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Outlook for Fundraising in 2012

Lori Halley 13 January 2012 0 comments

What’s in store for fundraising in the coming year? Here’s a round-up of recent research reports and predictions on the future of fundraising in 2012.

What’s does the research tell us?


Charitable giving is static – but Blackbaud’s Growing Philanthropy Report offers recommendations

Back in June, 2011 a group of 35 influential leaders from across the nonprofit industry took part in the Growing Philanthropy Summit. They gathered together to address the fact that charitable giving in the US remains static at “around two percent of average household disposable income.”  Sadly the statistics show that "Forty years of increasingly sophisticated fundraising practice, the development of planned giving vehicles, the appearance of the Internet, and the rise of new digital channels have done nothing to move the needle on giving.”


Key themes that emerged from the Summit include:


  • Enhancing the quality of donor relationships
  • Developing public trust and confidence in the sector
  • Identifying new audiences, channels, and forms of giving with strong potential for growth
  • Improving the quality of fundraising training and development

Out of the Summit came a number of recommendations which were released in November in the Growing Philanthropy in the United States report. Pamela Grow discussed some of the recommendations from the report in a post – New Report and the Future of Fundraising – and here are some of the recommendations that she highlighted:


  • Redefine relationships from donor relationships to individual relationships.
  • Re-orient toward longer term measures of fundraising performance.
  • Enhance focus on retention and building supporter loyalty
  • Encourage the adoption of monthly giving.
  • Educate board members about the intricacies of fundraising.


You can download the complete Growing Philanthropy In the United States report – here.

Charity fundraising results mainly flat for first half of 2011

The Foundation Center’s Nonprofit Research Collaborative Report (released in July 2011) “provides a six-month glimpse into giving in the first half of 2011” based on 813 responding charities. This research found that “fewer than half of surveyed nonprofits reported fundraising increases during the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.” It also finds that larger nonprofits report greater fundraising success than those with smaller budgets.


Key findings of this report included:


  • Forty-four percent reported increases in charitable contributions received through June, compared with the same period in 2010;
  • Twenty-five percent reported giving remained level;
  • Thirty percent reported charitable contributions have declined so far this year; and
  • One percent did not know.


You can download the Nonprofit Research Collaborative Summer/Early Fall 2011 report here.



But there is some good news: the nation’s wealthy increased giving even during economic slump

A Chronicle of Philanthropy post – Donations from the Rich to Charities Rose in 2011  – notes that while “few Americans are seeing relief from the nation’s economic slump, … the nation’s wealthy stepped up their multimillion dollar gifts in 2011. The biggest gifts announced by Americans totaled more than $2.6-billion, compared with $1.3-billion in 2010.” The article also noted that “The uptick in giving by millionaires and billionaires comes in a year marked by increased attention to the gap between rich and poor thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement.”


Fundraising Predictions & Trends:


Key Predictions and Trends for the Nonprofit Sector in 2012 -- from Convio

In early January, Convio (provider of "constituent engagement" systems) announced its key predictions and expected trends that they believe will have the biggest impact on the nonprofit sector in 2012. Here are the highlights of Convio’s predictions and trends – for all of the details, check out their post – here.


  • Online and New Media Channels Will Continue To Extend Their Influence
  • Peer-to-Peer Engagement Will Play An Expanded Role
  • Donor Fatigue Will Be More Pronounced
  • Supporters Want To Control Their Experience
  • Integrated Marketing Will Rise To New Heights

New eBook:  10 Resolutions for Online Fundraising and Marketing Success in 2012

Want some help in developing your own fundraising resolutions?  You might want to check out Network for Good’s latest eBook: 10 Resolutions for Online Fundraising and Marketing Success in 2012 which you can download here

Photo credit: The Library of Congress’ Flickr Photostream 

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 13 January 2012 at 10:00 AM
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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