Just in time for the end of the year fundraising, Blackbaud has released its latest Blackbaud Institute Index, looking at nonprofit donations for the latest quarter (July-September, 2021). It is a good measuring stick for the health of the sector and a simple way to benchmark your own organization.
The headline numbers are that charitable giving for the last 12 months was up 8.3% and was up 6.3% comparing Q3 2020 with Q3 2021. I would argue that the overall growth is the important one because the ups and downs of COVID outbreaks makes it hard to compare quarters.
If you peel back the layers of the report, a couple of really interesting things pop out.
Takeaway #1: Online fundraising grew by 17.1% during the year. The string of double digit increases in online giving has been going on for several years. Last year 13% of all donations were made online and increasingly, they are made on mobile devices. Changes are that is a change that is here to stay, even as we venture out for face-to-face fundraising meetings and events.
Takeaway #2: Large nonprofits have done better at increasing revenue during the pandemic than smaller ones, although smaller organizations had a better third quarter.
Diving a little deeper, the index shows that nonprofits focusing on the arts or the environment are making a comeback. Not surprising for arts organizations, since so many were shuttered or struggling with virtual programs last summer. At the other side, organizations in the public and society benefit area lagged in fundraising and human services organizations actually saw a quarterly decrease in funds. This raises the question: Is the outpouring of support for food banks and other services that we saw early in the pandemic slowing down?
One last point about online giving - Environmental organizations saw a nearly 26% increase in online giving for the 12-month period. Clearly that is one key to their increased revenue.