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The Importance of Research

Research and collaboration are essential to improve the understanding and practice of philanthropy. At Summit Marketing, we are continually testing and learning to ensure we create programs and services that provide the best return on net investment to our clients. To that end, we are delighted to promote the Lilly School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. The school plays a leading role in moving philanthropy forward across the country and around the world.

Empathy, self-care, and fundraising during COVID-19

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. -John Wesley (attrib.)

While the coronavirus spreads panic and fear, John Krasinski spreads Some Good News

Fear has become a reality for many as a result of job losses, financial struggles, isolation, and the COVID-19 virus itself. Finding reasons to celebrate has become quite difficult.

After the protests, will philanthropy do the right thing this time around?

It was more than 50 years ago when the last big wave of civil unrest hit this country. In its wake, the well-meaning people in U.S. foundations and nonprofits ramped up to respond to what they thought were the lessons of the upheaval.

Tax Day and its effects on philanthropy

July 15 is the revised Tax Day in the U.S. While Tax Day was originally scheduled for April 15, the U.S. government and multiple states changed the day some state and all federal taxes were due as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving in 2020: There may be some clues from 2019

Total giving in 2019 was $449.64 billion, increasing 4.2 percent (in current dollars) and 2.4 percent when adjusted for inflation. “Philanthropy had solid, healthy growth in 2019,” statistician Jon Bergdoll explained. “After remarkable growth in 2017 and a slight dip in 2018, giving in 2019 nearly caught up to 2017 in inflation-adjusted terms.

Youth taking action

#IUyoungphilanthropists invites elementary and middle school aged youth to explore, learn, and understand philanthropy through a series of self-guided and/or family activities. Participants read, watch, listen, observe, and act. Then with permission, these #IUyoungphilanthropists share their experience and action on social media using #IUyoungphilanthropists.

Additional Articles

Where to Learn More?

Summit Marketing utilizes and promotes IUPUI research to focus on increasing knowledge about what’s happening in the nonprofit sector and how to translate research into actionable solutions to improve volunteerism, fundraising, nonprofit organization management, and other aspects of philanthropic activity.

Take a closer look at some of the research we are utilizing:

Giving USA is the longest-running, most comprehensive analysis of the sources and uses of U.S. charitable giving. This periodical rigorously estimates donations by individuals, corporations, foundations, and bequests to 1.1 million charities and 220,000 U.S. religious organizations.

The Philanthropy Outlook 2019 & 2020 projects giving by individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations will grow, and offers potential scenarios, factors to watch.

Changes to the Giving Landscape analyzes effects of the 2008 Great Recession on charitable giving across various donor demographic groups and examines differences pre- and post-recession. The study looks at the share of households who gave, the amounts donor households gave, and the percent of income households gave before and after the Great Recession. The report offers key insights for nonprofits and donors as they face new and evolving factors affecting the philanthropic sector in the United States.

#GivingTuesday is a global movement that engages individuals, businesses, communities, and nonprofits to celebrate and encourage giving. Launched in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation with additional partners, #GivingTuesday annually promotes giving back at the beginning of the holiday season on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving.


A Giving USA Spotlight entitled #GivingTuesday: A Planned Day of Spontaneous Giving provides initial findings about #GivingTuesday using data provided by Network for Good, an online fundraising platform. In addition, this Spotlight provides an overview of #GivingTuesday, including its history and context in the growing world of social media and online giving. The Spotlight is useful for nonprofit practitioners to gain better insight into #GivingTuesday, including its impact on giving behavior.

Where do donor-advised fund grants go?
Donor-advised funds are frequently identified as one of the fastest-growing vehicles for charitable giving, but the question of where those donor-advised fund grant dollars go has remained largely unanswered until now.

The IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy faculty and staff train and empower students and practitioners to innovate and lead—and to create positive and lasting change in the world. 

They identify emerging trends, challenge conventional wisdom, and provide valuable insights into philanthropy with their cutting-edge research. Their in-house research staff and peer-reviewed faculty studies increase understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.


Pictured: Ron Busroe (Senior Strategy Advisor, Summit Marketing) and Una Osili, Ph.D. (Dean’s Fellow, Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, Professor of Economics, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs)

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