Drop in Giving Expected in 4th Quarter

After growing 7.7 percent in the first nine months of 2010, compared to the same period last year, overall contributions to charities and churches are expected to fall to $104.18 [billion] in the final three months of the year, down 1 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a new forecast.

The decline is expected because of consumer mindsets, persistently high unemployment, a slowdown in the economic recovery, and the anticipation of big increases in individual federal tax rates that will take effect Jan. 1, 2011, says Philanthromax in its inaugural The Atlas of Giving forecast.

“The timing of the decline is significant,” Rob Mitchell, CEO of Philanthromax, says in a statement. “For many charities, fourth-quarter income is the difference between a good and a bad year.”

The decline in giving will be greatest in November and December, when gift totals are expected to fall 3.1 percent, compared to the same period in 2009.

“The best thing nonprofits can do right now is to get fundraising appeals out early,” Mitchell says. “The later into the year they wait, the more negatively their results will be impacted.”

Reprinted with permission of Philanthropy Journal.