2010 Ends Strong; Future Looks Just as Promising

America’s Charities’ Board Chair, Marcia Bullard and the organization’s President and CEO, Steve Delfin, presented a “State of the Federation” address before a full house of their members at the Georgetown University Conference Center on Tuesday, May 10. The presentation, part of the annual Membership Assembly, provided them an opportunity to share their thoughts on the future of workplace giving as well as review how the 2010 campaign fared.

The annual Chronicle of Philanthropy “Philanthropy 400” Report showed that giving to the largest charities in the country declined for the second year in a row. Donations dropped 11 percent in 2009.

But the performance of many of America’s Charities members in workplace campaigns has not seen the same decline. This is due in part to the addition of the new Community First federation which operates in the Washington DC area. In addition, many of their major members outpaced giving in the Philanthropy 400.

“These developments are gratifying, but we know we cannot rest or take them for granted,” said Ms. Bullard. “There is much to be done.”

The sobering results from 2009 suggested continued tough challenges for 2010 and 2011 particularly especially at the state and local level where the organization anticipated and have budgeted for a drop in giving due to the ongoing state budget crises resulting in state employee furloughs and reductions in force.

Yet as the 2010 results came into focus, America’s Charities has done overall much better than overall industry trends nationally and locally.

“The strong results despite the lingering economic conditions prove conclusively that low-cost, donor-driven campaigns featuring choice, independence and accountability really do make a difference,” remarked Mr. Delfin.
Other highlights included:

CFC Giving Up 17 Percent: The nervous anticipation about campaign results early last year faded as the fund-raising picture for America’s Charities and their family of federations emerged over the last few months. With the recent announcement by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management of the 2010 CFC results, the pace of giving to their federations has greatly exceeded growth overall and by other federations. Overall, CFC nationally as the biggest employee campaign in the world was down only slightly to $281 million overall. However, America’s Charities federations were up by more than 17 percent in that campaign alone.

Private Sector Up 12 percent: Private sector giving also is on the rise both in campaigns which they manage as fiscal agent as well as in campaigns where their member charities participate.

In campaigns in the Washington, DC area managed by America’s Charities, results are up 12 percent for all charities and 5 percent for members. These results come from employees at ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Legal and General America (formerly Banner Life), Credit Union National Association, Hogan Lovells, AARP, National Geographic and others.

In campaigns nationwide where America’s Charities members participate, employee giving is up 12 percent. This list includes American Express, JP Morgan Chase, TIAA-CREF and more.

State and Local Campaigns Lag: The sole area of decline was seen in public sector campaigns at the state and local levels. These campaigns reflect the financial pressures on public sector employees that we have been reading about in headlines and hearing about in broadcasts over the past few months.

Ms. Bullard concluded the session by addressing a recent study of best practices of nonprofit Boards, and announced that America’s Charities will limit term limits reduce the size of its Board.