August fundraising results from Blackbaud remain steady | Miratel Solutions

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Blackbaud Index shows healthy nonprofit results and optimism for year end

A very warm welcome back to the Miratel blog and today sees the release of the monthly nonprofit fundraising report from Blackbaud that provides us with one of the most valuable overviews of the state of the nonprofit sector. The Blackbaud Index remains a key method of how the nonprofit industry is performing as the data captures fundraising information from more than 3,200 charities throughout the United States.

As I wrote last month the report shows that we’ve moved into the most stable pattern of positive growth seen since the data was first maintained back in 2010. In fact, the August data reiterates that fact with year-over-year rolling 3 month composite growth showing a +4.0% overall increase in fundraising revenues compared with a year earlier. In addition to this online fundraising returned the best expansion rates that we’ve seen since February of this year with growth coming in at +12.7% following four consecutive months of more modest increases each sitting at less than 10 percent.

All of which means we’ve now seen twenty-four consecutive months of fundraising growth above 3% (year over year) and 2014 has brought the type of consistent results that make planning for the future substantially easier when you’ve got a much better idea of what to expect. That’s reinforced by the fact that with the inclusion of August data overall growth has now been firmly locked within the range of 3.5% to 5.0% since December 2013, nine consecutive months of healthy and reliable improvement.

Today I wanted to project what this may mean for the rest of 2014 as the reporting now heads into the final four months of the year (although September has ended, Blackbaud compiles and releases the data about one month after the conclusion of the previous month). The encouraging news is that traditionally the final quarter sees the most successful fundraising months of the calendar year but bear in mind that we’re reviewing year over year data which means that the bar is automatically set higher; a very good November/December this year is therefore being compared with the same strong months from the year previous, with that in mind I’m still expecting an already encouraging year to improve.


The chart above looks at the monthly trends seen via Blackbaud during the previous two years which helps us to ascertain what is likely over the next few months. It should be noted that while both years were marked by positive growth the month to month changes were far more erratic than we’ve experienced this year although the trendline is quite similar to 2013 (the red line). I’ve also included the entire year along with a projected range of results for the rest of 2014.

As you’ll see both years saw strong results for the 4th quarter with 2012 being more pronounced than last year but even so both years had most of their best monthly results year-over-year during this time period. This suggests that 2014 will bring an equally positive result for year over year growth with a realistic range of 4% to 7% increases to be seen over the coming months. If growth could reach 5.5% for November and December it would represent the strongest year end increases since 2010 when the report began.

All in all it’s been a very encouraging year of consolidation and growth so far and there’s every reason to expect that the best results are still to come.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraising, outbound telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery fundraising services, donation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all our business decisions and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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