Nonprofit Fundraising Experiences Modest Increase According to Latest Blackbaud Index
Our industry is fortunate to have access to many resources that provide data to better understand nonprofit fundraising results and trends. Some popular reports I have spotlighted have included the 2013 Millenial Impact Report, the Giving USA 2013 Report and the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. Another report I regularly feature is the monthly Blackbaud Index which provides reliable data on overall and online fundraising broken down by size and sector for comparison purpose. In my coverage of last month’s results I noted that Online Fundraising and Overall Nonprofit Fundraising Increased Marginally.
In addition to the regular three month index results, Blackbaud has also released overall fundraising results for the first half of the year providing us a glimpse at the state of overall giving which showed a modest increase of 2.2%. These results are somewhat encouraging as it represented a 0.5% increase compared to overall results for 2012 which posted flat results with an increase of 1.7%.
However, what is concerning about the index results is the significant drop in online fundraising. In June 2012 online fundraising resulted in an increase of 31.5% over the same period in 2011, however this year’s results show an increase of only 13.9% which also represents a decrease for the 7th consecutive month. Despite this trend suggesting that online fundraising could be heading towards a plateau, donations received online still only represent a small fraction of overall fundraising. Fortunately if this year follows 2012’s trend then we should see an upswing in online fundraising results. It would be beneficial for nonprofits to continue building online initiatives and engaging supporters to strengthen (existing) relationships for better long-term results.
Based on results from 3,200 nonprofit organizations other notable results from the three-month index period ending June 2013 included an overall increase of 3.6% in comparison to the previous year. Organizations in the Environment & Animal Welfare and International Affairs sectors had the largest increase with 12.3% each, followed by Public & Society Benefit with an increase of 4.8%. The largest decrease was experienced by K-12 Independent Schools with a loss of -2.3%. Marginal decreases were also experienced by the Human Services sector with -0.4% and Arts & Culture with -0.3%.
Online fundraising results from 2,500 organizations did not reflect any decreases for any organization type. All had gains with Public & Society Benefit topping the charts with a significant increase of 21.7%, followed by medium sized organizations with 17% and K-12 Independent Schools with 16.2%. Those on the lower end included Medical Research with an increase of 7.2%, Healthcare with 7.3% and Human Services with 10.6%. When compared to results from the previous month (May) Public & Society Benefit saw the largest increase of 10.2%, while small organizations experienced the largest decrease with a loss of 7.1%.
Historically the second half of the year tends to post stronger results so we should expect to see some improvements in the coming months. The end-of-year fundraising push is around the corner so now is a crucial period for organizations to be planning ahead for November and December initiatives while still keeping focus on the immediate future by strengthening current initiatives and results. I will be focusing on end-of-year fundraising in future posts so 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.