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What We Don’t Know: How Gaps in Giving Data Could Impact Our Sector (webinar)

April 19, 2018 @ 12:00 PM1:15 PM

What We Don't Know: How Gaps in Giving Data Could Impact Our Sector

As Americans, we know a lot about ourselves — what we buy, how we vote. But we don’t know a lot about what we give. Historically, when trying to understand how much Americans give — how, where, and to what — two of our best sources have been IRS data on taxpayers’ itemizations and publicity about big gifts from wealthy donors. As a sector, we use this data to help nonprofits and donors reach each other, to inform policymaking, to understand the impact of social and market forces on giving, and to anticipate and adapt to emerging trends.

But even these limited data sources may be shrinking. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has the potential to reduce the number of Americans who itemize their taxes to less than 10% of all taxpayers. Meanwhile, more and more wealthy donors are choosing to give through Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs), which often create a screen between donors and nonprofit recipients. What’s more, gifts made from DAFs do not have the same IRS reporting requirements, and it appears that anonymity for donors may be part of their appeal.

In short, there’s a lot we don’t know about individual giving in the U.S., and we’re about to know even less.

Join us for a FREE webinar on Thursday, April 19 from 12:00–1:15 PM (EDT) to learn how the growing gaps in our data could shape the future of fundraising, community giving, research, and policymaking.

Moderator: Michael Moody, Ph.D., Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center

Guest Panel:

  • Elizabeth T. Boris, Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute
  • Eric Guthrie, Michigan State Demographer
  • Jasmine McGinnis Johnson, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University

Cost: Free!

Watch the Webinar

Photo: Elizabeth T. Boris Elizabeth T. Boris, Ph.D. is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute where she conducts research on nonprofit organizations and philanthropy. Previously, she held the Waldemar A. Nielsen Chair in Philanthropy and was a visiting professor of practice at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. From September 1996 to January 2016, Dr. Boris was the founding director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she served as the founding director of the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, as well as Vice President for Research at the Council on Foundations, where she developed the research program and directed it for twelve years. The author of many research publications on nonprofits and philanthropy, Dr. Boris has also taught courses at a number of universities and is actively involved as an advisor and board member for a variety of organizations in the nonprofit sector. In 2006 she received the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). She was named a member of NPT Power & Influence Top 50 nonprofit leaders nine times. Dr. Boris’ affiliations include: The Past-President of the Board of the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action; the advisory committee of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at CUNY Graduate School; the Honorary Council of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Nonprofit Vote, and others. She is also on the Advisory Board of Nonprofit Management and Leadership and the Editorial Board of Nonprofit Policy Forum.

Photo: Eric GuthrieEric Guthrie serves Michigan as the State Demographer and in that capacity advises and counsels colleagues, the media, and the public on an individual and group basis on the use, production, and analysis of demographic data. He creates visualizations based on demographic data including maps, graphs, and other infographics. He is a liaison to the US Census Bureau for the State of Michigan and serves on the Federal and State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE) and the Federal and State Cooperative for Population Projections (FSCPP). He participates in meetings and workshops as an expert in demographic processes, methods, and creating custom demographic aggregations and tabulations from a variety of public sources. Eric has focused on aggregating public microdata into custom geographies and unique subpopulations. This work has resulted in short analyses on topic such as post-secondary graduates, youth migration and the concentration of poverty among pre-K youth in the three and four year old age groups.

Photo: Jasmine McGinnis JohnsonJasmine McGinnis Johnson, Ph.D. is an assistant Professor in Public Administration and Public Policy at George Washington University. Jasmine’s research interests broadly relate to the areas of public and nonprofit sector management, governance of philanthropic institutions, and retaining Millennials in public service.Jasmine’s academic accomplishments include publications in; Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, International Public Management Journal, Public Management Review, Administration and Society, and the Review of Public Personnel Management. She has also published in practitioner oriented publications such as The Foundation Review and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Prior to pursing her Ph.D., Jasmine worked in the nonprofit sector for several years as a development and evaluation senior manager.


April 19, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
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Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University