Economy Still Impacting Charitable and Online Giving Per Blackbaud Index | Miratel Solutions

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Economy Still Impacting Charitable and Online Giving Per Blackbaud Index

As a fundraising professional, I am interested in reading all reliable sources and reports that provide insight into nonprofit fundraising, online giving and other trends. I have recently written about many valuable reports such as The 2011 donorCentrics™ Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (and Part 2), the Millennial Donors Report 2011 (and Part 2) and the 3rd Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report 2011. I have also written about previous editions of the the Blackbaud Index, and continue that today with its latest release, The Blackbaud Index on Charitable and Online Giving October 2011.

The Blackbaud Index compiles overall fundraising statistical information from 1,276 nonprofit organizations with combined revenue of $2.3 billion. In addition, the Blackbaud Index analyzes online donation trends amongst 1,780 nonprofit organizations with combined revenue of $426 million.  According to the latest Index, the state of the economy is still impacting nonprofits in the amount of donations they are receiving. online-giving-blackbaud-indexOther notable highlights of the report include:

  • Overall fundraising has grown by 6.8% from June to August 2011 over the same period in 2010
  • Index showed that growth started to decline in the latter months of the reporting period
  • Largest gains experienced by smaller organizations (revenue <$1 million) by 19.3%
  • Overall online giving also experienced overall growth by 6.1% in the same reporting period
  • International Affairs sector saw the largest gains with an overall increase of 26.4%
  • International Affairs sector saw the largest gains with an increase of 33.7% in online giving
  • Environmental and Animal Welfare sector saw the lowest gains – an overall increase of 1.7%
  • Arts, Culture & Humanities sector saw the largest drop – a decrease of 5.7% in online giving

This latest release also launched a new index focusing on healthcare organizations that Giving USA defined as those that provide care, health related research facilities, disease specific organizations for research and/or support, mental health services and health policy centres and analyzes fundraising data in this sector.

Unfortunately, during the reporting period there has been an overall decline of -5.5% over the same period in 2010 despite having consistent growth in previous periods.  However online revenue increased overall by 3.1%. According to William McGinly, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, organizations within his specific community of hospitals and healthcare providers have seen an upward trend in fundraising. He attributes the overall downward trend reflected in the Blackbaud Index to the economy and to disease related organizations that have a national focus whereas hospitals and healthcare providers tend to have a more local appeal. Another factor that has affected nonprofits has been the rising costs of doing business.

charitable-online-giving-chart-blackbaud-october-2011

Blackbaud Index October 2011

Still optimistic, McGinly says that despite the effect of the economy, he has a “pretty good sense that we are coming back.” McGinly advice to hospitals and healthcare organizations includes two to three timely annual appeals, hold educational tours of the facilities or recent expansions, provide informative publications and boost visibility of the organizations’ mission within the community.

Despite seeing an increase of 3.1% in online giving, McGinly says that healthcare organizations are behind the curve in this area as traditional fundraising methods fit better with the community and personal relationships that have been built on the supporters experience with them. Stacy Pagos Haller, CEO of the American Health Assistance Foundation, an organization that has outperformed the Index in her sector says she attributes their success to:

  • a partnership approach with their donors and reaching out to previous and lapsed donors;
  • the addition of new programs like corporate sponsorships;
  • being conscious of the donor environment;
  • providing personalized attention to the relationship building and respecting how each donor prefers to receive communications; and
  • sharing actual stories that build on the personal connection the supporter has for the cause.

The next reporting period will likely see improvements with year-end/holiday donations happening in the coming months.  How they compare to 2010 remains to be seen. As always, it’s worth the time to read the latest Blackbaud Index on Charitable and Online Giving.
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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.

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One Response to Economy Still Impacting Charitable and Online Giving Per Blackbaud Index

  1. Pingback: » Nonprofit Fundraising and the Dynamics of Cause Engagement

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