Nonprofits largely lack succession plans

A new study raises a big red flag for nonprofits. Researchers found that, although 67% of nonprofit leaders surveyed plan to leave their positions within the next five years, 78% of organizations lack formal succession plans. According to the researchers, few of the 1,141 respondents appeared to have given the matter serious consideration or determined the skills and attributes desirable in new leaders.

The researchers note, too, that, while the board of directors should be charged with undertaking succession planning, it frequently falls to the executive director. The study, The Wake-Up Call, was funded by several for-profit vendors serving nonprofits.

Start-up matches nonprofits with motivated freelancers

A newly launched start-up matches nonprofits of all sizes with skilled, affordable freelancers. Wethos pairs nonprofits with freelancers who feel strongly about the organizations’ causes, including website professionals, graphic designers, writers and social media managers. The nonprofits set the rates they are willing to pay (with a $15 per hour minimum), and freelancers are matched accordingly.

The service is free for nonprofits; freelancers who land work pay a 15% fee. The firm currently boasts about 1,500 freelancers and 300 nonprofits on its platform. Other companies — such as Upwork, Elance and Freelancer — also match nonprofits to freelancers.

Potential for political influence motivates corporate giving

New research indicates that corporate giving isn’t driven solely by pure intentions — rather, firms deploy their charitable foundations as a form of tax-exempt influence seeking. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that grants from foundations associated with Fortune 500 and S&P 500 corporations to charitable organizations located in a congressional district increase when the representative is assigned to committees that are relevant to the corporations. When a member of Congress leaves office, charitable giving to his or her district experiences a short-term decline. The researchers estimate that 7.1% of total U.S. corporate charitable giving is politically motivated.

Study considers gender roles in #GivingTuesday donations

Since it began in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a critical component in many organizations’ fundraising efforts. The Women’s Philanthropy Institute of Indiana University has released a study that can help organizations make the most of the day. Gender Differences in #GivingTuesday Participation reports that, while women and men give about the same amounts, women make up 61% of #GivingTuesday donors. Why? It’s because they’re asked to give more often, are more active on social media (where many fundraising campaigns proliferate) and volunteer at a greater rate. The researchers advise organizations to optimize #GivingTuesday by engaging on social media, making it easy to give via smartphone and using volunteers to amplify the campaign.

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