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Donors Say Messaging Affects their Giving

Seventy-two percent of respondents in software provider Abila’s Donor Loyalty Survey say their decision to give is affected by an organization’s messaging. In February 2016, Abila surveyed 1,136 U.S. donors of all ages who had made at least one donation during the previous 12 months.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they prefer a “short, self-contained email” with no links, while 73% prefer a short (two to three paragraphs) letter or online article. Sixty percent prefer short (under two minutes) YouTube videos.

About 71% of respondents feel more engaged when they receive personalized content. But personalization gone wrong — for example, with misspelled names or irrelevant information — can alienate donors.

GuideStar Introduces Program Metrics to Profiles

GuideStar has launched a new tier of Nonprofit Profiles called GuideStar Platinum. The no-charge Platinum tier allows nonprofits to report their progress against their missions using metrics they select. GuideStar has collected about 700 suggested metrics, but nonprofits may opt to share the metric(s) they already track and that matter the most to them. For example, a homeless shelter could report the number of people no longer living in substandard housing as a result of its efforts.

According to GuideStar, more than 500 nonprofits signed up within 48 hours of the first announcement of Platinum in April 2016.

FASB Releases Final Reporting Changes for Nonprofits

The FASB released its long-awaited guidance on reporting for nonprofits on August 18. Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, replaces the three classes of net assets currently required with only two: those with and without donor restrictions.

The ASU also makes several changes to better present a not-for-profit’s liquidity and financial performance. And all nonprofits will be required to report their expenses by nature and function. Also, nonprofits will no longer be required to present operating cash flows using the direct method of accounting, as initially proposed, but may continue to apply either the direct or the indirect method.
The ASU is effective for years beginning after December 2017 and may be applied to interim periods during the first year. More information is available at http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/Page/SectionPage&cid=1176156316498. Talk with your CPA about how the guidance will affect your organization.

What do Successful Fundraisers Have in Common?

A report commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund explores how 16 nonprofits are achieving fundraising success. The report found striking commonalities in the respondents’ mindsets about fundraising from individual donors. Notably, all of the organizations distribute fundraising responsibilities across board members, staff and volunteers and regard fundraising as core to the organization’s identity