more motivated by tax benefits, compared to 23% of general donors.

Disaster-related giving trends point north

In 2017 and 2018, the United States was hit by 30 natural disasters, each causing more than $1 billion in damage and prompting a surge in charitable donations. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Candid and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy recently released a comprehensive study on household disaster giving, based on the 2017–2018 events.

Among other things, the U.S. Household Disaster Giving in 2017 and 2018 report finds that the top drivers for giving were the scale of an event and personal connections to the location. Each year about 30% of U.S. households made a disaster-related donation. But support for a specific disaster wanes as time passes, despite the continuing need for support.

Charitable deduction claims drop sharply

A new study says the number of taxpayers qualifying for itemization status fell from about 30% in 2017 to 10.2% in 2018 — and only 8.5% of taxpayers took a charitable deduction in 2018. Every income group saw significant reductions in charitable deductions after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Even the very wealthy saw a 20% drop in their 2018 deductions compared to 2017. With the charitable deduction now off the table for many taxpayers, the researchers suggest that the number of donors could continue to fall.