According to a recent poll of aid agencies by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the most under-reported crisis of 2018 was the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Meanwhile, Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, commented that, ‘the brutality of the conflict is shocking, the national and international neglect outrageous… I have seldom witnessed such a gap between needs and assistance’.
Other ‘forgotten crises’, according to the agencies polled, include the
Central African Republic, Lake Chad Basin, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan,
Burundi, Nigeria and, for the first time, Venezuela. Highlighting such
‘reporting gaps’ is important
because international news coverage plays a key role in raising awareness of
and drawing attention to humanitarian crises, in order to secure the funding
needed to help.
Research makes clear that humanitarian journalism is itself in crisis. Our survey of over 1500 individuals involved in the aid sector revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the quantity and quality of mainstream news coverage of humanitarian affairs. 73% of respondents agreed that mainstream news media does not produce enough coverage of humanitarian issues. News coverage was also criticized for being selective, sporadic, simplistic and partial.
Over 20,000 news outlets were examined to find out how many were regularly reporting on humanitarian affairs. Only 12 –including Al Jazeera English, the Guardian Global Development site, IRIN News, the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Voice of America– covered the four humanitarian events analyzed: The ongoing crisis in South Sudan, the 2016 Aceh earthquake, the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit and the 2017 UN appeal for humanitarian funding.
Humanitarian issues were mentioned in only one in five (19%) items on the news bulletins of the BBC World Service.
1: Keep an eye on your donor retention rate
2: Know the factors of engagement
3: Know each donor’s history
4: Kick-start prospect research
5: Communicate using various platforms
6: Use effective language in communications
7: Use social media to show appreciation
8: Ask donors how they feel about you
[Read full article at GuideStar Blog]
A study published on Monday by the Fundraising
Effectiveness Project reported that charitable giving contributions in the
USA only increased 1.6% last year despite a strong economy.
The report also highlights the 4.5% decrease in total donors from 2017,
indicating a shrinking pool of individuals involved in philanthropy.
Donations under $1,000 from smaller and middle class donors fell by more than 4%, while gifts from major donors increased 2.6%, the Washington Post reported.
The Council of Foundations and other groups within the charitable sector have warned lawmakers about the impact that the 2017 tax overhaul could have on charitable giving. Under the new tax law, millions of Americans no longer qualify to take the charitable tax deduction, which is a giving incentive.
[Council of Foundations]
How old is the typical U.S. donor?
] 35 years of age
[ ] 50 years of age
[ ] 75 years of age
Donors aged 65 and older
comprise (by far) the largest slice of the American charity pie.
Those under age 35 make up the smallest slice of the same pie.
In 2017, one of America’s top 10
brand-name charities, a group serving the homeless and addicted, analyzed its
vast donor database by age. Its largest group of “active” (i.e.,
repeat) donors was 87 years old on average. Its largest group of
first-time (i.e., new) donors was age 70 on average.
Even in Australia, a philanthropic
market that vigorously courts younger donors, older donors end up ruling the
roost. Sean Triner, co-founder of Pareto, that country’s largest direct mail
and phone fundraising agency, ran the numbers. He simply concluded: “Older
donors are better.” Why? They tend to stick longer and hence give
more in total.
Are younger people less generous? Not at all. But they lack one essential: money to give away.
Young adults are building lives.
They’re buying stuff. They’re forming and furnishing households. They are as
caring and concerned and compassionate as anyone else. But unless they were
born with the proverbial silver spoon, they probably don’t have all that much
disposable income to throw around (especially if they choose to have children,
an expensive proposition in
And then things
“At age 55,” Jeff Brooks observed,
“people start to become reliably charitable. They’re starting to have some
extra money.” There is some surplus in their wallets: the kids are
launched, the house is almost paid for. “Then households begin giving to
charity,” said Jeff. “And their giving ramps up until age 65, where
it levels off.
A Canadian-led international movement seized with staunching the flow of refugees wants to use an untapped source of cash to address the global crisis: the billions languishing in the frozen bank accounts of dictators and despots.
The proposal will be one of the main recommendations of the World Refugee Council, a self-appointed body of two dozen global political figures, academics and civil-society representatives led by former Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy. “We’ve put forward a proposition that where there are frozen assets they should be unfrozen through a proper legal process and reallocated to help the victims of the crime and corruption and instability that the bad guys create,” said Axworthy. “It’s a morality play. The bad guys have to pay to help their victims.”
The World Bank estimates the pool of cash to be worth $10 billion to $20 billion per year, Axworthy said in an interview.
The council was established last year by a Canadian think-tank, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, to find new ways to deal with the 21st century’s record-setting migration crisis — the 68.5 million displaced people driven from their homes by war, famine and disaster. The United Nations will turn its attention to solving the problem at a special session later this fall, and the council plans to offer its input, using the weight of the last Canadian foreign minister to chair a Security Council meeting. Axworthy says there are fundamental structural flaws in how the world’s institutions are set up to cope with the unprecedented forced migration of people, and a big one is how the bills are paid. The system is based on charity — the benevolent donations of people, countries and businesses — and is not sustainable, Axworthy said.
Axworthy said the courts in several countries can be used to seize funds that have been frozen there. Canada, the United States and Britain have all passed legislation allowing them to impose sanctions on individual human-rights abusers. These “Magnitsky laws” are named after a Russian tax accountant who died in prison after exposing a massive fraud by state officials there.
Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal justice minister and human-rights lawyer who has championed Magnitsky-style legislation, said in a separate interview that these laws can allow to go beyond freezing funds, because once the assets are seized, there’s no point to returning them to their corrupt owners. “What you want to do is have the proceeds put for the public good,” said Cotler, the founder of the Montreal-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.
