Report: Charitable Giving Remains Flat

January 5, 2015       Zach Halper      

As the year 2014 approached its end, charitable giving to nonprofits was nearly flat according to the latest numbers from the Blackbaud Index.

For the three months ending November 2014, the Index showed that overall charitable giving increased just 0.1 percent compared to the same period of 2013, with online giving increased 4.4 percent. This comes a month after it was reported that overall giving increased 1.9 percent (10.8 percent for online giving) year-over-year. The Index draws its data from 4,138 organizations that raised more than $13 billion during the previous 12 months.

“The trend in online giving shows a slower year-over-year growth,” said Steve MacLaughlin, director of product management at Blackbaud. “That’s because there was a significant increase in online giving during November 2013 towards Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, relief efforts.”

MacLaughlin added that it is important to note that past episodic events have an impact on future fundraising trends. For example, the 4.4 percent growth in online giving would be in addition to any disaster relief related growth from 2013.

Of the three sizes of organizations, small nonprofits (those with a fundraising revenue less than $1 million) saw the biggest increase in overall giving year-over-year at 4.9 percent. That category also had the biggest increase for online giving at 6.6 percent. Large nonprofits (fundraising revenue greater than $10 million), meanwhile, saw the only decrease in overall giving at -1.2 percent, though the category did have the second largest increase in online giving (4.1 percent).

MacLaughlin said that the main reason for the nearly flat level of growth was due to the drop in giving for large nonprofits and the 0 percent growth for medium-sized organizations (fundraising revenue between $1 million and $10 million).

Other sectors that saw drops in overall giving were:

  • Healthcare: -2.9 percent.
  • Higher Education: -0.2 percent.
  • Human Services: -2.6 percent.
  • International Affairs: -5.8 percent.

Of all of the sectors, Environment and Animal Welfare saw the biggest increase in overall giving (3.8 percent), while Higher Education had the largest spike in online giving (17.8 percent).

You can see the full Blackbaud Index by visiting