Nonprofit Fundraising Continues Decline According to Latest Blackbaud Index
I regularly write about the Blackbaud Index which measures and reports on U.S. based nonprofit fundraising and giving trends. The index is a reliable source that serves as a barometer of the current fundraising climate and gives nonprofits a benchmark to compare their own fundraising results. Last month’s Blackbaud Index results indicated that the Decline in Nonprofit Fundraising Continued and according to the latest Blackbaud Index, results have not improved.
Based on fundraising results of 2,984 nonprofit organizations representing $7.8 billion in annual giving, the index results indicate a continued downward trend for three consecutive months through October 2012 with a decline of -3.8% over the same period last year. This is made more worrisome as the reporting period enters the fourth quarter when nonprofits traditionally see their strongest results through end-of-year fundraising drives. Oddly, these results do not line up with recent U.S. and Canadian based research that indicated that American Nonprofit Fundraising Results are Looking Up and that Canadian Nonprofit Fundraising is on the Rise in 2012.
The discrepancy in the research compared to the index can be a result of donors expressing their intention to increase their giving and philanthropic activities at the time they were completing the survey but in reality were not able to meet the donation amount intended. Two possible factors that should be considered include that i) donors are still weary of the uncertain economy and are not yet ready to increase their giving; and/or ii) nonprofits have not yet tapped into the segment of the donor population that is ready and willing to be more generous with their giving. Perhaps the final end-of-year fundraising push will provide stronger results in November and December and improved overall results for 2012.
When looking at results by organization type or size, Environmental & Animal Welfare organization had the strongest results overall posting an increase of 9.3% in the three month period ending in October over the same period in 2011. International Affairs however posted the largest decline of -29.6%. Overall when compared to the previous month (September), there were no significant gains, however small organizations had the largest decline of -3.8% although they still had an increase over 2011 of 2.9%, the second highest when broken down by category.
Overall online giving results based on 1,961 nonprofit organizations representing $371.5 million in annual online giving revenue posted an increase of 1.1% compared to 2011. However, it’s important to note that this also represented a decline of -1.7% over September’s results. The biggest gains when broken down by organization type or size included Public & Society Benefit with 13.4% and small organizations with 8.4%. Similarly to the overall giving results International Affairs had the largest decline with -15.4% although this result did represent an increase of 8% over September’s results.
Although we want to see an increase in fundraising revenue and stronger numbers year over year, overall stewardship and supporter engagement is equally as important and fostering and strengthening donor relationships will help provide consistent results. To recharge your fundraising spirit, read A Twitter Account of AFP Congress 2012 for some insightful and inspiring words from industry professionals around the Twitterverse.
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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.