2012 Nonprofit Fundraising Trends According to Industry Report
The new year has officially arrived and fundraising professionals are working on post end-of-year nonprofit fundraising tasks and looking ahead to initiatives and strategies for 2013. A look back on results and trends from the numerous 2012 reports, studies and surveys available can serve as a reference and/or benchmark to help guide future plans. I have featured many here in posts like Social Media in Review According to Nielsen’s The Social Media Report 2012, 3 Target Demographics to Boost Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement Results in 2013, The Giving Season Survey Shows American Nonprofit Fundraising Results are Looking Up and even the results from the Latest Blackbaud Index.
Recently the 2012 State of The Nonprofit Industry report was released which surveyed 1516 nonprofit organizations from 9 countries representing a cross-section of sectors including Human Services, Healthcare, Arts Culture & Humanities and Public/Society Benefits. This 17 page report is managed by Blackbaud and researched in collaboration with L’Association Francaise des Fundraisers, Centro Studi Philanthropy, Deutscher Fundraising Verband, Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ), The Resource Alliance, The Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) and Daryl Upsall Consulting International. The data contained in this 17 page report is extensive and a few highlights of the results include:
- Staffing Trends – Although 82% of Canadian and U.S. responding organizations had to recruit in the past year, only 60% (Canada) and 55% (U.S.) found it easy to recruit staffing members. These numbers suggest there still is a challenge in recruiting and retaining qualified talent due to possible under-funding for the positions as this was noted as one of the top two most common reasons in all countries. Those most successful in recruiting cite having a strong reputation and a mission for which there is passion in the community as a strategy they employ, while also focusing on word-of-mouth, networking, personal referrals and hiring from volunteer community.
- New Donor Recruitment – There is a higher level of optimism in recruiting new donors in nonprofits that employ multiple recruiting tactics, with the most popular tactics involving special events and sourcing through personal contacts according to 90% of organizations in Canada and the U.S. North Americans also used scheduled meetings with major donors as a popular donor recruitment method. Interestingly, although Social Media is widely used it doesn`t rank very high as an effective method. The report suggests that nonprofits have not yet found a way to measure social media initiative effectiveness and how it relates to direct donation revenue.
- Donor Retention – There is a general sense of optimism in retaining donors in the next year in almost all responding countries except the Netherlands (although they had the highest retention rate at 72%). Regular communication was reported as the most effective method of retaining donors including: direct mail, newsletters and face-to-face, with those reporting 6 or more communications per year having higher rates of confidence in donor retention. Prompt donation acknowledgment also ranked high as another effective retention tactic according to respondents that thanked donors within 10 days of receiving the gift.
- Trends – The U.S. (83%) and Canada (81%) ranked the highest for optimism towards growth in individual contributions. Optimism was not as high in organizations with 2 or fewer full-time staff members and those using limited solicitation methods. Special events ranked in the top two methods to drive individual donations in all except two countries (Canada and France) and email ranked in the top three. Nonprofits expect that the next 12 months will see growth in scheduling major donor meetings, peer-to-peer fundraising and social networking initiatives.
Fundraising will continue to evolve through 2013 and reviewing research like the 2012 State of The Nonprofit Industry report can provide additional insight that can strengthen strategies and improve fundraising and engagement results.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.