Update on the Economy, the Markets and Implications for Fundraising Professionals

Scott Middleton recently presented to the Center for Nonprofit Excellence on the economy, markets and implications for fundraising professionals. Read below for a short Q&A about his presentation.

  1. Can you summarize the economic outlook in a few main points?

    “Unemployment is low and wages are rising. While the Fed is becoming less accommodative, U.S. leading economic indicators are still positive. A recession currently does not appear to be likely in the next six to nine months.”


  2. What are some of the themes emerging in the markets right now?

    “While bonds have very low yields and equities are not cheap, keep a long-term focus and expect market volatility to move back to normal (i.e., higher) levels. Also, realize that diversification will test your patience. If you hate part of your investment portfolio, it may be a very good sign that it is diversified.”


  3. How does the current economic and market environment impact fundraising professionals?

    “Fundraising professionals should consider speaking with their donors about gifts of appreciated securities and/or part of their IRA required minimum distributions. It’s important to keep an eye on personal tax legislation and its potential impact on charitable giving.”

Source: Innovest

Diversification Will Always Disappoint

"Viewed with the benefit of hindsight, diversification will always disappoint. To judge the outcome of diversification after the fog of uncertainty has lifted, however, misses the point: diversification provides us the incredibly important ability to admit we don’t know. We can be vaguely right instead of precisely wrong. Constant disappointment, then, might be the greatest indicator that we are well diversified." Click here to read more.

Source: Newfound Research

Giving Relationally: Prioritizing a Culture of Empathy and Joy

"In the funder-grantee relationship, when we can mutually encourage and learn from one another, there is a deep sense of joy that makes even the toughest periods of organizational growth worth enduring. When we achieve this, we move from being solely funders to being more like partners called to work together to achieve something greater than we could have done alone. And that makes all the difference in our work." Click here to read more from the Center of Effective Philanthropy about giving relationally and prioritizing a culture of empathy and joy.

Source: Center for Effective Philanthropy

Politics Matter - Sometimes

Elections, terrorist attacks and wars can send stock, bond and other markets into violent spasms. Some of these geo-political events tend to have relatively inconsequential and short-term impacts on economies and financial markets. However, other events can have significant medium- to long-term ramifications. “Politics Matters – Sometimes” explores how long-term investors can discern which events tend to have lasting and long-term impacts on the markets. Click here to read more.

Source: CFA Institute