“My sense is we’re going to see some record-breaking major contributions, kind of real path defining, if you will -- together with a broad-based general increase in philanthropic support of nonprofits,” he says.
More nonprofit organizations: This is good news and bad news, Knerr says -- good in that it’s a hopeful thing when individuals feel the need for a new nonprofit to meet a particular local or community need or broad-based issue, but not so good “in that there already are lots and lots and lots of nonprofit organizations, and many of them are struggling ... in terms of cutbacks in public funding or they’re not upscale or they don’t have the infrastructure to really be able to thrive in a highly competitive environment.”
“I think a lot of the nonprofits, particularly smaller ones, are going to be struggling, really struggling, to keep their doors open and to deliver programs and activities that are mission related,” he adds.
But it’s not all bad news. “Seems to me the more transparency, the more accountability, the more explicit metrics there are to measure nonprofit performance, I think it’s healthy for the industry, I think it’s healthy for individual nonprofits, and I think it’s actually quite good for individuals and organizations which support nonprofits of all stripes,” he says.
All in all, Knerr says, the opportunities for philanthropic funding are unparalleled for nonprofits.
“As the baby boomer generation comes into retirement, entrepreneurs and investment bankers and hedge-fund operators and the like have just made unparalleled amounts of money,” he says, adding that organizations that are smart and thoughtful about who they are and what their aspirations are, and how they communicate this, will capture those resources. To succeed, organizations should approach funders, saying, “Please come and invest with us to achieve a wonderful future,” rather than simply, “We need the money.”