Reality check for US charities

publication date: Oct 20, 2011
As the fourth quarter of 2011 begins - typically the most important time of year for fundraising - a report out of the U.S. reminds us that new strategies will need to be in place to address the reality of the limping economy.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) reports that of 813 responding nonprofits surveyed in July:
  • 44 % reported increases in charitable contributions received through June, compared with the same period in 2010;
  • 25 % reported giving remained level; and
  • 30% reported charitable contributions have declined so far this year
These numbers are barely changed from the NRC 2010 year-end survey - results that indicate that nonprofit organizations continue to face a difficult fundraising climate. In the current survey, human services organizations fared best, but only 50% of those organizations reported increases in the first half of the year. There was also a significant difference based on size, with larger organizations (budgets of $3 million or greater) achieving greater fundraising success.

"To help donors focus on achievable results, many charities now are setting up short-term special campaigns," said Nancy Raybin, on behalf of Giving USA Foundation. "By setting discrete fundraising goals for specific activities, nonprofits find they can break through the uncertainty about the economy and help donors connect their gifts to community needs."

Download the full Nonprofit Research Collaborative report

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