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Nearly six in ten Americans prefer a donation in their name to a gift | Philanthropy news

Nearly six in ten (59 percent) Americans say they would rather have a donation made on their behalf to their favorite charity than receive a gift for themselves this year, a report from Fidelity Charitable finds.

Based on a survey of more than fifteen hundred American adults, the report, Year-end charitable giving: A 2021 snapshot of how Americans plan to give (8 pages, PDF), found that 64 percent of respondents said they participate in year-end charitable activities, including giving money (53 percent) or donating goods (46 percent) to charities, donating cash or goods directly to families in need (27 percent), performing random acts of kindness (25 percent), and volunteering (20 percent).

Among respondents who have a minimum of $25,000 in investable assets and donated at least $1,000 to charity in 2020, 35 percent said they plan to give “notably more” in 2021, 57 percent planned to give “about the same,” and 8 percent planned to give “notably less.” Within this group, 87 percent of respondents reported using cash, checks, or credit cards to give, while fewer said they were aware of other giving options and even fewer had ever used options such as donating appreciated assets, including publicly traded securities (55 percent aware, 18 percent used) and privately held or restricted stock (54 percent, 17 percent), making a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA (54 percent, 18 percent), or giving through donor-advised funds (41 percent, 17 percent).

The survey also found that 63 percent of respondents who give said they would “definitely” (31 percent) or “probably” (32 percent) take advantage of a temporary federal law allowing tax deductions for some cash donations even if the taxpayer doesn’t itemize their taxes.

“At such a busy time, it’s easy to put off year-end charitable decisions, but there are advantages to acting early,” said Fidelity Charitable COO Kristen Robinson. “You can maximize your ability to support your favorite causes and your 2021 tax benefits using smart giving strategies. And while we encourage people not to run down the clock for practical reasons, we think it will be particularly meaningful to integrate charitable activity into holiday traditions this year after another challenging year that has reinforced the importance of supporting our communities and each other.”

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People in the News (01/23/2022): appointments, promotions, obituaries | Philanthropy news

The Hertz Foundation has named WENDY CONNORS as its new chief development officer. Connors will serve as a member of the foundation’s executive team and oversee all aspects of fundraising, including solicitation of principal gifts, campaign planning, program design, and volunteer and board partnerships. Connors has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, most recently as the executive director of the Office of External Relations at the Sloan School of Management.

The Kresge Foundation has announced several staffing updates. KEVIN GRAY will serve as the program officer with the American Cities program and work with partners and steward grants that align with the program’s focus on expanding opportunity by promoting effective and inclusive community development practices in American cities. Gray was a senior project and program manager with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, where he managed its strategic land acquisition, affordable housing and commercial development financing and grant programs. STEPHANIE DAVISON has been promoted to senior program officer in the Human Services program; SIDRA FATIMA is the new program officer in the American Cities program; WILL GUZMAN has been appointed social investment associate; BRYAN HOGLE has been promoted to senior program manager in the Detroit program; KRISTA LOWES is program operations coordinator for the Detroit and American Cities programs; INÉS FAMILIAR MILLER has been promoted to serve as a program officer in the Arts & Culture program; and ED SMITH will serve as senior program officer in the Education program.

The Meyer Foundation has announced that program officer JULIAN HAYNES is leaving to become a visiting practitioner at Georgetown University Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. For the past six years, Haynes has served as the foundation’s program officer for Maryland, where he made connections in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has announced the promotion of JAMAICA MAXWELL to director of organizational effectiveness, succeeding long-time foundation leader Linda Baker. Maxwell has been with the Packard Foundation since 2013, serving as a program officer and deputy director of the foundation’s grantmaking efforts.

The California Health Care Foundation has announced the appointment of MARK LARET to its board of directors. Laret retired in December after 21 years as president and CEO of UCSF Health. He will join the Oakland-based healthcare philanthropy at its March board meeting.

The CDC Foundation has announced the election of LAURA LANE, chief corporate affairs officer at UPS, to a five-year term on the foundation’s board of directors. Prior to her time at UPS, Lane served in both the public and private sectors and is currently a member of the board of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees USA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Woodruff Arts Center and the German-American Business Council.

Save a Child’s Heart has announced the election of VIVIAN G. BASS as president of its board of directors. Bass, the CEO emeritus of Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, a nonsectarian provider which supports adults with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities, also serves as a vice chair of RespectAbility, a national advocacy organization advancing opportunities and fighting stigmas for persons with disabilities. In addition, she sits on the executive committee of CaringMatters (formerly Hospice Caring in Maryland), which works to ensure that no one dies or grieves alone, regardless of their financial status. 

Common Impact has announced that DANIELLE HOLLY will be stepping down after a ten-year stint as CEO and nearly 15 years of cumulative service with the organization. During her tenure, Common Impact has grown into a nationally recognized leader in corporate skills-based volunteerism and employee engagement. Holly played a major role in recruiting and cultivating a strong leadership team with decades of pro bono, volunteer, and sector experience, and maintained a strong relationship with a powerful and diverse board of cross-sector leaders.

The Association for Creatine Deficiencies (ACD) has announced that HEIDI WALLIS is its new executive director, as well as the appointments of DR. LAURA TRUTOIU, the organization’s director of research, as board chair. Most recently, Wallis managed the newborn screening informatics team at the Utah Department of Health and served as Utah team co-lead for the Mountain States Regional Genetics Network and patient advocate representative for Utah’s Newborn Screening Advisory Committee. Wallis also served as ACD board president for two years. Trutoiu is ACD’s director of research. In addition, MIKELLE LAW will join the board and serve as the organization’s director of compliance, where she will focus on ensuring ACD’s compliance with nonprofit regulatory and partner requirements as well as building internal processes to ensure the organization maintains an inclusive and diverse environment.

