New Blackbaud Index reports steady and positive fundraising growth | Miratel Solutions

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New Blackbaud Index shows a period of very stable growth for nonprofit fundraising in 2014

Welcome back to the blog as we continue the week with encouraging nonprofit fundraising news from Blackbaud as the most recent data from The Blackbaud Index is released which includes data through the end of July 2014. The Blackbaud report is one of the most important in the industry due to both the size of the study and the longevity of the data reported. This year sees the report compile data from over 3,280 charities across the United States which is further enhanced by data that dates back to the beginning of 2010.

If you’re new to the report, The Blackbaud Index studies the fundraising results for the organizations represented and then splits the data into both traditional and online fundraising in addition to allowing the user to filter by sector to permit deeper analysis. To avoid some of the spikes and abnormalities you’ll see in other reports the data is also collated via a useful rolling mechanism that compiles the most recent three months at a time which offers a more accurate view of current trends.

For the period ending in July we see year over year growth at a modest but still healthy growth rate of 3.1% for overall giving whilst this figure was again comfortably exceeded by online fundraising which reported growth at 8.0% versus the same period in 2013. While neither figure matches the highs we’ve seen in recent years both demonstrate an extended period of measurable and genuinely useful consistency, the type of stability that helps a charity with many elements of planning and funding.

In fact the consistency is quite unlike anything we’ve seen before over an extended period with July representing the eighth consecutive month of overall growth locked in at rates between three and four percent above the year prior. Not only does this assist with budgets and plans for charities as the report studies such a large cross-section of the industry but this stability arrived at an ideal time following a rapid and concerning four month decline in fundraising that was seen from September to December of last year.

Also encouraging is the fact that the 4th quarter of the year typically sees very strong fundraising results overall most notably as you would expect in December but also spilling into the months before and after. Providing August and September demonstrate stability then 2014 will be locked in as a year of positive and extremely stable growth. I had predicted the plateau we’re now seeing back in May and sensible forecasting places the final expectation for 2014 growth somewhere around 4% or 5% which while short of the growth seen in 2013 is above what might have been projected a few months into this year. Online fundraising still leads the way but as I had written previously monthly  growth rates between 15-20% or more now seem to be a thing of the past with a fixed rate now running much closer to double the overall rate of fundraising change.

all data courtesy of Blackbaud.com

all data courtesy of Blackbaud.com

Per the graph above – perhaps the most fascinating element is how similar the trend seen since the end of last Summer has mirrored the same decline and slow recovery also seen from 2011 into 2012 with the notable difference being the very solid bottom end of the decline seen this year which better helps us to project what may follow.

While this year won’t match the tremendous growth of 2013 it was always going to be difficult to duplicate that growth of over five percent it still appears comfortably set to improve upon the 2.1% annual improvement seen in 2012. We’ll be keeping a close eye on that for the remainder of this year, another year which speaks to the overall health of nonprofit fundraising.

If you have any observations or data you’d like to share about your fundraising goals and results this year please feel free to share them below, to see the most recent Blackbaud Index and to also learn about them you can visit their website.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraising, outbound telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery fundraising services, donation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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