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Jocelyn Harmon 5 min read

Spring Ahead, Fundraising Look Back

I can't believe it's almost March.  We actually had a taste of spring last Friday when the temperature in DC rose to 73 degrees!  While I'm definitely looking ahead to longer days, azaleas, and tulips, from a fundraising perspective, I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened last fall. Luckily, Blackbaud issued the 2010 Online Giving Report last week.  You can download your FREE copy here.  The report includes online giving data from over 1,400 nonprofits.  These organizations represent $5.1 billion in total fundraising.


Here are some key findings of the report.

  • Online giving grew 34.5% in 2010.
  • 7.6% of total fundraising now comes from online giving.
  • 88% of nonprofits had at least one online gift of $1,000 or more.
  • 31.3% of all online giving takes place in October, November and December.
  • Haiti-related giving had a big impact on online giving trends.

What this means for your nonprofit

  • While online fundraising is still a drop in the bucket compared to snail mail, it grows exponentially each year. Also, online giving increases vary by size of nonprofit.  For example, according to the report, "large nonprofits, with annual total fundraising greater than $10 million, grew their online fundraising 55.6% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Year-end is no joke for nonprofits. I'm always dismayed by and disappointed in groups that don't take year-end fundraising seriously.  Build your list NOW and get an editorial calendar in place so that you'll be ready to raise more money this fall.
  • While you can't and wouldn't want to predict the next disaster, you should have a disaster fundraising plan in place.  This means, discussing how you will respond and who will be in charge when the #$%* hits the fan.  Also, enlarge your definition of the term - disaster.  It means more than an environmental meltdown.  "Disasters" are times when your issue is top of mind.  For example, the pro-choice community is clearly facing a DISASTER now as the GOP pursues its' anti-woman agenda.  Capitalize on the news cycle and use it to rally your base, reach new supporters and raise more money!

How did your fundraising efforts fare last year?  Did you fall flat or spring ahead?