(Press release, Feb. 18, 2015) — CrowdDefend, a crowdfunding platform for the legal space, launches its service to the public this week. The platform seeks to expand access to justice for individuals, organizations and businesses that can't otherwise afford to pay for legal representation, court fees and associated trial costs. CrowdDefend can be accessed at www.crowddefend.com.
A common lament among fundraising professionals, nonprofit board members and wealthy donors is that capital campaigns have become constant. Once noteworthy, these intensive, multiyear efforts — which raise money through methods including phone banks, direct mail and one-on-one conversations with wealthy individuals — are now run-of-the-mill. Some are virtually overlapping, with organizations quietly preparing for another campaign before ending the previous one.
Yet such campaigns are growing in length, ambition and frequency for an uncomplicated reason: They are highly effective.
America’s 50 most generous donors increased their giving by 27.5 percent last year — powered in large part by a $1.5 billion gift from Bill and Melinda Gates and a stunning rise in the number of tech entrepreneurs under 40, three of whom gave more than $500 million each. The increase is striking compared with 2012, when giving by the Philanthropy 50 rose just 4 percent.
Recent changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm have brought about a significant decline in “organic reach,” the number of people who see a post that hasn’t been boosted by paid advertising. Two years ago, organic reach for many posts was at about 16 percent, but over the last several months it’s been throttled to 2 percent or even less. Nonprofit organizations are getting caught in the algorithmic filter, and some say the change has crippled their ability to share critical information and maintain the online communities their memberships rely on.
For nearly a half-century, Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy has taken an unusual approach to studying the charitable giving of the very rich, examining not just how much they give but why they do it and asking whether great wealth comes with an ethical obligation to be financially generous.
Now, as Boston is enjoying one of the most affluent periods in its history, the center is preparing to close.
To get a handle on what’s in store for 2015, NonProfit PRO rounded up some of the nonprofit industry’s finest, who were kind enough to share these 70 trends for this new year — everything from leadership to staffing to fundraising and more.
Cari Tuna and her future husband, Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook co-founder, are emblematic of a new generation of millennial philanthropists seeking to give far beyond their own communities and experiences. Americans have traditionally focused their donations on organizations such as schools, churches and cultural centers close to home. But with the rise of social networks that connect people the world over instantaneously, many millennials have a broader view of charity.
The ultra-rich continued to give big to American nonprofits in the past year, with the sum of the 10 largest single donations of the year nearly equaling the combined top 10 of 2013. The top donation of 2014 was a $1 billion bequest from Ralph Wilson Jr., a Detroit businessman who owned the Buffalo Bills football team. He died in March at age 95, and now his heirs are deciding how best to adhere to his wishes as his charitable foundation expands.