Giving Compass’ Take:
• Nick Salter explains how organizations are working to address the shortage of resources for individual donors, who make most of the donations in the U.S. with insufficient information and resources.
• How can funders help to support each other? Where do you get information about your philanthropy?
• Learn more about impact philanthropy on Giving Compass.
We have an infrastructure mismatch in our sector,” Stephanie Gillis of the Raikes Foundation told me. The vast majority of the charitable dollars in the U.S. — more than 70 percent — come from individual donors, yet most of the learning networks, resources, and discussion around strategic, higher-impact philanthropy support professional staff from foundations and corporate philanthropy.
But new tools, funding and intermediary organizations are expanding a “portfolio approach” to help individual donors — big and small — be more effective funders. The portfolio strategy encourages donors to zoom out from a narrow focus on selecting one or two of their favorite organizations, and instead make a donation to a strategic, curated portfolio of aligned organizations advancing a specific issue, cause, population or place. The model offers plenty of benefits for both donors and nonprofit organizations.
Still, most donors aren’t getting the help they need to be more intentional and strategic in their giving decisions. Too often, donors of more modest means are left to figure things out for themselves.
When I hear from donors looking for guidance around their philanthropy, we always end up making a Netflix analogy — “there are just so many choices, how do we navigate this and make a good selection?” With more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and a never-ending onslaught of fundraising appeals, it’s understandable that donors feel overwhelmed. Behavioral scientists call this “choice overload,” and groups like Ideas42 are examining its effects in the philanthropic sector.
Read the full article about helping individual donors by Nick Salter at Medium.
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