July 2022 Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

By Stephen Sherman

Philanthropy Southeast’s online Research Library is regularly updated with the latest reports relevant to Southern philanthropy. Members can browse over 500 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources we have cultivated to help funders stay abreast of trends in the field and learn about emerging best practices in philanthropy. 

Below are some of the key findings and highlights of the newest additions to the Research Library. If you would like to suggest a resource or have other feedback, contact Stephen Sherman, Philanthropy Southeast’s Director of Research and Data, at or (404) 524-0911.


Centering Equity and Justice in Climate Philanthropy
Candid, Ariadne (2022)
This field guide for funders provides an overview of current philanthropic funding for climate justice, identifies common barriers to supporting climate justice strategies, and describes ways to overcome these barriers. The authors share insights and case studies from experienced funders that have shifted their institutions to use a climate justice lens for greater impact within their existing grantmaking priorities. The report finds that intermediary organizations, particularly regranting institutions and pooled funds, are critical partners in the climate justice field. One section profiles several examples of such organizations and offers a detailed listing of national and international intermediaries. The authors close with recommendations for funders interested in supporting climate justice initiatives.


The Impact of COVID-19 on Aging and Older Adults Grantmaking
Grantmakers in Health, Grantmakers in Aging (2022)
To better understand how philanthropy has responded to these challenges over the course of the pandemic, Grantmakers In Health and Grantmakers In Aging launched a joint survey in November 2021 to learn how health and aging funders are addressing COVID-19 related needs among older adult populations and potential long-term impacts on future grantmaking. Findings from this survey showed an increased focus on food security and programs to address social isolation during the pandemic. The infographic also examines changes in grantmaking strategies brought about by the pandemic, which included shifts in the types of programs and interventions funded and an increase in general operating support. Most funders surveyed expected changes in grantmaking to endure beyond the short-term.


Giving in Florida 2022
Florida Nonprofit Alliance, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (2022)
Written and researched by the IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on behalf of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Giving in Florida assesses the state of charitable giving in all of its forms by Floridians. The report finds that almost 7 out of 10 households in Florida made charitable donations in 2021. Of those donors, 74 percent gave the majority of their donated funds to organizations based in Florida. Donors overwhelmingly reported that altruistic values were the most important factor when making charitable giving decisions. Over 8 in 10 donors reported that they give because they felt compassion toward people in need. Over half (56 percent) of households reported volunteering in 2021. Eighty-seven percent of Florida households reported participating in informal philanthropy, such as giving to crowdfunding campaigns that supported individuals directly, donating goods to a food bank, or helping friends or family in need. The report closes with insights and recommendations for nonprofits on how to engage with donors in the state.


How Funders are Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity: Findings from a Field Scan
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2022)
The Hewlett Foundation has long provided targeted support, in the form of "organizational effectiveness grants," to existing grantees to help strengthen their internal systems and management enabling them to do their work better and enhance their impact. To benchmark its funding practices against its peers, the foundation commissioned this field scan of philanthropic support for capacity building. The report assesses common practices in terms of program design, relationship building, use of consultants, assessment and organizational learning. The authors also explore emerging issues and future directions in capacity building and discuss implications for the field.


Donor-Advised Fund Account Patterns and Trends (2017-2020)
Donor Advised Fund Research Collaborative (2022)
The Donor-Advised Fund Research Collaborative (DAFRC) published this report analyzing the characteristics and giving behavior of DAF accounts to provide a more holistic picture of giving specifically at the account level. The DAFRC dataset includes 13,000 accounts at 21 community foundations and religiously-affiliated sponsoring organizations across the United States and records their activity from 2017 to 2020. Forty-four percent of DAF accounts had assets under $50,000, an almost equal share had assets between $50,000 and $1 million, and 11 percent held more than $1 million. A slight majority of DAF accounts had four-year average payout rates between 5 percent and 49 percent. About one-third paid out less than 5 percent, and 13 percent of accounts had very high payout rates of 50 percent or more. Lastly, a relatively small number of large accounts held most assets and were responsible for the largest share of grantmaking from DAFs.


Stephen Sherman is Philanthropy Southeast's director of research and data.


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