Cash Is Not King in Fundraising: Gifts of Noncash Assetss Predict Contributions Growth

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Description
Both fundraising practitioner advice and theories from academic research suggest that encouraging gifts of noncash assets may increase charitable giving. This paper analyzes data from 1,055,917 nonprofit tax returns (IRS Form 990) filed electronically for the tax years 2010-2016 to explore the association between various types of noncash gifts and intraorganizational contributions growth. Compared with organizations starting at the same initial contributions level in 2010 that reported only cash gifts in 2010, (1) those reporting any noncash gifts in 2010 received 41% more contributions five years later, and (2) those reporting any intangible personal property gifts (mostly securities) in 2010 received 106% more contributions five years later. A fixed effects regression incorporating all years of data found that decreasing the share of total contributions coming from cash (i.e., increasing the share from noncash assets) was strongly associated with increasing total contributions. The largest increases in total contributions accompanied increases in the share of contributions from nonpublicly traded securities and real estate. Relatively smaller or insignificant changes in total contributions came when increasing the share of contributions from household goods, clothing, food, books, and collectibles. Shifting donations from cash to noncash assets, particularly asset types representing substantial wealth, was strongly associated with contributions growth.
Author Name
Russell James
Source
Working Paper
Publication Year
2018
Topic
Donor Relations, Gift Design, Program Administration
Document Type
Research
User Target
Enhancing Program
File
Cash Is Not King in Fundraising: Gifts of Noncash Assetss Predict Contributions GrowthCash Is Not King in Fundraising: Gifts of Noncash Assetss Predict Contributions Growth739 KB
National Standards for Gift Planning Success
NSGPS 2

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