The Rome Group’s 9th Annual Philanthropic Landscape

Hundreds of nonprofits and grantmakers gathered this morning at the Edison Theater at Washington University for The Rome Group’s 9th annual Philanthropic Landscape presentation to the community.  The event was led by Amy Rome, President of The Rome Group, and Mary McMurtrey, President of the Gateway Center for Giving.  They kicked off the presentation with a report on how giving in St. Louis compares with giving nationally and discussed recent trends in giving.  Some notable statistics from the presentation include:

  • Giving USA reports that total giving in 2010 rose to more than 290 million dollars. When adjusted for inflation, the increase was 2.1% compared to 2009.
  • Of all philanthropic revenue streams, bequest giving saw the largest turnaround. Bequest giving increased 16.9% in inflation adjusted dollars after declining by 24% in 2009.
  • 57% of local grantmakers said they increased grants in 2010, compared to 2009.  Another 40% stayed flat, which means only three percent gave less last year.
  • 58% of local nonprofits said they met their fundraising goals in 2010. That’s up from 49% in 2009. Before the economy went south, back in 2007, 79% met their annual fundraising goals.
  • The Rome Group posted about 50% more job announcements in the most recent quarter than they did in the same timeframe last year. 21% of these jobs were for newly created positions at local nonprofits and another eight percent were for positions that had been eliminated due to budget cuts and now are being reopened.
  • 85% of local grantmakers say they are now more likely to fund established programs and 55% say they are now less likely to fund new efforts than they were two years ago.

After Amy and Mary’s presentation, a panel of local experts were brought up to engage in a conversation about this year’s theme- Collective Impact.  The panel addressed how their work relates to the concept of Collective Impact, an approach to large-scale social change requiring broad cross-sector coordination, a common agenda/shared vision among all participants, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing systems, continuous communication, and the support of a “backbone organization.”

The panelists included:

  • Jillian Callanan, Chief Community-building Officer, Beyond Housing
  • Stacy Clay, Executive Director, College Summit-St. Louis
  • Betsy Cohen, St. Louis PetLover Coalition Leader and Vice President at Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
  • Kendra Copanas, Executive Director, Maternal Child & Family Health Coalition
  • Bridget McDermott Flood, Executive Director, Incarnate Word Foundation
  • Robert Fruend, CEO, St. Louis Regional Health Commission
  • Susan Trautman, Executive Director, Great Rivers Greenway District

Overall the event was a great success!  The Rome Group will post the slides and audio from today’s presentation on their website in the coming days.  Additionally, a number of projects and reports were mentioned throughout the course of the morning.  Please follow the links below to learn more about the following:

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