Engaging Your Donors for Life-Long Giving

Engaging Your Donors for Life-Long Giving

In our ongoing effort to help make planned giving more accessible, collaborative and beneficial for charities, we hosted a workshop led by fundraising expert Laura Kaufman. The fourth in our series of free seminars and workshops, Engaging Your Donors for Life-Long Giving, invited Chicago-area nonprofits to learn about strategies and tactics for engaging donors over a long time horizon. Laura covered three major areas with us: The Individual Donor (ID) Marketplace. What is Engagement and Why Does It Matter? Driving Donor Engagement. State of Giving: National and Chicago Area Trends Nonprofits are experiencing more giving than ever before. In each category, numbers are on the rise, year over year. According to Giving USA’s report, giving by bequest is up 2.1%, giving my individuals is up 3.8% and total giving has increased 4.4%. The next question is, where is the money going?  This chart from Giving USA breaks it down nicely. Drilling down to the specific Chicago area market, the Chicago Community Trust shared some interesting data. Compared to a national average of 59%, 73% of Chicagoans give to charity. 49% of Chicago households volunteer and 78% of dollars donated by Chicagoans stay in the region. What is Engagement: Often overlooked, donor engagement is absolutely critical for the long-term health of an organization. While nonprofit fundraisers are busy managing many initiatives for their organization, donor engagement must be the core of their day-to-day. Research shows doing so will make capital and annual giving campaigns go more smoothly, netting better results. The donor engagement cycle can be broken down into these simple components: Recruit/Inspire, Learn, Engage, Ask, Thank, Repeat, Upgrade and...
On Capital Hill: Talking About the Fate of the Charitable Deduction

On Capital Hill: Talking About the Fate of the Charitable Deduction

On May 30, 1985, I skipped high school.  No, it was not senior skip day, nor did I really desire a break from school.  I wanted to travel from Appleton to Oshkosh to see President Reagan speak.  He had just introduced his plan on what would eventually become the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and first went to Wisconsin to sell it to the American people.  Contrary to my parents wishes, I did hear the speech in person and watched the ensuing process that produced the new tax code.  It was something that sparked my interest in learning about taxes and how (and why) they work the way they do. In law school, my intellectual curiosity about taxes turned towards the charitable deduction and was one of the major factors that drove me to pursue a career in charitable gift planning.  I fell in love with the fact that our country effectively allowed citizens to choose where their tax dollars could make a difference.  Over the years, my admiration has grown into awe as I have participated in conversations about the deduction that sparked amazing charitable gifts changing the course, and even saving, countless lives. My awe of and now concern about the charitable deduction led me to go to Capital Hill on February 16th where I joined nearly 200 nonprofit leaders in a whirlwind day of meetings hosted by the Charitable Giving Coalition (@ProtectGiving). We visited 130 House of Representatives and Senate offices, including 23 members of the Senate Finance Committee and 26 members of the House Ways and Means Committee. The goal of these meetings was to...
Why Giving Tuesday Should Be Part of Your Giving Plan

Why Giving Tuesday Should Be Part of Your Giving Plan

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 in a partnership by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to create an international day of giving during the busy holiday shopping season. Since 2012, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) has become a powerful movement supporting giving and creating a culture of philanthropy.   Since its inception, charities have seen large increases in both donor participation and dollars given per-donation. In 2015, charities saw a 155% increase in donations over 2014, bringing in over $117 million dollars. While that represents only a fraction of annual giving to charities, it does represent the largest single day of online giving. Giving Tuesday is helping charities increase the number of donors and reach the increasingly important millennial generation. The social nature of giving on Giving Tuesday makes it a great way to introduce charitable giving to children and teens.   So, this coming Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016, take a moment to give to your favorite charities. If you have the money to spare, start up a donor-advised fund. It makes giving easy, it makes doing your taxes easier without the need to keep track of various tax receipt letters, and it forces you to think about how much you want to give in total, rather than to any given recipient. The Advise Us Fund is itself a 501(c)3 non-profit and you can donate to us here or contact our...
Join Us for Our Free Fall Boot Camp: Donor Advised Fund Essentials for Small and Medium Charities

Join Us for Our Free Fall Boot Camp: Donor Advised Fund Essentials for Small and Medium Charities

Donor Advised Fund Essentials for Small and Medium Charities The Advise Us Fund expresses its deep gratitude to Holland and Knight for graciously hosting this event. Thursday, September 29, Registration opens at 8 am, program 8:30 am – 2 pm Entire Program Free, Box Lunch Included Please email aroy@adviseus.org for any dietary needs or specific agenda. Speakers Include: Bob Eichinger, Chicago Community Trust, Director of Donor Services Ron Burke, Active Transportation Alliance, Executive Director Laura Kaufman, Partners in Effective Philanthropy, President Vivian Karpowitz, Advocate Health Care Foundation, Director, Development Information and Analytics Tony Oommen, Fidelity Charitable, Vice President, Charitable Planning Consultant Kristin Carlson Vogen, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, President and CEO David Rosen, Jewish United Fund, Senior Vice President, Endowment Free...
Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

Cycling Advocacy Veterans Seeking to Secure Their Legacy Look to Planned Giving as a Viable Tool

The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Chicago, IL, June 23, 2016 –(PR.com)— Cycling advocacy has deep roots going back more than 40 years. As such, the early pioneers of this movement are looking to secure the future of the cycling movement through planned giving and major gifts and bequests. This shift in development strategy balances traditional annual giving and long-term planned giving to meet the needs of cycling advocates looking to secure the legacy of their life’s work. The Active Transportation Alliance partnered with The Advise Us Fund to offer expanded giving options to donors. This new partnership will go a long way in supporting Active Trans in its future development and planned giving efforts. Recognizing that both organizations work to achieve a similar goal, Active Trans is proud to partner with The Advise Us Fund. “The sustainable transportation movement has reached a new level of maturity,” said Ron Burke, Active Trans Executive Director. “Establishing a long-term giving program for the organization is a natural development for us as we grow and evolve. And we’re thrilled to be teaming up with The Advise Us Fund in pursuit of this goal.” Furthering this partnership, “We work toward matching the interest of donors to the needs of the organization and providing outcomes to help them enhance the difference they are making.” said Amy Roy, Charitable Catalyst and Managing Director of The Advise Us Fund. “We look forward to bringing our expertise...