The Latest Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving | Miratel Solutions

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The Latest Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving

Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving

Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving image courtesy of

We frequently write about the Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving and recently featured the findings from the previous index. We also spotlighted this neat Social Giving infographic released by them (in case you missed it).  The Blackbaud index is an excellent source of information for charities to keep abreast of the latest donor trends and behaviours.  Many factors can determine the strength or weakness of donor support during each quarter, including and not limited to: the state of the economy, natural disasters and market fluctuations. Ultimately, it’s imperative that all charities are aware of the climate and how to make adjustments to their fundraising and marketing plans.

Representing over 1,383 organizations that generate $2.3 billion in fundraising revenue in a 12 month period, the Blackbaud Index looks at the overall picture of the charitable and online giving landscape and assesses the information provided by the participating charities. The participating organizations are broken down by size (small, medium and large) and sector (international affairs, education, environment & animals, healthcare, human services, public and society benefit and religion).

Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving

Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving image courtesy of

In the latest report covering May to July 2011, overall charitable giving rose 10.8%, while online giving rose 6.6% compared to the same timeframe in 2010.  Chief Scientist  and creator of the Blackbaud index Chuck Longfield, noted several positive highlights in this report, most notably that for ten consecutive months there has been a steady increase in charities of all sizes small and large.  The largest gains were made by smaller charities, with an increase of 17.6%, compared to 10.3% growth in medium sized organizations and 9.8% for larger nonprofits. The recently introduced international affairs sector shows an increase of 13%, which is quite significant considering the increase comes a full year after the rise in fundraising efforts for Haiti’s earthquake relief.  Online giving in this same sector was down slightly by 0.30%.

Charities that support international affairs have to create on-going connections with its donor base through stronger messaging of their values, missions and stories for supporters to identify with beyond episodic disasters. A great example of nonprofits in this category that have overcome this challenge includes CARE, Doctors Without Borders and Plan International. These organizations have been able to transform their programs from fundraising for specific disaster events to fundraising for an overall cause that the supporter can relate to.

There have been smaller but steady gains in online giving, as more and more charities are turning to online giving platforms to engage supporters and raise more funds.  We have written extensively about these various platforms such as FirstGiving, Jumo, CovergeUS, Razoo, Crowd Rise, Give2gether, Kickstarter, Kiva City, Givmo, Broadcause, Startsomegood and Donorschoose

Although the first half of 2011 has been one of the strongest in recent years, the forecast for the remainder of the year is not as optimistic due to a drop in consumer confidence which may leave donors more focused on domestic rather than foreign issues. To combat this, the report offers a few points:

  • Stick to the core fundamentals of your organization
  • Identify and know your donor
  • Focus on retaining existing and lapsed donors
  • Tell stories to engage existing and new donors
  • Engage donors with a strong brand association for the organization
  • Diversify marketing initiatives and donating channels, by combining the use of online platforms with other traditional giving channels, without the exclusive use of one over the other
  • Integrated marketing and effective use of social media focusing primarily on engagement and fundraising
  • Transparency and accountability, show what is being done with the funds being raised

It’s important for nonprofits to be ready and plan their telephone and online giving campaigns in advance to ensure they capitalize on the momentum of a strong first half, while ensuring focus is never lost on its core fundamentals.  We encourage you to read the full Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving.

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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 The Latest Blackbaud Index of Charitable and Online Giving

  1. Pingback: » Millennial Donors Report Reflects Nonprofit Fundraising and other Trends Part 1

  2. Pingback: » Millennial Donors Report Reflects Nonprofit Fundraising and other Trends Part 2

  3. Pingback: » Nonprofit Fundraising in 2011 as per The Nonprofit Research Collaborative Part 2

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