Charitable giving in the United States decreased 3.4 percent for the three months ending August 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011. Giving growth has been limited to single digits throughout 2012, with a slightly downward trend, but this is the first time since March 2011 that giving has been negative.
The drop was pinned to the spike in disaster giving related to Haiti relief work during the same period in 2010. Setting aside the slight negative (-0.8 percent) in March 2011, the last time the Index dropped into negative territory was in July 2010.
The statistics are from the The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving, a broad-based fundraising index, reports overall giving trends on a monthly basis of 2,878 U.S.-based nonprofit organizations representing $8 billion in yearly giving.
Giving online increased for the comparative year-over-year period. The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving, comprised of actual revenue data from 1,978 nonprofits representing $406 million in yearly online giving, reported that online giving increased 2.4 percent for the three months ending August 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.
High levels of giving to International Relief organizations in 2011 in response to a record number of natural disasters impacted the Index of Online Giving. Excluding International Relief organizations, online giving was up 7 percent for the three months ending August 2012.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving are updated on the first of each month (or the next business day) and are based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent changes in U.S.-based charitable giving. For more information, go to www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex.