New study shows 2013 was healthiest year for nonprofit fundraising growth in six years | Miratel Solutions

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New study shows 2013 was healthiest year for nonprofit fundraising growth in six years

A new study just released by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative reveals that 2013 showed the most encouraging growth in nonprofit fundraising results among those surveyed since a pre-recession 2007. The study asked a series of questions to more than 500 charitable organizations, including large and small nonprofits from every sub-sector, from Arts, Culture & Humanities to Religion. Respondents were located in the United States and Canada.

nonprofit-fundraising-np-research-img1It’s perhaps the most promising data seen so far this year from a survey that took place at the beginning of 2014. Nonprofits that showed an increase of receipts accounted for a remarkable 62% of those surveyed which was up from 58% last year and by way of contrast only 43% back in 2010. The nonprofit industry is apparently far healthier than it has been in years. Add to that the remarkable figure that 67% of those surveyed saying that they reached their fundraising goals in 2013. In addition to the 62% that showed increases 16% stated that fundraising results were ‘about the same’ meaning that a diminishing 22% saw a decrease of any sort. The rate of increase and decrease is illustrated on the first graphic to the right.

Across the different fundraising sectors the 60% growth plateau was achieved by 6 out of 8 sub-sectors with only Arts (52%) and Religion (52%) falling below that level. Interestingly and in keeping with other reports that we’ve reviewed here on the blog the larger nonprofits had the most success on aggregate, quite dramatically so according to the report. For nonprofits with receipts of between $1m and $3 and also those above $10m increased fundraising rates were at a very robust 71%. Whether this in keeping with previous years would be very rewarding to find out, but the current trend definitely portrays an environment where the larger nonprofits are more fully ‘finding their feet’ following some years of slower growth. It may also represent that from these surveys many of the larger nonprofits were also in the sectors that are experiencing the most sustained growth, in this case Environment, Education, International and Public/Society.


Achieving their fundraising goals is obviously a vital component for all nonprofits, making these targets allows them to meet the goals of the organization in delivering services and support to those in need, reaching these goals also provides a platform for the important benefits of allowing charities to maintain staffing levels, event diversity and promote fundraising activities. The 67% result from 2013 is a notable increase from 52%, 59% and 63% over the previous three years. Wouldn’t it be magnificent to see that exceed 70% in 2014? In keeping with the aforementioned trend in overall growth, the smaller nonprofits were also less likely to reach their goals with rates as low as 48% for nonprofits with receipts of less than $250,000.


The chart directly above shows that the healthiest growth was seen in the data reported for major gifts, email requests, special events and “other online ”. Each saw increases of donated amounts of at least 62% among those who responded. At the other end of the spectrum you’ll note the slightly smaller increases via the methods of social media, requests via mail and foundation grants yet each of these still saw increases of at least 50%. Take a look at the percentage in pink on the chart also (decreased amounts), the two pieces of data that really stand out are that donations increased or stayed the same for 94% of ‘other online’ methods and 95% of social media methods, figures that far exceed all other methods with the exception of email requests which stands at 95% also.

This clearly demonstrates the ongoing successful migration to digital/online fundraising whether that be via increased commitment to online giving via websites, improved social media strategies or websites that are doing a much better job of appealing to the donor base. As I continue to insist in my writing, the online arena provides the perfect forum to drive donor engagement and education and can take great strides in closing the information gap whether real or perceived for donors who repeatedly and understandably ask to know how their donations are being used. Social media management and ongoing website improvements can affordably cultivate an environment where engagement and communication become the pivot for donors who may otherwise sometimes feel disconnected to the activities of a charity.

The Nonprofit Fundraising Study is both a fascinating and encouraging read and is laden with so much data that I’ll bring you part two of the findings in a follow-up post. I’d be fascinated to know if your 2013 nonprofit fundraising results were in keeping with many of those articulated within the report.


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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

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One Response to New study shows 2013 was healthiest year for nonprofit fundraising growth in six years

  1. Pingback: Study shows that nonprofit fundraising is growing and is set to continue | Miratel Solutions

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