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Charitable Giving – Looking Back at 2012 To Plan for 2013

Lori Halley 04 January 2013 0 comments

The new year has begun. And as non-profits and charities forecast for 2013, we thought it would be helpful to look back at 2012 - was it a good year for charitable giving? To find out, we checked out three sources of information, opinions and even infographics. 

Are We Approaching a Fundraising Fiscal Cliff?  

In December Steve MacLaughlin of Blackbaud published a number of guest posts (on the Event 360 blog, on Beth Kanter’s blog and recently on the NTEN blog) that looked at the state of charitable giving and the "challenges that fundraising is facing in the United States." 

In the posts, MacLaughlin asks:

What explains the flat trend in overall fundraising? Is it the economy? Was it the election cycle? What about Hurricane Sandy? Are we approaching the fundraising cliff? Will it get better? When will it get better? Did the Mayans predict this?  

MacLaughlin (Director of the Idea Lab at Blackbaud) notes that “the data shows a troubling trend in the nonprofit sector: Donor populations have been shrinking for the past five years and revenue per donor has been flat."

Is the "flat" trend leveling out?

But while MacLaughlin notes that fundraising numbers have been quite flat, he also offers good news: “in the first half of 2012, new donor numbers are on the rise with almost every sector experiencing some degree of growth. For most sectors this growth appears to indicate a leveling-out and it’s possible that we have reached a bottom."

Overall giving improving towards the end of 2012? 

In the post, MacLaughlin notes that "The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving has shown an overall negative trend in year-over-year giving since August 2012. Both large and medium sized nonprofits have been in the red, but smaller organizations have remained positive.” However, their latest report, for Nov. 2012, noted that “overall giving increased by 1.7 percent for the 3 months ending November 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.”

Is online giving doing even better?

Looking at the Blackbaud Index of Online Giving, it appears that there is more good news: "online giving increased by 13.3 percent for the 3 months ending November 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.”  

For more detailed data, you can sign up for Monthly Alerts or download the latest Blackbaud report here: https://www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex

Non-profit “Data Extravaganza!” 

In another post in December - Data extravaganza! Check out the newest online giving indices - Katya Andresen (Katya’s Non-profit Marketing Blog) offers some data that sounds even more promising.  Andresen reports that Online giving is significantly up this year. That applies to all organizations, but especially small- to medium-sized ones.”

According to Network for Good’s “Donation Dollar ($) Index Q3 2012 vs. Q3 2011:

  • Overall Giving is up 12%”
  • Charity Websites (Generic) are up 1%
  • Charity Websites (Branded) are up 17%
  • Portal Giving is down 12%
  • Social Giving is up 1%

Sources of data:

In the post, Katya outlines three indices that non-profits can use to “benchmark, plan and project your own fundraising efforts” this year: 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: ... Network for Good have partnered with the Chronicle of Philanthropy, PayPal and Blackbaud to create the first-ever national online giving index.
  • DECEMBER GIVING: Network for Good is sharing our holiday giving data with the Chronicle to create a near real-time index of December donations. You can check out day by day and hour by hour trends.
  • GIVING ACROSS ONLINE PLATFORMS: Network for Good just released our own regular Q3 index on giving through our platform.  

What about social giving?

According to MDG Advertising’s infographic“It was a very good year for social giving.” 

The infographic notes that “[raising] money for good causes through social media has more than doubled in the last 5 years.” They also indicate that “the average donation through social media increases each year” noting it was $38 in 2010 and $59 in 2012.

Reasons for social giving success 

In looking at what's required for social giving success, the infographic cites three reasons noted in the 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report:

    1. Coming up with a detailed social media strategy
    2. Having executive management make social media a priority
    3. Dedicating a current or new position specifically for social media 

To check out all of the data and insight on social giving - you can view the entire infographic below. 

What's in store for 2013?

So it appears that, in general, 2012 saw increases in overall giving, even though “the unsettled economy and election season [dampened] fundraising.” Let's hope that 2013 is the year that charitable giving averts the "fiscal cliff", levels out and climbs high!

2012: It Was a Very Good Year for Social Giving [Infographic by MDG Advertising]
by MDG Advertising

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

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 04 January 2013 at 9:15 AM
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