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Fundraising Survey Shows Little Change
from End of 2010

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (GuideStar is a member of the Collaborative) has released the results of its July 2011 nonprofit fundraising survey. Among the key findings:

Change in fundraising levels, Jan-June 2011 vs. Jan-June 2010Changes in charitable gifts received in the first half of 2011 were similar to all of 2010.

  • Charities with budgets of $3 million or more were more likely to report an increase.
  • Region had little impact on the results.
  • Results varied somewhat by subsector. Some 50 percent of human services organizations reported an increase, whereas only 20 percent of international organizations said fundraising totals had increased.

"This report is an exceptionally helpful guidepost for non-profit organizations. It helps us understand how our most recent fundraising experience compares to the experiences of our peers. As a result, we will be more informed and able to make data-driven decisions about future fundraising directions and initiatives."

Hagar Berlin, Executive Director
Summer Search San Francisco

Fundraising methods used during the first half of 2011Most of the charities that participated in the survey used a wide range of fundraising methods.

  • Some 90 percent sought to raise funds from corporations and foundations.
  • Just over 80 percent used the methods of asking board members, seeking major gifts, special events, and direct mail.
  • Just over 60 percent used Internet fundraising and e-mail.
  • About 45 percent used social media and planned giving.

"There is lots of buzz about social media, but the data show that donors give in response to many types of fundraising, including direct mail and even in-person requests. Organizations should focus first on the fundraising program that they can staff and sustain, as without investment in fundraising there is not likely to be fundraising success."

Janice Gow Pettey, CFRE
Chair—AFP Research Council

Charities' investment in specific fundraising methods during the first half of 2011Investment in fundraising yielded greater revenue by nearly all methods studied.

  • Two-thirds of charities that invested in events saw an increase in event revenue in the first six months of 2011.
  • Some 60 percent of charities that increased their investment in e-mail and use of the Internet saw increased giving through the method in early 2011. Only 30 percent or so of responding charities had increased investment in those two methods during the first half of 2011.
  • Some 54 percent of charities investing in direct mail or major gifts reported increased revenue from those methods between January and June 2011.

"We had an uptick this year in our signature event. We saw some incredible generosity on the part of individuals. Because we invested in online strategies, we reached new donors. Our results are right in sync with the findings: People will give when they find the case for support compelling. Further, organizations must invest in staffing and resources to raise funds."

Carmel Owen, Vice President for Development
New York Women's Foundation

"As we implement our fundraising plans, this report will help us make better choices about where to focus our efforts. It is nearly impossible for a relatively small organization to do everything; this analysis gives us guidance as we craft a program for our work."

Sally Herrholz, Executive Director
Safe Sitter, Inc.

Download your free copy of the report to learn more.