In this episode of The NonProfit Voice, Amanda Cole, editor-in-chief of NonProfit PRO, interviews Laura MacDonald, principal and founder of Benefactor Group and chair of the Giving USA Foundation, and Una Osili, efroymson chair in philanthropy and economics, and associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

MacDonald and Osili provide an in-depth look at the report’s key takeaways, including what 2021’s giving source and sector breakdowns mean. They also share their thoughts on the impact inflation will have on nonprofits and a sneak peek of what to expect in the full Giving USA report, which will be available July 12. 

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Laura MacDonald, principal and founder of Benefactor Group, has served the nonprofit sector for four decades. Prior to establishing Benefactor Group, Laura served as the vice president and creative director of a national fundraising firm, chief development officer in arts and higher education, and as a key volunteer for community organizations. Laura was chief development officer at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts where she also served as a senior development officer in the University’s first billion-dollar capital campaign.

Laura is constantly curious about innovations in fundraising and philanthropy and an astute storyteller. She is a frequent speaker at local, regional and national conferences and has addressed hundreds of nonprofit boards. Her articles related to advancement and philanthropy have appeared in Advancing Philanthropy, Nonprofit Quarterly, and other professional publications. As chair of the Giving USA Foundation, she contributes to “Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy,” the seminal study of the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States — and is consulted widely by various publications. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was named her chapter’s “Fundraising Professional of the Year” in 2007.

Una Osili serves as the efroymson chair in philanthropy and economics and associate dean for research and international programs at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the world’s first school dedicated to the study of philanthropy. She also serves as dean’s fellow for the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy. An internationally recognized scholar in economics, Osili leads the research and publication of Global Philanthropy Tracker and the Global Philanthropy Environment Index, as well as Giving USA, the annual report on American philanthropy. 

She is the founder of Generosity for Life, a digital platform, and chairs the school's signature research project, the Philanthropy Panel Study, the most comprehensive study of the generosity of American families overtime. Osili has provided expert testimony at the U.S. Senate on several occasions, the most recent being her testimony before the Committee on Finance on “Examining Charitable Giving and Trends in the Nonprofit Sector.” Osili received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, and her master's degree and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

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