Nonprofits are taking the growth in giving as a sign of stronger and more consistent contributions in the future. Many experts believe, however, that overall fundraising totals will not regain full strength again until new methodologies are applied to the attraction and retention of donors across the country by nonprofit organizations. Thus, more nonprofits are partnering with online specialists to take care of the ecommerce technology needed to collect digital donations. The price of working with the third party providers is typically outweighed by the increase in donor
activity and contributions, Wired explained.
"Looking ahead, overall giving is not likely to increase significantly until there is sustained growth in new donors, nonprofits rebuild their multiyear donor base and overall donor retention improves," said Steve MacLaughlin, director of Blackbaud's Idea Lab and author of the Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report.
Breakdown of the report's findings
The Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report analyzes nonprofit donation trends to pinpoint what methods of fundraising are popular among U.S. consumers. The most recent report extracted from the Blackbaud Index revealed nonprofit fundraising experienced 2 percent growth in 2012 from 2011, while the online giving portion of that activity jumped 11 percent year-over-year. Online donations make up just a small percentage of the total nonprofit fundraising across the country, but that figure is set to increase in the future. The report found:
- Online donations accounted for 7 percent of all giving in 2012
Small nonprofits with an annual fundraising of less than $1 million reported the strongest increase in overall fundraising, jumping 7.3 percent year-over-year
- Nonprofits raising an annual $1 million to $10 million increased donations by 2.7 percent from 2011
Charities totaling more than $10 million in annual donations reported a 0.3 percent growth in donations year-over-year
- Medium nonprofits led the industry in online donations with a 14.3 percent increase from 2012 to 201; small organizations grew 11.8 percent and large charities jumped 7.2 percent
Education nonprofits reported the largest online fundraising growth in 2012 for the second straight year with an increase of 17.9 percent
- Giving to nonprofits in the public and society benefit sector increased 17.1 percent, and human services donations jumped 15.7 percent - both of which saw online giving grow in relation to superstorm Sandy relief efforts and other similar events
Nonprofit donations in 2012 marked significant gains over reports in 2011, indicating a rebound in charitable donations. The growing popularity of online donations also demonstrates the value of modernizing fundraising efforts to attract more donors.