Takeaways from Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report
These small guys blew away the large nonprofits who only grew 0.3 percent!
Five key observations from the 2012 Charitable Giving Report:
- Overall giving grew less than 2 percent. A down economy continues to challenge fundraising efforts for all size organizations.
- Online giving grew 11 percent in 2012, particularly in the area of disaster recovery. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest.
- Online fundraising accounted for 7 percent of all donations in 2012, which was up from 2011. Online fundraising is still a small slice of the pie for most nonprofits.
- Small nonprofits grew the most for overall giving (7.3 percent), but medium organizations grew the most for online giving.
- Giving was flat throughout 2012, but spiked around Hurricane Sandy.
Key observations by sector
- Giving to religious organizations grew by 6.1 percent and this helped to lift overall giving as this sector receives the largest share of charitable dollars in the United States.
- Education institutions also had a positive year with 1.9 percent growth in fundraising compared to 2011. These two sectors combine for 45 percent of charitable giving in the US.
- Arts and culture, as well as environment and animal welfare organizations, were the only other sectors to experience fundraising growth in 2012.
Best sectors in online fundraising
Education and public/society organizations grew their online fundraising the most in 2012 with an increase of more than 17 percent – the largest growth rate for the second consecutive year.
Three focus areas for 2013
If the trends over the past four years continue in 2013, charitable giving won’t grow significantly. This means focusing on donor retention and finding innovative ways to acquire new donors without wasting money is key.
Here’s a three-step action plan for success in 2013:
- Share accountability for fundraising results throughout the organization. Come up with creative ideas that give everyone an opportunity to take ownership for retaining donors in a way that feels natural, empowered, and uses each person’s unique talents.
- Leverage new fundraising technology. If your website sucks, start there. Then move on to developing smarter email marketing. Only then should you start thinking about that cool Facebook app.
- Create colossal content. Never forget that your “competition” is engaging your donors every day with emotionally compelling messages. At the same time, your donors are getting better at tuning out messages that are boring. This means you have to get better at grabbing and keeping your donor’s attention in innovative and remarkable ways.