JVA’s News You Can Use, 5/5

Philanthropy News Digest, 4/24
Giving by corporate foundations increased 6.6 percent in 2007 to an estimated $4.4 billion, a new summary report from the Foundation Center (http://foundationcenter.org/ ) finds. And looking ahead, 54 percent of the corporate foundations surveyed expect their giving to increase in 2008.

JVA: Still some bright spots in the current economy…?

Commonwealth Fund, April/May 2008
In February, Gov. Bill Ritter announced a multifaceted plan for improving Colorado’s healthcare system, with a focus on improving quality and containing costs. One element of the plan calls for the creation of the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, an interdisciplinary think tank that will identify and develop cost control and quality improvement strategies. The Center’s mission will be to bring consumers, businesses, health care providers, insurance companies, and state agencies together to develop long-term strategies for ensuring better value for the $30 billion spent on health care in Colorado each year.

Funding of $51,000 for the initial planning phase has been secured from The Colorado Trust and approved by the governor’s office, with work beginning officially on April 1.

JVA: Looks like work has just begun. Let’s keep an eye on this at it progresses.

Philanthropy Journal, 4/23
Some nonprofits are seeing growth in the number of people visiting their websites, and in online revenue, a new study says. Conducted by Convio, a tech firm serving nonprofits, the Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study analyzed data from more than 400 of the firms clients, which together have had transactions from nearly 40 million constituents. For organizations with fewer than 250,000 email addresses on file, the number of unique web visitors over the past year grew 10.8 percent, the study says, while traffic soared 34 percent for groups with more than 250,000 addresses on file.

Revenue from online sources, including e-commerce activities, was up 25 percent, the study says.
The average gift size among nonprofits in the study grew from $56 to $60, which Convio says is higher than the average gift from traditional channels like direct mail and telemarketing.

JVA: We know that the first thing funders tend to do is check out your site. This further drives home the need to use it and keep it up to date!

Philanthropy News Digest, 4/21
Nearly a quarter of all community colleges do not participate in federal loan programs, effectively forcing needy students to choose riskier, more expensive options such as private student loans and credit cards to pay for their education, a new report from the Project on Student Debt, http://projectonstudentdebt.org, finds. The report, Denied: Community College Students Lack Access to Affordable Loans, found that at least one million community college students–one in ten nationally–do not have access to federal student loans.

JVA: Wow, this is something many of us did not know. Have you had any experiences with this at the community college level?

Philanthropy Journal, 4/14
One hour of volunteer time in 2007 was worth $19.51, on average, up from $18.77 a year earlier, Independent Sector says.

JVA: The value of the volunteer continues to rise! Make sure you note this change for in-kind amounts in your grant proposals.

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