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2010 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey

March 31, 2011

Partly cloudy, with gradually brightening skies.

That's the fundraising "forecast" for U.S. charities in 2011, according to a year-end survey by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a coalition of six fundraising and philanthropic organizations (Association of Fundraising Professionals, Blackbaud Inc., Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University, Foundation Center, GuideStar USA, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics). 

According to the study, which asked about two key measures of fundraising -- the percentage of organizations that reached their fundraising goals and the percentage that raised more funds last year than in the previous year -- just 52 percent of the 1,845 charitable organizations that took the February survey reported reaching their fundraising goals in 2010.

Other Key Findings:

  • More organizations saw growth (43 percent) in their fundraising revenues in 2010 than declines (33 percent).
  • Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents saw contributions increase or stay about the same (24 percent), up from 54 percent in 2009.
  • Internet/online giving rose at 58 percent of the organizations with an online giving channel.
  • Major gifts/event revenue rose at half the organizations with a major gifts/events channel.
  • Half the respondents (50 percent) said they received more than 25 percent of their contributions in the last quarter of the year.
  • Most organizations held their investment in fundraising steady in 2010. Those that increased their spending, staffing, or volunteer engagement were more likely to see an increase in funds raised.
  • Most charities expect giving in 2011 to increase and plan to hold staffing and expenditures for fundraising at 2010 levels.

"While many organizations stopped the bleeding [in 2010], giving simply didn't rebound like we thought it might, especially given the economic growth we saw in the last quarter of the year," said AFP president and CEO Paulette V. Maehara. "Despite the unexpectedly flat fundraising results that charities reported, the survey showed that success was more likely when organizations invested resources in fundraising staff and infrastructure, including volunteer engagement."

To download the 2010 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey (48 pages, PDF), click here.

How's the fundraising weather in your neck of the woods? Are things getting brighter? Do you see storm clouds on the horizon? Or is it too early to tell how 2011 is going to turn out? 

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Posted by Verna Derosier  |   May 13, 2011 at 02:07 PM

Great article! The survey is very informative. It's a good that the growth of non-profit organizations is steadily on the rise. This also proves that the internet is also a great philanthropic tool. There are documented cases in which organizations raised a lot of money just from their websites. It seems that even in this hard times, people are still willing to help the less fortunate.

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