Recently, Marts & Lundy—a philanthropy development firm for nonprofits —released the results of their second annual Philanthropy in Aging Services Survey (PASS). As the vast majority of the 257 sites and 41 organizations surveyed were life plan communities (LPCs), where the majority of donors to this segment of aging services also reside, the implications of the data are significant.
High-level data points included:
- Most organizations (74%) are raising more than $1 million annually, primarily (62%) through a departmental (rather than stand-alone foundation) fundraising model.
- The predominant majority (57%, median) of individual donors – who as a group also comprise most (70%, median) of the donor cohorts to LPCs – are residents of LPCs.
- Organizations with a foundation model of fundraising are much more successful (92%) at achieving 100% of board giving, as are single-site organizations (85%).
- The median allocation of FTEs to fundraising efforts was 2.25 FTEs, with a median of 30% of organizations devoting those efforts to major gifts development.
- Organizations that invest in FTEs for fundraising efforts raise, on median, roughly $800,000 per FTE, a ‘remarkable return’ according to study authors.
- Surpassing the $1 million threshold yielded the greatest cost-efficiency for organizations in terms of ROI for fundraising expenses.
- Single-site organizations raised more philanthropic funds per IL unit, which study authors attributed to a more concentrated donor pool than MSOs.
- The top three most motivating (to donors) philanthropic investments were benevolent care funds (91%,) capital improvements (86%,) and employee development/ scholarships (80%.)
- The cultivation of transformational gifts takes an average (53%) of 3 or more years, and residents primarily (61%) drive those efforts. Many such gifts come from bequests (61%,) with capital and benevolent care projects being the most frequent earmarks.
The survey concluded with three key takeaways: know your prospective donors well; develop well-rounded opportunities for philanthropic giving; and fundraising takes time, but the returns are significant. These results were presented at the recent Ziegler National CFO Workshop, along with other related findings, and that presentation is summarized in their newsletter.