Financial Planning > Charitable Giving

Nonprofit Fundraising Eked Out 2% Growth in 2012: Blackbaud

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Nonprofit fundraising overall continued its slow recovery in 2012, according to Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, released Monday.

Online fundraising, which makes up less than 10% of the overall figure, returned to significant growth rates last year, the report said.

The report drew from The Blackbaud Index, which tracks $8 billion in U.S.-based charitable giving on a monthly basis to provide analysis of overall and online giving trends in the nonprofit sector.

“Looking ahead, overall giving is not likely to increase significantly until there is sustained growth in new donors, nonprofits rebuild their multiyear donor base and overall donor retention improves,” Steve MacLaughlin, director of Blackbaud’s Idea Lab and the report’s co-author, said in a statement.

The report’s key findings include the following:

  • Overall giving grew approximately 2% in 2012
  • Online giving grew by about 11% last year compared with 2011
  • Online fundraising accounted for 7% of all giving in 2012, an increase from 2011
  • Small nonprofits had the greatest increase in overall fundraising in 2012, while medium-sized organizations led online
  • Giving throughout 2012 treaded water, then got a year-end boost from Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Nonprofit fundraising performance last year differed considerably based on the size and sector of the organization, according to Blackbaud.

Small nonprofits, with annual total fundraising less than $1 million, grew their fundraising 7.3% compared with 2011. Organizations with annual total fundraising between $1 million and $10 million had an increase of 2.7%. Fundraising by chairities with annual total fundraising more than $10 million was up by 0.3%.

Giving to faith-based organizations and education institutions grew by 6.1% and 1.9%, respectively, compared with 2011. These two sectors combined for 45% of charitable giving in the U.S.

Arts and culture, as well as environment and animal welfare organizations, were the only other sectors that experienced fundraising growth in 2012.

International affairs, health care and human services organizations struggled throughout 2012, suffering negative growth rates compared with 2011. Public and society organizations had a slight decrease in overall fundraising in 2012.

As for online fundraising, medium-sized nonprofits led the way with a year-over-year increase of 14.3%, followed by small nonprofits (up 11.8%) and large organizations (up 7.2%).

For the second consecutive year, education organizations enjoyed the largest online fundraising growth in 2012 with an increase of 17.9%.

Nonprofits in the public and society benefit sector grew 17.1%, and human services grew 15.7%. Several of these organizations also saw online giving increase in relation to Sandy relief efforts.