Nonprofit Davids might have plunked the sector’s Goliaths. Small organizations experienced have fundraising growth while the big boys are losing ground.
Fundraising grew both overall and online during May, June and July as compared to the same period last year, according to Charleston, S.C. software company Blackbaud. The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving for July 2012 showed a gain of 0.2 percent, while the July Index of Online Giving posted increase of 5.3 percent.
Small organizations, those with revenue less than $1 million, led growth with a 7.1 percent gain overall and 14.6 percent online. Giving to medium organizations, defined as having revenue between $1 million and $10 million, increased 1.4 percent overall. Online giving increased 9.6. Large organizations with more than $10 million in revenue saw a decline in fundraising of 2.2 percent overall and 1.7 percent online.
These numbers represent the lowest year-over-year gain for 2012 so far. Last month’s index (June 2012) showed that overall giving increased 2.9 percent compared to April, May and June of 2011, and the online giving index had a jump of 10.3 percent compared the same period.
The indices average giving in a three-month period, compare it to the same period of the prior year and report the change. Numbers for the Index of Charitable Giving come from about 2,800 organizations and $8 billion in yearly giving, while the Index of Online Giving represents almost 2,200 organizations and $445 million yearly.
Growth was strong in 2011. The July 2011 charitable giving index showed a 10.4 percent gain over May, June and July of 2010, and the online giving index was even more pronounced last year, with an 18.3 percent year-over-year change.
“This year things are growing just a little bit,” said Blackbaud Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist Chuck Longfield. “We had a ways to recover after the recession hit and we made up a lot of that loss (in 2011), but it’s not growing much in 2012.”
August and September 2011 represented the best growth of the past 12 months in overall giving, with gains of 13.9 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. For online giving, the two strongest months were October 2011, with 20.5 percent year-over-year growth, followed by September 2011 at 19.5 percent growth. Before this month, both indices were at their 12-month lowest in May 2012 with increases of 1.8 percent overall and 9 percent for online giving.
Blackbaud releases the indices on the first business day of each month. Longfield said that statistics continue to trickle in after the indices are published, so they sometimes change slightly after publication. The metrics are available on Blackbaud’s website, and users can also subscribe to email or text updates.