Blackbaud Index Shows Slight Decline in Nonprofit Fundraising
Many recent nonprofit fundraising related reports and research help the industry decision-makers to better understand the evolving nature of our work. Examples of these reports include the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, Digital Persuasion, How Social Media Motivates Action and Drives Support for Causes, the Nonprofit Fundraising Study and the latest monthly Blackbaud Index. The index is a reliable source of fundraising data that provides a glimpse into the state of charitable giving in the U.S. Last month, I reported that the Index results pointed towards fundraising optimism in 2013 but the latest results now show a decline.
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Based on fundraising results of 3,200 U.S. nonprofit organizations raising over $10 billion in donation revenue the index shows that there was a decline of -1.1% in the three month period ending March 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012. This result is somewhat expected considering that the overall results in 2012 were flat according to the year-in-review Blackbaud report Charitable Giving Report, How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2012. In addition, this is also the first full reporting period within 2013 and directly after end-of-year fundraising initiatives which is always the strongest period of the year.
Compared to last year only Arts & Culture and small organizations had gains of 1.2% and 1.1% respectively while all other organization types and sizes posted a decline. The largest declines were experienced by K-12 Independent Schools with a decline of -9.1%, Public and Society Benefit -8.6% and Healthcare -7.6%. Interestingly, when compared to the previous reporting period from December 2012 to February 2013 all organization types experienced a declined with K-12 Independent Schools once again having the largest loss by -13%, followed by International Affairs 11.9%, and large organizations with -7.2%
Analyzing the online fundraising results of 2,500 organizations that have raised $2 billion in donations, online giving continues to grow posting an increase of 7.8% in the index reporting period. This result is not at the same growth rate experienced throughout 2012 and what is worrisome is that for four consecutive months the growth rate has been decreasing from a peak of 17.4% in November and continuing on a steady decline to the present. It’s possible that the post-holiday blues may be contributing to slower growth rates, or perhaps donor’s general acceptance of online as a giving channel is hitting a plateau. Nonetheless there was some growth and that is evidence that online giving is continuing to develop into a strategy that is beneficial to both nonprofits and their supporters.
All organization types across the board experienced an increase in online giving when compared to the same period in 2012 with Environment & Animal Welfare posting the highest increase of 16.4%, followed by Human Services with 10.2% and Public and Society Benefit 9.9%. When compared to the previous month only Public and Society Benefit and Environment & Animal Welfare saw an increase with 5.1% and 3.5% respectively. Mirroring overall results K-12 Independent Schools had the largest loss with -13.2%, followed by International Affairs -7.1%.
Despite this decline nonprofits should remain optimistic as there is room for growth as it is still early in the year. The Blackbaud Index results in the next couple of months will be a better indicator as to how the rest of the year may turn out.
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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.