Nonprofit Fundraising in 2011 According to The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Part 1 | Miratel Solutions

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Nonprofit Fundraising in 2011 as per The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Part 1

I have recently written about nonprofit fundraising trends and related data from reports such as the latest Blackbaud Index on Charitable and Online Giving as well as the Millennial Donors Report 2011 (part 1 and 2). Reports such as these assist organizations in measuring and planning their future approach to optimize reach and giving opportunities. Another report which provides invaluable information is The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Summer/Early Fall 2011 survey report released in September 2011 by The Nonprofit Research Collaborative.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative is a group of seven organizations with vast experience in the nonprofit sector and in data collection.  The organizations that combine to form the group are Guidestar, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Blackbaud, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Foundation Center, Giving USA Foundation, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Quite an impressive bunch and each lend an important perspective which contributes to the consummate nature of this report.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Summer/Early Fall 2011 report provides findings in the state of nonprofit fundraising in the U.S for the period of January to June 2011. This data was collected via survey responses from 813 participating charities whose representatives were surveyed between July and August 2011. The report reflects data from all responses and also provides detailed analysis by size, region and sector.

Nonprofit fundraising changes January to June in 2011 with January to June in 2010

Nonprofit fundraising graphic courtesy of The Nonprofit Research Collaborative

The areas covered in the report are varied and break down many elements to provide greater insight that can benefit nonprofits of any size and from any sector. The survey captured responses to questions regarding:

  • the directions of change in giving in the first half of 2011;
  • fundraising methods used;
  • where organizations are investing more in fundraising
  • when (or if) the organizations track fundraising costs and all related expenses; and
  • special projects, capital, endowment, or comprehensive campaigns

Although charting nonprofit fundraising trends and patterns has always been important for charitable organizations, there is a greater need now more than ever. According to the report, charitable giving represents approximately 20% of a nonprofit’s yearly funding but can be as high as 90% for organizations that do not have other forms of funding like government grants, membership fees, or investment proceeds. This statistic combined with the current economic condition and outlook, the importance cannot be stressed enough.

“While the survey numbers may seem okay at first, the reality is that giving levels were much higher in 2007 before the recession. With many economists predicting a flat economy for several more years, charities face a very challenging environment in the near future, with fewer funds available while the demand for services and programs remains quite high. This is the new reality charities will have to address.” – Andrew Watt, FInstF, President and CEO – Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

According to Giving USA, over the past 50 years the four primary sources (and contribution levels) of nonprofit fundraising revenue has been: 75% is giving by living individuals; 14% is giving by foundations; 6% is giving by estates; and 5% is giving by corporations and corporate foundations.

The results in this report mirror some of the findings of the latest Blackbaud Index in that nonprofit fundraising for the first half of 2011 was very similar to results from 2010: 44% of charities reported an increase in funds raised, 25% saw no change and 30% experienced a decline. These survey results present a fairly different view when compared to a similar survey conducted by the AFP in 2007 where 65% reported growth and an increase in funds raised.

The 2011 report identified that the larger the size of the charity the greater likelihood that an increase would be experienced over 2010.  57% of larger charities with budgets of $3 million or more reported an increase in donations over 2010 compared to 44% of all participating charities surveyed. There was little variance based on geographical location, however there was some fluctuation based on sector, where organizations focused on human services saw a 50% increase in contribution which again, can be related back to the economic impact.

Organizations dealing with international affairs also saw an increase of 20%, which can be directly attributed to the devastation of natural disasters and famine being experienced and witnessed around the world.

There is much more to this valuable report which I will continue to review tomorrow in Part 2. I think it’s worth drilling deeper into the findings to see how they can assist the collective “us” navigate our way through the current nonprofit fundraising climate and beyond.

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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 and advancing the missions of the non-profits we proudly serve.

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3 Responses to Nonprofit Fundraising in 2011 as per The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Part 1

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