Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Class is in session.

Thought Leaders take your seats. Today we will discuss Giving USA. As Edith said on NPR this morning figures were released for 2010 showing $290.8 billion raised - up from $305 billion in 2009 that was corrected from $303 billion to $280 billion because IRS issued revised estimates and the model was tweaked because the recession was very bad. And now we will march to the new numbers and salute the new flag - until the next IRS correction and then we’ll remodel the model and next year we will raise more money! Patrick: SIT DOWN! Is everyone clear on this? So class the takeaway is more money was apparently raised last year than the year before but over the last four years philanthropy was smacked really hard. Thought Leaders you have to explain this all to your clients and they might care if they can stay awake and if you can convince them that it matters. What Leo? Yes the data are a national model and shouldn’t be used by a single organization to judge their results. It’s sad that one of your clients fired some benighted fundraiser because of this goosy data. That’s awful! Yes Rob: your group, Philanthromax, has algorithms for projecting data in almost real time while GUSA is retrospective – and you and they are $36 billion apart!!! - and you won’t be able to fall back on IRS numbers later. Whom should we believe? If GUSA issued numbers every two years IRS figures would be up to date even if they aren’t right and miss a lot of giving. Nancy we know you don’t believe in the algorithm but please raise your hand first! Thank you. These are verities: a robust stock market gooses giving. Religion books the most; individuals give the most; planned giving is either up or down; foundation and corporate giving is a modest percentage of all funds given. Thought Leaders drink the Kool-Aid. Henry what is it? You don’t like Kool-Aid. Even if it’s giving flavored? Henry, drink the bleeping Kool-Aid!