We are wrapping up the third quarter of 2023 and it has been a tough year for most nonprofits.
How tough? Take the Sierra Club, for example. The 130-year-old nonprofit institution has gone through a year of turmoil, all of which has added up to a roughly $30 million deficit.
Most nonprofits face more modest problems, but they still face problems. A new survey from QGIV looks at those challenges. It is worth reading the whole study, but here are four charts that capture where we are as we enter fundraising season:
Revenue Is Down When asked about fundraising trends, 44% of the respondents said they had seen a decrease. Most of those people said the decrease was slight, but that doesn't factor in inflation.
Event Results Are Disappointing More than half of the survey respondents said events did not perform as well in the last year as they have in the past. Direct mail was also a problem.
Donors Are Pulling Back Nearly half the donors in the survey say they have reduced their gifts or stopped giving altogether. This probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt, because the nonprofits themselves reported much smaller reductions. However, it does give you a sense that it has gotten much tougher to get that first gift from a new donor.
The Current Environment is Taking A Toll On Fundraisers Nearly half of the fundraisers who were surveyed said they expect to stay in the nonprofit field for the long-term. However, 56% said they are overwhelmed and 24% of them said they are working more than 45 hours a week. QGIV asked the ones who are thinking about switching professions why. Here are their reasons:
One reason that last graphic is so alarming is that fundraisers are, as a breed, so optimistic. Of course, that optimism is also what has saved nonprofits time and time again - the people who have devoted their life to a cause always seem to weather the storm and find those little traces of sunshine.