Predictions for Giving in 2011

It’s January 3, 2011, and it’s too early to tell what just occurred in giving for 2010.  By all accounts, it was a mixed bag.

Some charities are still feeling the sting, while others are beginning to be cautiously optimistic.  What does 2011 hold?  Michael Fischer in Advisor One makes these predictions:

  1. Donor Advised Funds will continue to grow as a tool for giving.  Donor advised funds now outnumber private foundations by 2 to 1.  They should make significant gains in assets, grants, and contributions.  The biggest reason for their growth?  They’re simple and they give anonymity.  Even for wealthy families who used to set up private foundations, they’d much rather set up a donor advised fund and keep their privacy.
  2. Volunteerism will continue to rise.  As the Boomers age, they’ll be seeking meaningful ways to “give back.”  Instead of financial contributions, some will give their time as a means of supporting an organization.  As unemployment continues to hover in the 10% range, some will fill their time with volunteer roles.  One implication for the non profit: it’s a good idea to have a volunteer manual.  Spell out roles and responsibilities clearly.
  3. Women and giving.  As Boomers age, one fact of life is that husbands pass first leaving their wives with the wealth and giving decisions.  How charities and advisors cultivate women, their financial acumen and their passions in giving will be key.
  4. Online giving of all shapes and sizes continues to grow.  There continues to be a rise in small online giving opportunities.  For many the ease of online giving is an equal factor in its growth.

The overall message from Fischer?  I think the message is the same I’ve been writing about for some time.  Things are changing.  Giving is changing.  It’s online, it’s investor oriented, it’s about making it simple for the donor, and it’s helping them see the value of their giving.  There’s lots of competition out there for the giving dollar, and the wise charity is making adjustments.

William F. High is the President/General Counsel of the Servant Christian Community Foundation (  Servant’s mission is to inspire, teach and facilitate revolutionary biblical generosity.  He may be reached at



2 Responses to “Predictions for Giving in 2011”


    Dear friend,

    Question: “What sort of New Year’s Resolution should a Christian make?”

    Answer: The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a New Year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31st and January 1st. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31st. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?

    Common New Year’s resolutions are: to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money better, and spend more time with family. By far the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating healthier. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. This should not be.

    Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?

    Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

    So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions: (1) Pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you; (3) Rely on God’s strength to help you; (4) Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) Don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead allow them to motivate you further; (6) Don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”


  2. Griff Says:

    Good points. Interesting comment about women starting to be the ones more in charge of the giving. And yes, giving is definitely moving online more and more. thanks!

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