Overall charitable giving rose 3% in the three-month period ending in February, compared with the same period last year, according to a report released Monday by Blackbaud Inc. Online giving decreased by 8.6% during this period.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving are updated on the 15th of each month, and are based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent changes in charitable giving.
The 3% rise in overall giving represents the seventh consecutive period of increased giving, according to Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud’s chief scientist and creator of the Blackbaud Index. “Though overall giving is still roughly 5% below prerecession levels, [this] indicates that we are well into a recovery in charitable giving,” Longfield said in a statement. “This result is especially noteworthy given the substantial giving to Haiti in the prior year period.”
The 3% increase in overall charitable revenue during the most recent three-month period was based on $2.2 billion in 12 months’ revenue from 1,430 nonprofit organizations, the statement said. The index found that three-month overall charitable revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased by 6.4% in February, while that for medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1–10 million) rose by 4.8%, and for large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million) by 1.1%.
Online revenue decreased by 8.6%for the three months ending in February, as compared to the same period in 2010. This trend was based on $427 million in 12 months’ online revenue from 1,837 organizations.
The index found that three-month online revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased by 18.8% in February, while online revenue at medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1 – 10 million) increased by 1.3%. At large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million), however, it fell by a whopping 27%.
Blackbaud provided some context for this finding. It said that during the first three months of 2010, the Online Giving Index reported substantial increases in giving, particularly to large nonprofits engaged in Haiti relief efforts. These online giving levels were compared against the same period in 2011, which helps explain the reported 8.6% decrease in online giving overall and the 27% decrease for large organizations.
It said that if online giving to international relief organizations is excluded from the calculation, the online index shows an increase of 2.6% for the three months ending in February, compared with the same period last year.
Specialty Index: Arts, Culture and Humanities
On Monday, Blackbaud also released a new specialty index focused on Index of Charitable Giving reports on arts, culture and humanities organizations. These experienced an overall charitable revenue decrease of 3.1% for the three months ending in February,