Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nonprofit Research Collaborative Study Sparks Hope for Fundraising in 2014

At the AFP Conference this week, the big talk for fundraisers was about the good fundraising news in 2013 and outlook for 2014.  It is based on the definitive annual study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative taken during February 2014.  More than 500 nonprofits participated in the survey.  here are the factual results with analytical remarks about what it all means.

You can see the whole report here.

The bottom line for many fundraisers was this good news:  2013 was the strongest year since the recession started and 70% of respondents expect additional gains in 2014.  But the devil is always in the details so let’s take a look at what else we should listen to about what was learned in this report.

First of all, over 70% of medium and large organizations reported gains in 2013 but only 52% of small organizations did.  While 70% of environment  and 68% of education organizations reported increases in 2013 only  52% of arts and religion and 60% of human services organizations reported increases reported increases.  Beyond the overall numbers there are always the haves and have nots.

When asked “What most positively affected your organization’s fundraising in 2013 there was a wide range of answers.  The categories above 10% included: 
  • asking/stewardship/cultivation 
  • mission/program/telling our story 
  • media/news/online   
The study supports the key advice that nonprofits have heard over the last few years as this is what the experts have been saying they should concentrate on.
The categories that 10% or less of respondents attributed to having the most positive affect included staffing, overall economy, having a plan, foundation or corporate giving,  campaign success, event/gala/anniversary, strong leadership and bequests/pledge payments/memorials.  

Interesting results.


Direct mail, foundations and corporations continue to be important to most nonprofits for fundraising but the trend cannot be overlooked.  Although still small, the growth rate in online giving is consistently more than 10% than giving by direct mail, foundations or corporations. 

Nonprofits need to think more deliberately about what they are spending their limited resources on or they will find them themselves too late to the party just like what has happened to the newspaper industry.

1 comment:

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