Blackbaud Index Points Towards Inconsistencies in Nonprofit FundraisingFundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | August 14, 2012 at 12:01 am
I often report on the results of the latest Blackbaud Index as it tends to be a good barometer of the overall and online nonprofit fundraising landscape. I believe this is an excellent tool to help nonprofits with comparing their own results to other like-organizations to assist with making adjustments to their future marketing and fundraising plans. Last month I reported on how the Index Revealed a Decline in Nonprofit Fundraising Revenue in the quarter period ending May 2012.
The latest Blackbaud Index that covers the three month period ending June 2012 analyses the fundraising results of 2,848 nonprofit organizations that collectively raise $8 billion annually. The results show consistency in the results in comparison to the same period in 2011, with an overall increase of 1.6%. Modest results considering that May’s results indicated a decline, signaling a possible downward trend over the summer months. When segregated and analyzed by organizational size, large organizations (those with annual fundraising revenue of over $10 million) were the only ones to see a decline of -1%. In contrast small organizations saw an increase of 14.9% and medium organizations an increase of 3.2%.
Surprisingly, the results are much different when broken down by sector or type of organization. The index shows that each organization type experienced a decrease in overall giving, with International Affairs (-12.0%), Healthcare (-11.0%) and Environmental & Animal Welfare (-9.3%) organizations experiencing the largest decreases – three sectors that seem to continue to be the hardest hit. In briefly speaking with Chuck Longfield, creator of the index, he explained that the difference between the overall 1.6% increase versus the decline in each of the 6 sectors is due to the increase experienced by two organization types that are not reported on individually – Education and Religion. These two organization types saw an increase equal to almost half of all charities that the index covers which tipped the results into the 1.6% increase. With 2011 results having been stronger than 2010, it seemed to be expected that it would be a challenge for nonprofits to meet the same giving levels in 2012, but the June results are a mixed bag and continue to a trend of inconsistency.
On a more positive note, online giving continues to see steady growth, with an overall increase in the reporting period of 8.2% based on the analysis of 2,004 nonprofit organizations reflecting $387 million in online fundraising revenue. Small organizations (annual revenue under $1 million) continue to see the largest growth of 13.5% based on analysis by organizational size. All sectors saw an increase, most notably for seven consecutive months organizations in the Public & Society Benefit sector have posted increases of over 20% in online fundraising revenue, with June resulting in a 24.7% increase.
Although online fundraising still only represents a small fraction of the overall fundraising pie it continues to grow and is why Blackbaud created its own index. There is significant potential for online fundraising as a channel to attract and engage new donors and supporters. Ultimately it’s important for nonprofits to maintain a presence across various social media platforms to create a comfort level with their target donors. Nonprofits should encourage communication via online channels with the goal of building their online donations and contributions. Check out our Social Media Summer Series aimed at how nonprofits can best set up and engage donors and supporters on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest and many others.
Hopefully the July results of the Blackbaud Index can help shed some light on what we can expect in the second half of 2012. Stay tuned.
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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.