[Read full CBC article]
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released a study that estimates charitable giving will decline by more than $17 billion in 2018 due to last year’s overhaul of the tax code by the Trump administration.
According to The Hill, “AEI researchers estimated that of the projected $17.2 billion decline in giving, $14.2 billion of the reduction will be due to the bigger standard deduction and $3 billion will be due to other provisions in the tax law.
[Council on Foundations]
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the most ambitious — as well as expensive — global development framework in history. The framework sets specific targets in seventeen areas, from ending poverty in all its forms (Goal 1), to combating climate change and its impacts (Goal 13), to achieving gender equality (Goal 5). But with an estimated annual price tag of $3.5 trillion, it’s clear that governments alone cannot finance the SDGs and hope to achieve the framework’s 2030 targets.
It’s not a surprise that Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives) and Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all) have received the lion’s share of the funding to date (both more than $18 billion). In addition to regular health-related spending, foundations also have contributed significant sums in response to various health emergencies, both natural and man-made.
Though it has received considerably less funding than the other two, it’s interesting to note that Goal 5 (Achieve gender equality) ranks third — preliminary analysis hints at a promising scenario for gender equality-related funding — while Goal 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies and justice for all) is close behind in the fourth spot. Indeed, a deep dive into Goal 16-related funding reveals that a lot of the grants made in support of efforts in this area overlap with Goal 5, gender equality, which suggests to us that peace and justice are strongly correlated with gender equality and that funders are well aware of the linkage.
Foundation Center data shows that foundations have contributed more than $50 billion toward achieving the SDGs since January 2016, when the SDG agenda was formally launched. In a blog post in 2016, Foundation Center president Brad Smith predicted that foundations would contribute $364 billion toward achieving the by 2030. While it’s too early to say whether Brad will be proved correct, the initial trends are favorable.
[Philanthropy News Digest]
For the first time ever, refugee-made products will be on display at Ambiente, the leading international consumer goods trade show, from 9-13 February 2018, in Frankfurt, Germany. Twelve product lines created by refugee artisans and craft people from Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iran, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria will be presented.
This breakthrough is the result of MADE51, a new initiative by UNHCR and a global network of social enterprises to help talented makers fleeing war or persecution achieve greater self-reliance and access to the global marketplace. At Ambiente, potential buyers can view and order a variety of products, including:
- bowls and jewelry created by Malian Tuareg refugees
- cashmere throws, embroidered bags, block-printed scarves, lampshades and soft furnishings crafted by Syrian refugees
- wall hangings and basketry woven by Burundian refugees
- complex pile rugs, wool kilims and embroidered home textiles created by artisans who have returned to Afghanistan
- scarves and bags hand-dyed by South Sudanese and Somali refugees
- smoked bamboo lighting and embroidered jewelry made by refugees from Myanmar
Somewhat paradoxically, most nonprofit executives spend more time and effort on financial matters than their counterparts in the business sector do. For people in the nonprofit sector, that’s an unfortunate fact of life. Nonprofit leaders, whether they like it or not, must take seriously their obligation to secure adequate funding for their organizations. Funding is one component of the engine of impact that every nonprofit organization must build and tune to become truly effective.
Go Where the Money Is. When the bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he gave a memorable (if perhaps apocryphal) reply: “Because that’s where the money is.” Going “where the money is” means recognizing that individuals account for most philanthropic giving in the United States today. In 2016, Americans gave $389 billion to charitable causes, and 72 percent of that sum came from individual donors. (Foundations accounted for 15 percent, bequests for 8 percent, and corporations for only 5 percent.)
Meet Donors Where They Are. Successful fundraisers interact with donors on their terms and enable them to give in a way that makes them comfortable. Once you have identified and investigated a potential donor, create a roadmap for your conversation with that person. Then, in the meeting, resist the urge to wax rhapsodic about how compelling your nonprofit is, and instead focus on asking questions in order to understand what motivates the donor. In this way, you will be able to establish points of connection between your organization and the donor’s interests.
Master the Ask. “The ask” is the essential, albeit often daunting, process of asking a specific donor for money to support your organization. Be ready to provide a plan for how your organization will use the donation and a clear explanation of how the donated funds will further your mission. In considering how much to request, aim to specify an amount that will enable your organization to cover the full costs of a program or project, including overhead expenses. Then, once you receive a donation, don’t forget to express your gratitude. “Stewardship is by far the most ignored and overlooked aspect of fundraising. If you thank your donors and steward their donation with care, you’ll find that asking them for money gets easier, not harder.”
[Excerpts from “Engine of Impact” by William Meehan and Kim Starkey Jonker]
The charity World Vision International is a major provider of disaster relief across the globe. So when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the group revved up its fundraising big-time. “We’ve raised just under $4 million in cash donations,” said Drew Clark, the charity’s senior director of emergencies.
Two weeks later Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean and Florida. This time World Vision brought in $900,000.
Then came the big earthquake in Mexico that killed more than 340 people. That fundraising appeal netted $150,000.
And for Hurricane Maria–which has left many of the 3.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico without reliable sources of power, food or even water–World Vision has only taken in about $100,000.
“There is clearly evidence of donor fatigue,” says Clark. “There’s just a limit to the amount of responses that we can successfully fundraise for.”
“I would say it is somewhat unprecedented,” says Leisel Talley of the epic cascade of disasters. She is leading the international component of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s response to the hurricanes. Talley says it’s not just that the U.S. has been clobbered with three disasters in a row. It’s that this happened alongside multiple other new crises since August.