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$1 Million Gift Secured…Keep Asking—They’re Giving!


You can learn a lot about people by how they spend their money and their time.


How are alumni spending their money?


In March 2020 at the height of economic uncertainty, Fidelity Charitable conducted a survey of individuals who gave $1,000 or more in 2019 to provide feedback related to their charitable intentions for 2020. The results were published in mid-May:


  • 79% planned to maintain or increase their charitable giving in 2020
  • Most donors do not plan to shift their giving to different organizations in 2020
  • 59% of donor advised funds will continue to contribute to non-profits they normally support

Through this study and understanding that 8 out of 10 of donors expect to maintain or increase their 2020 charitable giving, we must continue to communicate, connect, and cultivate our alumni by demonstrating need and asking for monetary support.


To help illustrate and reinforce this point, from April 1 through June 30, 2020, Pennington & Company helped secure 2,663 gifts totaling $8.71 million, including a $1 million gift in May.


How are alumni spending their time?


According to the Fidelity Charitable survey, volunteer activity is likely to dramatically decrease due to the pandemic. State and local governments are urging residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. Older donors are more likely to say that their volunteering will decrease (61% of Silent Generation donors and 57% of Baby Boomers)—while 19% of Gen X and 31% of Millennials say they expect their volunteer time to increase.


Where the Fidelity Charitable survey cites a decrease in volunteerism, we see this as an opportunity for our fraternity and sorority community. We are finding many of our members are connecting and volunteering their time using platforms like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. In a very short time, volunteers from all generations have embraced and now enjoy connecting through video conferencing. These platforms are making it easier for alumni to get involved regardless of their location and age. Pennington & Company has helped recruit 394 alumni who committed to volunteering for their local chapters between April 1 and June 30, 2020.


Seize this opportunity to strengthen your boards and build deep, authentic relationships.