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New CEP Resource Spotlights Nonprofit Perspectives on Hot-Button Issues in Philanthropy

Date: February 25, 2020

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Media contact: Grace Nicolette – Vice President, Programming and External Relations: (617) 674-0763

For Immediate Release

Cambridge, MA The Funding Landscape: Nonprofit Perspectives on Current Issues in Philanthropy, a new report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), highlights the perspectives of nonprofit leaders on several widely discussed topics in philanthropy: the impact of recent tax code changes, anticipated changes in nonprofit revenue, nonprofit concerns about a recession, the pros and cons of donor-advised funds (DAFs), and the prevalence and use of gift acceptance policies.

“The nonprofit perspective matters in any discussion about the philanthropic sector, but unfortunately it’s often left out of the conversation,” says Ellie Buteau, Vice President, Research, at CEP and co-author of the report. “We hope that the data in this report can form the basis of discussions in philanthropy, on a number of crucial topics, that are more greatly informed by the nonprofit experience.”

Findings in the report are based on survey responses from 419 CEOs from nonprofit, grant-seeking organizations that receive at least one grant from foundations giving $5 million or more annually (the survey was sent to 1,125 CEOs in November 2019, for a 34 percent response rate). Among the data points, the research finds that the majority (58 percent) of nonprofit CEOs say that they believe recent tax code changes have decreased individual giving to their organizations. CEP also learned that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of nonprofit CEOs say a recession would increase the need or demand for their organization’s programs or services, but only one-third (33 percent) have a plan for how they would handle a recession.

When it comes to the much-debated topic of donor-advised funds (DAFs), the report finds that nonprofit CEOs identify both advantages and disadvantages of DAFS. The top advantage cited (by 22 percent of respondents) is that DAFs involve less of an administrative burden for nonprofits, while the top disadvantage cited (by 44 percent of respondents) is that DAFs hamper nonprofits’ ability to build personal relationships with donors.

The report expands upon and provides further data on these key issues and others.

CEP provided this data to The Chronicle of Philanthropy in December, some of which The Chronicle has reported in articles over recent weeks. This report is a complete summary of what CEP found in the survey.

The report is available for free download on CEP’s website.

About the Center for Effective Philanthropy

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide data and create insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact. CEP received initial funding in 2001 and has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. For more information on CEP’s work, including its research, publications, programming, and assessments and advisory services, visit

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