More Giving Means Greater Impact Desired



Small donations from less wealthy donors have become a more important part of modern philanthropy, according to speakers at SRQ Media’s most recent SB2, Good Coast: A Good Place to Work, Live, Play and Give. “Middle and lower income Americans increased the share of income they donated to charity even as they earned less on average than they earned six years earlier.,” said Stacy Carlson, president and CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network. She noted that between 2006 and 2012, giving from those making more than $200,000 went down while for those making $100,000 or less, it went up. 

And foundations and nonprofit leaders continue to seek new ways to engage more donors, something that should only help the causes benefiting. “Too many times in this community,” said Teri Hansen, president and CEO of the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, “[an organization] will get an angel donor in and just rely on that one donor. Then the angel donor goes up north in the summer, gets sick and doesn’t come back.” Nonprofits need a diversity of income sources to stay solvent.

Brian Mariash, senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Mariash Loather Wealth Management, said donors are increasing in number and in sophistication. Particularly in Southwest Florida, more give with a desire to see specific impact. "They are more likely to donate to something where they can quantify and see that impact. From their business lives they were trained to look at things that way," he said. And while giving in the past often just involved writing a check, many donors today want more communication with nonprofits.

Veronica Brady, Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s senior vice president for philanthropy, said there needs to be a solid relationship between donors and organizations on the receiving end of contributions. "People need to understand why they are there,” she said, “and have that moment of true clarity about what the mission for that organization is.” 

And that means credibility means more than ever. Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota, said organizations need to show long-term results. “How do you set up a sustainable business that can also execute your mission effectively? It’s difficult,” Rosinsky posed as questions for nonprofits. Those that can will continue to maintain donor loyalty.

The next SB2, Good Education: Learning for a Lifetime, will be held January 29.

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan: Brian Mariash, Teri Hansen, Stacy Carlson, Bob Rosinsky and Veronica Brady speak at SB2.

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