Covenant House has announced that CEO KEVIN RYAN intends to retire effective March 31, 2023. Since Ryan became CEO in 2009, the organization has experienced the greatest period of expansion, renovation, and renewal in its 50-year history. Ryan first joined Covenant House in 1992 as a Skadden Fellow providing civil legal assistance to youth in New York City. The organization, which is dedicated to helping children and youth overcome homelessness and human trafficking, stretches across 33 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua and reaches tens of thousands of children and youth annually. 

Robin Hood has announced the appointment of MATTHEW KLEIN as itsnew chief program and impact officer. In this role, Klein will lead the alignment of Robin Hood’s programmatic and public policy work to support pathways out of poverty for low-income New Yorkers. For the last seven years, Klein has led the New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity), a 70-person, multidisciplinary team that helps local leaders use evidence and innovation to more effectively reduce poverty.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has named VALERIE ROCKEFELLER as chair of its board of directors, succeeding WENDY O’NEILL, who spent four of her ten years of board service as chair. Rockefeller brings to her role deep knowledge and experience in climate change and education. She currently chairs the board of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and co-chairs BankFWD, a network focused on persuading banks to phase out financing for fossil fuel and to lead on climate.

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Warren Buffett tops Forbes’ lists of biggest 2021 and lifetime givers | Philanthropy news

The 25 “most philanthropic” American billionaires have given away a total of $169 billion in their lifetimes and are still richer than ever, Forbes reports.

The $169 billion estimate as of the end of 2021 is up significantly from $149 billion the previous year, thanks in part to the billionaires being collectively $150 billion (on average, 18 percent) richer than they were in 2020. The top giver in 2021 was Warren Buffett, whose annual donations of Berkshire Hathaway shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates, Susan Thompson Buffett, Sherwood, Howard G. Buffett, and NoVo foundations were valued at $4.1 billion. MacKenzie Scott, who gave a total of nearly $2.74 billion to 286 organizations in June and another round of gifts in December but without disclosing dollar amounts or recipients, is not far behind, and may even be ahead of, Buffett.

Buffett also topped the list in terms of lifetime giving, at $46.1 billion, followed by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates ($33.4 billion), George Soros ($18.1 billion), Michael R. Bloomberg ($12.7 billion), Scott ($8.61 billion publicly announced), Charles F. Feeney ($8 billion), Gordon and Betty Moore ($5.5 billion), Jim and Marilyn Simons ($3.3 billion), Phil Knight and family ($3.1 billion), and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan ($3 billion). New to the list in 2021 are Scott’s ex-husband, Jeff Bezos (16th, $2.1 billion), who stepped down as Amazon CEO in July, and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna (22nd, $1.44 billion).

Seventeen of the top 25 lifetime givers have signed on to the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half their fortunes to charity over their lifetimes or upon their deaths. Yet only two—Feeney and Soros—have met that goal so far, Forbes notes, and nearly two-thirds have yet to give away even a quarter of their wealth.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Kativ)

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Giving rate back up, but volunteering rate still down in 2021 | Philanthropy news

The percentage of Americans who gave to charity in the past year has rebounded, but the percentage who volunteered has continued to decline, a Gallup poll finds.

A survey conducted in December 2021 of 811 adults nationwide found that 81 percent of respondents said they had donated money in the past year, up from 73 percent in April 2020 and nearly back to the 83 percent seen in 2017 and 2013. The giving rate among respondents with household incomes of at least $100,000 returned to the pre-pandemic level of 92 percent, after dipping to 87 percent in 2020, while rates among those earning less have been slightly slower to rebound. Giving rates among those earning between $40,000 and $99,999 went from 90 percent in 2017 to 78 percent in 2020 to 84 percent in 2021, while rates for those earning less than $40,000 went from 73 percent to 56 percent to 68 percent.

The percentage of respondents who reported volunteering time, however, fell to 56 percent in 2021, continuing a downward trend from 65 percent in 2013, 64 percent in 2017, and 58 percent in 2020. While the volunteering rate among higher-income respondents hardly changed between 2017 (76 percent) and 2020 (75 percent), it dropped to 68 percent in 2021. By comparison, rates among middle-income respondents dropped from 71 percent to 58 percent but held steady at 59 percent in 2021, while rates among lower-income respondents fell less precipitously, from 49 percent to 44 percent to 42 percent.

The survey also found that the percentage of respondents who gave to religious organizations, which fell from 52 percent in 2017 to 44 percent in 2020, had yet to recover. By contrast, the percentage of respondents who gave to other types of charities, which fell from 75 percent to 64 percent, had rebounded to 74 percent. The volunteering rate for religious organizations also continued to decline, from 44 percent in 2017 to 38 percent in 2020 to 35 percent in 2021, even as the rate for other charities, which fell from 50 percent to 43 percent, had recovered somewhat, to 47 percent.

“A recovery in volunteering may be…elusive as concerns about COVID-19 exposure and public health safety measures limit Americans’ willingness and ability to perform volunteer work,” the report’s authors note. “While there was hope earlier in 2021 that COVID-19 vaccines would allow Americans to return to their normal activities, the unpredictable nature of the virus and emergence of new variants has forced leaders and citizens to reconsider when — or if — the pandemic will end.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/kuarmungadd)

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