The Blackbaud Nonprofit Fundraising Quarterly Report Shows Inconsistent Trends in 2012Economic News, Fundraising, Fundraising Services, Lottery fundraising, News, Non-profit fundraising, Online Fundraising, Philanthropy, Telephone Fundraising | Desi Cabrera | June 12, 2012 at 12:01 am
I regularly feature the nonprofit fundraising results from the Blackbaud Index released monthly. The index, which began in June 2010, compiles fundraising revenue statistics and measures its growth or decline in comparison to the same period over the previous year. This Index is an excellent resource for nonprofits to review and compare their organizations results against the industry as a whole, by size and by subsector. The results to the end of April 2012 were recently released in the latest Blackbaud Index.
Based on fundraising results of 2,512 nonprofit organizations and representing more than $7.4 billion in fundraising revenue, the index shows that there was overall growth in the full 2011 year of 4.2% over 2010. Online giving, which represents 1,832 organizations and $381 million in fundraising revenue, also saw an increase of 13% over the same period. Definitely a great achievement, considering the inconsistency in the economic climate and that some subsectors did not perform as well throughout the year (i.e. Public Society Benefit, Healthcare and International Relief) and experienced inconsistency in growth and had the most periods of decline in revenue through 2011.
The latest statistics covering a 3 month period ending April 2012, compared to the same period in 2011 shows the following changes and/or trends:
- 1.5% increase in overall charitable giving, a reduction in growth from March’s results by -2.7%
- Small organizations had the only and largest increase of 19.2% compared to medium and large sized organizations
- Healthcare, Human Services and Public & Society Benefit subsectors continue to see a decline
- There was an 8.6% increase in overall online giving
- Regardless of size, organizations saw an increase in online giving ranging from 5.9% to 11.8%
- Only nonprofits in the Environmental & Animal Welfare subsector saw a decrease in online giving of -1.3%
The report often includes commentary by industry leaders. This edition features timely and encouraging words from Jim Yunker, the chair of The Giving USA Foundation and President and CEO at Smith Beers Yunker & Company. He describes the outlook of fundraising in the future:
“Despite the dip this month in The Blackbaud Index, I continue to be pleasantly optimistic,” said Yunker. “But depending on the community and the organization, not everyone may share that optimism. To some this news is an incentive to work smarter. Overall, Blackbaud’s Index suggests from the past year that the cloud may be passing.”
Some of Yunker’s advice to nonprofit organizations and how to work through these uncertain economic times include:
- Track and know the trends in your sector and geographical location through nonprofit resources like the Blackbaud Index and Giving USA’s The Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2011;
- Positive results should encourage nonprofits to work harder and smarter while increasing fundraising activities assertively;
- Share your cause’s message with donors in a creative and innovative way, especially during slower periods. Be creative and take moderate risks;
- “Storytelling gets to the heart, and most giving decisions may be finalized by the head, but start with the heart.” — Jim Yunker Chair of The Giving USA Foundation;
- Be sure to engage donors through various communication channels and make them feel like they are part of your cause, mission and organization. Tell strong compelling stories;
- Do not use online giving and social media exclusively, but include it as part of a comprehensive fundraising marketing plan; and
- Review your organization’s plans and shift focus on how fundraising revenue benefits the community or cause and not on just the amount raised.
The Blackbaud Index is always an interesting and reliable read especially now that they have doubled the number of participating nonprofits. So happy 2nd birthday Blackbaud Index – like a fine wine you’re getting better with age. Stay tuned for May’s fundraising results which I will be covering upon its release.
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