Overall and Online Nonprofit Fundraising Results According to the Latest Blackbaud Index | Miratel Solutions

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Overall and Online Nonprofit Fundraising Results According to the Latest Blackbaud Index

I began my review of the latest Blackbaud Index released in January 2012 Tuesday when I featured the 2 key nonprofit fundraising findings that pointed to a promising 2012. Today I’m going to explore other results from this important report and what they could mean for the 2012 outlook.

nonprofit-fundraising-blackbaud-index-january-2012Along with providing insightful data, another excellent aspect of the Blackbaud Index is how that data is segmented – by organization size and by nonprofit sector. These sectors include: Arts, Culture and Humanities; Healthcare; Human Services; International Affairs; Environmental & Animal Welfare; and Education. As each nonprofit is different in size and scope, this segmenting is even more valuable and relevant as it allows for review and comparison of like organizations which is critical for analysis of fundraising efforts and marketing planning.

A new index added by Blackbaud is Public, Society Benefit, which according to Giving USA includes nonprofits that collect donations and then redistributes to other organizations focused on: civil rights, voter education and registration, public policy research, social science research, community and neighborhood economic and civic development and leadership programs. In both overall and online giving this new sector performed well according to this latest index, with an increase of 5.4% and 11.9% respectively.

As reported in yesterday’s post, overall giving experienced an increase of 1.4% in the three month period ending November 2011 versus the same timeframe in 2010. This increase however was not seen across all nonprofit sectors. The breakdown in the table beneath shows that ‘International Affairs’ was one of two sectors that saw a decrease from 2010 to 2011. Dubbed as “a deadly year for natural disasters” by MSNBC, 2010 saw its share of earthquakes, forest fires, volcano eruptions, hurricanes and tornadoes amongst others. However, so did 2011. The difference being that a new record was set in 2011 for domestic natural disasters. The U.S. had an estimated $50.3 billion in damage from hurricanes, flooding, wild fires tornados and drought compared to $6.5 billion in 2010, an increase of 773%. This could explain a decrease in giving in the International Affairs sector, as donors may have shifted their gifts closer to home.

Overall (+/-)
Arts, Culture and Humanities +7.7% 
Public, Society Benefit +5.4%
Healthcare +2.1 % 
Human Services +1.3%
International Affairs -4.0%
Environmental & Animal Welfare     -5.4%


Most concerning is that ‘Environmental & Animal Welfare’ also saw a decrease in overall giving. When one can argue the relation between natural disasters and global warming you would think this sector needs the donor support more than ever. Nonprofits in this sector need to develop strategies that address this decline to meet immediate and future needs. Andrew Watt, president and CEO of the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) advises all nonprofits to: “Challenge the status quo”. He also advised “nonprofits have to make absolutely certain they stay fresh and at the forefront,” he said, “keeping the necessity of what they are delivering at the front of people’s minds.”  Certainly sound advice, especially for nonprofits in sectors that are not seeing the same growth as others. 

Online (+/-)
Human Services +20.6%
International Affairs +18.6%
Public, Society Benefit +11.9%
Arts, Culture and Humanities +8.4%
Environmental & Animal Welfare     +8.2%
Healthcare +4.2%

It’s encouraging however, that nonprofits across all sectors have seen growth in online giving. This can be attributed to two main factors: 1) an increased presence of nonprofits on social media platforms and engaging more donors virtually in conjunction to other traditional giving channels; and 2) donors becoming more comfortable with and trusting online channels as secure and convenient ways of making a donation and supporting a cause they care about. I imagine we will see continued growth in this sector in 2012 as emerging mobile technologies become more and more prevalent.

How 2012 will unfold remains to be seen. However, with cautious optimism and sound creative strategies, charities should experience success in their nonprofit fundraising efforts.
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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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