The Giving Season Survey Shows American Nonprofit Fundraising Results are Looking Up | Miratel Solutions

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The Giving Season Survey Shows American Nonprofit Fundraising Results are Looking Up

Last week I wrote about a Canadian based report on nonprofit fundraising research and how it was on the rise in 2012 in Canada. Today I would like to cover a similar report with the same positive results but based on US data compiled by Fidelity Charitable. The research titled the “Giving Season Survey” was conducted this past October through a telephone survey of 571 American adults who planned to give $200 or more in donations throughout the 2012 year. Similar to their Canadian counterparts the research shows an overall renewed optimism and an increase in giving for this year. Some highlights of the research include:

  • 81% of American donors intended to give the same or more to charity in 2012 as they did in 2011. It is also the 2nd consecutive year that has resulted in an increase over the previous year. These results combined with the annual giving average which also increased by $300 from $2,100 to $2,400, would indicate that American nonprofit fundraising should be steadily increasing with stronger end-of-year results towards a better 2013.
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    Image courtesy of Molly McLeod Media (mollymcleod.com)

  • 42% of donors confirm improved financial conditions as the main reason why they are giving more in 2012 and although we are still struggling through a period of economic uncertainty, donors are willing to give as evidenced by an election year that was backed by heavy political fundraising.  89% of respondents confirmed that political fundraising had no impact on giving to non-political charities.
  • The cause definitely factors into reasons why donors give but it seems that family related philanthropy factored highest with most responding donors, as 82% were taught by their parents to give. 67% attributed familial holiday traditions as the reason why they give and 44% do so to set a good example to their own children. Interestingly 75% of donors do not donate simply for tax deduction incentives. Not surprisingly almost three quarters (71%) of respondents gave to a cause influenced by life events affecting themselves, family members and/or friends.
  • Fidelity Charitable, a 20 year old independent public charity, experienced record breaking results in the first three quarters of 2012 with an increase of 63% in incoming donations totaling $1.2 billion and outgoing disbursement of funds that rose by 16% totaling 256,000 grants.

These results should be encouraging to nonprofits and a signal to assertively capture the momentum and secure donations from donors who are in a very generous state and for good measure as Sarah Libbey, President of Fidelity Charitable mentioned: “While there is still uncertainty about where the economy is headed, Americans are showing a willingness to give more to the causes they care about […]. This is particularly important as past and proposed cuts in federal and state funding have charities seeking more support from private donors.

As I mentioned in my previous post covering similar Canadian data, although these survey results are quite different from the declining results that the Blackbaud Index show, this research certainly points to an increased donor confidence in the economy and a commitment to support the philanthropic needs of their communities. It’s with this renewed donor confidence that nonprofits should cautiously look at the coming year with optimism while refining their fundraising marketing approach to tap into renewed donor generosity.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation 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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