Latest Blackbaud Index Report Shows Slight Rise in Overall Giving
Index also shows decrease in online donations;
Blackbaud debuts new specialty index focused on arts, culture and humanities organizations.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that overall charitable revenue increased 3% for the three months ending February 2011, as compared to the same period in 2010. This trend is based on $2.2 billion in 12 months’ revenue from 1,430 nonprofit organizations.
Blackbaud also released additional data and analysis that reports on organizations by size. The Index found that three-month overall charitable revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased by 6.4% in February, while overall charitable revenue at medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1 – 10 million) increased by 4.8%, and overall charitable revenue at large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million) increased by 1.1%.
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that online revenue decreased by 8.6% for the three months ending February 2011, as compared to the same period in 2010. This trend is based on $427 million in 12 months’ online revenue from 1,837 organizations.
The Index found that three-month online revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased by 18.8% in February, while online revenue at medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1 – 10 million) increased by 1.3%, and online revenue at large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million) decreased by 27%.
During the first three months of 2010, the Online Giving Index reported substantial increases in online giving particularly to large nonprofits engaged in Haiti relief efforts. Understanding that these online giving levels are compared against the same period in 2011 provides some context to the reported 8.6% decrease in online giving overall and the 27% decrease for large organizations. If online giving to international relief organizations is excluded, the online index shows an increase of 2.6% for the three months ending February 2011 as compared to the same period last year.
New: The Blackbaud Index – Arts, Culture and Humanities
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that arts, culture and humanities organizations had an overall charitable revenue decrease of 3.1% for the three months ending February 2011, as compared to the same period in 2010. This trend is based on $221 million in 12 month revenue from 163 organizations. The Index of Online Giving reports that these same organizations had an online revenue increase of 9% for the three months ending February 2011, as compared to the same period in 2010.
Dick McPherson, president McPherson Associates, a fundraising and communications consulting firm, provided commentary on the specialty index focusing on arts and cultural organizations. “Other nonprofit sectors, such as environmental and health and human services experience spikes in giving that do not occur with arts and cultural nonprofits,” explained McPherson. “In an economic downturn people still want to help human service organizations when disaster strikes, but they may put off giving to the arts.”
Donors’ relationships with arts organizations are personal, according to McPherson, while donors’ interactions with human service nonprofits are typically from a distance. He said arts organizations see giving increase, as well as attendance, when they employ out-of-the-box, online methods to forge an intimacy with their audience.
“Arts groups are using technology in the most interesting ways, but they don’t attract headline news coverage,” he continued. “An art museum in a small urban area said daily attendance increased from 5,000 per day to 40,000 once they started a digital gallery on their website. We’re finding that arts institutions that have aggressively embraced technology to enhance engagement are seeing increases in attendance and fundraising.”
Project-based giving is also becoming more prevalent among arts institutions, said McPherson. It enables donors to specify their gift for an individual project. “In a tough economy, people need extra incentives to give. An example of project-based giving would be a museum with an exhibit by young women artists may highlight that on their website to attract supporters specifically interested in the work of young women artists.”