Connections for Success



Newsbits: Giving Study Yields Disappointing Results
Kenneth Tornheim

Giving Study Yields Disappointing Results

A new study based on data gathered over 15 years from more than 9,000 U.S. families offers an in-depth look into charitable giving during that period. It also includes some discouraging data. The Philanthropy Panel Study is conducted every two years by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

The study indicates that the share of Americans who give to charity has fallen across all ages, as well as all education and income levels. The percentage of households that donated overall fell from 66% in 2000 to 56% in 2014, the most recent year tracked. Giving to places of worship or religious organizations dropped from 46% in 2004 to 34% in 2014.

Although older working-age Americans are often considered among the most reliable donors, donations from households led by individuals ages 41–64 have tumbled a hefty 13% since 2006, down to 57%. To learn more about the study and find advice for fundraisers based on its findings, visit

Getting New Blood for your Board

A for-profit start-up company is playing the role of matchmaker for young professionals and junior boards of directors at not-for-profit organizations. CariClub ( bills itself as “the professional network for social impact.” It is partnering with employers such as Citigroup, Unilever and UBS to connect their employees with up to 15 years of experience with hundreds of organizations.

The not-for-profits enhance their succession planning by establishing a pipeline of talented, high-achieving individuals as associate board members they can groom to eventually serve on the senior board of directors. In return, the professionals enjoy the opportunity to network with industry leaders, develop new skills and make an impact. These individuals organize events, attend meetings and give or raise funds, deepening their emotional and financial investments in the organizations. The service comes at no charge to not-for-profit organizations.

Not-For-Profits Brew Alternative Funding Source

As the new tax law threatens revenues for many nonprofits, some organizations and their supporters are finding creative ways to fill the potential gaps. One approach finding traction is appealing to beer lovers.

For example, a Lutheran minister and some not-for-profit colleagues in the Columbia, S.C. area are in the process of launching Ex Gratia Brewing Company, a not-for-profit brewery and taproom that will donate its net profits to other area and national not-for-profits. Ex Novo Brewing ( in Portland already donates all its profits to four local charities. Grace in Growlers ( operates a for-profit tasting room in Kailua, Hawaii, that donates its profits to its own not-for-profit.

For more information, contact Ken Tornheim at [email protected] or 312.670.7444. Visit to learn more about our Not-For-Profit Group.

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