3 Factors Impacting Nonprofit Fundraising Confidence According to Report
Industry research and reporting continues to be an integral part of better understanding the nonprofit fundraising landscape in the midst of an unpredictable economy and evolving technologies. Recently I spotlighted 5 Nonprofit Fundraising Insights According to Latest World Giving Index where Canada and the U.S. placed 3rd and 4th. Today I’m writing about the Sector Monitor Report, a Canadian based report released by Imagine Canada that is now in its third year. The research for this report was based on 2,194 Canadian charity leaders across the country that were surveyed this past summer on their fundraising experiences, abilities to fulfill their mission(s), current operating conditions and outlook towards the future.
Unlike previous editions of this report, results from the 2012 edition showed that confidence levels dropped with predictions of weaker results doubling while also predicting lower revenues. Certainly 2012 was an unpredictable year as reflected in the fluctuations of the monthly Blackbaud Index with the latest one showing a slight increase. This overall uncertainty is what could be affecting fundraiser’s spirits and thereby the results in this report. The report highlights three key factors that nonprofit’s seem to be facing given the economic uncertainties of the months ahead impacting their outlook for future viability.
- Stagnant Revenues – A little over half (53%) reported fundraising revenues remaining the same in comparison to the previous year and a little over a quarter (26%) experienced a decrease. These results are worrisome as fewer respondents – 22% – reported an increase in revenues in comparison to mid 2011 when 26% experienced growth. Canadian fundraisers are facing challenges as there continues to be an increase in demand for their products and services.
- Increased Demand – Responding nonprofits reported demand for their services increased by 3% over the latest three waves of this report, from mid 2011 at 50% to mid 2012 at 53%. Combined with stagnant or reduced revenues, it seems that some nonprofits are at an impasse in which fulfilling their missions becomes more of a challenge when trying to stay in existence, as reported by 26% of respondents. Charity leaders also reported being less optimistic about the future when it comes to the demand of their services in the next 3 to 4 months by 94%.
- Controlled Expenses ¬– Almost half (48%) of nonprofits will have some level of difficulty in covering their expenses in the coming two years. Interestingly, the challenges that organizations are facing has not translated into increased stress levels, as 53% reported not to be stressed at all while 47% reported some to high levels of stress. Operating charities were more likely to report higher stress levels than foundations, as well as smaller charities, health organizations, those located in British Columbia and those with 4 or less paid staff members.
In terms of trends, more charity leaders reported revenues have remained about the same than in mid-2011 and fewer reported increased expenditures. This suggests that some charities may be consciously reducing expenditures in response to stagnating or even declining revenues.
Despite the somewhat bleak results of this research, it’s important that we remain optimistic for a stronger fundraising year than reflected in this Sector Monitor Report. Just recently I reported that research conducted by BMO Harris Private Banking indicated that Nonprofit Fundraising was on the Rise in Canada. Fundraising opportunities are available provided organizations maintain multi-tiered marketing strategies that reach target demographic(s) who will support your cause. To weather the storm it takes planning, preparation, steadfast determination, a positive outlook and patience.
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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.