Foundations to donate more this year and next

A new report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers — again — potential promise for local nonprofits including the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

The Philanthropy Outlook 2017 & 2018 predicts that Americans will continue to give more to charity this year and next.

Charitable giving is expected to grow by 3.6 percent this year and by 3.8 percent next year, according to the annual report, researched and written by the School of Philanthropy and presented by Marts & Lundy, a fundraising and philanthropy consulting firm.

That’s slower than was forecast for 2015 and 2016 but an increase nonetheless.

The forecast is a result of “continued growth in the overall economy,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“Our research indicates that all types of donors — individuals, foundations, corporations and estates — are likely to increase their giving in each of the next two years,” Pasic said in a news release. “Nonprofit organizations and the people they serve can find encouragement in the anticipated expansion of giving.”

That could mean more in grant dollars from the foundation that could be awarded to area agencies such as the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, Child Care Network, Girls Inc. of Jackson County and Jackson County Public Library.

It could mean more in scholarship dollars from funds administered by the foundation, and it could mean more grant dollars to aid nonprofits and their programs through the foundation’s Fall Grant Cycle, Classroom Education Grants and Impact Grants.

Among the report’s findings:

Growth in giving by foundations is expected to lead the way in both years (5.9 percent in 2017 and 6.0 percent in 2018).

Estate giving is expected to increase by 5.4 percent this year and 5.2 percent next year.

Giving by individuals is predicted to grow 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent.

Giving by corporations will lag behind the other sources of giving, rising by just 2.4 percent and 2.7 percent.

“As we consider the outlook for 2017 and 2018, it’s important to note that individuals continue to play a leading role in driving both giving trends and growth in giving,” said Una Osili, director of research for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Individual donors remain responsible for the majority of charitable giving, Osili stressed.

The report makes its predictions for year-to-year growth rates in overall giving; giving by type of donor; and giving to education, health, and public-society benefit nonprofit organizations, according to the school.

That’s good news for agencies that rely on the generosity of others to help people in need all across the country and in Jackson County.

We hope nonprofits here at home are already seeing those changes. Giving to the foundation increased in each of the last three years. Jackson County United Way has seen increased giving during that period as well.

The report’s projections point to “some dramatic changes” in American philanthropy, with contributions to donor-advised funds and others expected to grow significantly, said John M. Cash, chairman of the Marts & Lundy board of directors.

“These donors are seeking meaningful relationships with organizations and the kinds of inspirational ideas that will fulfill their philanthropic aspirations,” Cash said. “While the outlook is certainly good, the need for vigorous and meaningful engagement on the part of recipient organizations has never been greater.”

The Community Foundation of Jackson County is certainly seeing an increase in assets being gifted into donor-advised funds as donors look for tools to better meet their philanthropic goals or, if you will, a means to pay forward their good fortune and benefit their community, church, college and others.

If you would like to discuss how you might support any of the funds administered by the foundation, or how to start your own fund, please call me at 812-523-4483 or stop by our office. There are many ways to make a gift that can help others forever through endowed funds. Right now, endowed gifts may earn match dollars that would immediately extend the impact of your gift.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org. The foundation may also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/CFJacksonCounty. Send comments to awoods@tribtown.com.