Index Shows Gains For Half Of Tracked Charities

Online giving among small organizations jumped more than 7 percent, for the three months ending in November, among more modest gains throughout the latest Blackbaud Index, released yesterday.

Organizations of all sizes generally saw modest gains in both overall and online giving, with one exception. The lone outlier was online giving among small organizations (less than $1 million), which saw online giving grow 7.1 percent.

Giving to nonprofits was up 1.5 percent overall for the three months ending in November, compared to the same time period in 2017. Online giving was up 3.5 percent for the same time period. That’s a slower pace than the 4.1 percent overall increase in each of the previous two index updates, and the online growth of 5 and 10 percent, respectively.

The Charleston, S.C.-based fundraising and financial technology firm tracks approximately $32 billion in U.S.-based charitable giving among its clients, both overall and online as well as by subsector and size of organization. The Blackbaud Index is updated on the first of each month and is based on a three-month rolling average of year-over-year percentage changes.

The Blackbaud Index does not track online giving for foundations.

Overall giving was up 2.1 percent for large organizations (more than $10 million), while small organizations were up 1 percent, and medium organizations ($1 million to $10 million) just behind at 0.8 percent. The reverse was true for online giving, where medium organizations reported 2.5 percent gains but large organizations were up only 0.8 percent.

International affairs experienced far and away the largest increase in the last quarter, up 13.3 percent overall, followed by arts and culture at 4.8 percent. They were among six of 11 subsectors tracked by the Blackbaud Index that experienced increases in overall giving for the three months ending in November, compared with the same time period in 2017:

  • +3.0 percent, environment and animal welfare;
  • +1.6 percent, public and society benefit;
  • +1.5 percent, medical research;
  • +0.9 percent, faith-based;
  • -0.6 percent, higher education;
  • -0.8 percent, human services;
  • -2.0 percent, K-12 education;
  • -2.6 percent, healthcare; and,
  • -3.6 percent, foundations.

Despite the largest bump in overall giving, international affairs was on the other end of online giving for the quarter, down 7.8 percent. Six of the 10 subsectors tracked for online giving saw an increase, including four of 5 percent or better:

  • +7.9 percent, healthcare;
  • +5.6 percent, faith-based;
  • +5.3 percent, K-12 education;
  • +5.0 percent, higher education;
  • +4.7 percent, arts and culture;
  • +2.9 percent, human services;
  • +1.0 percent, public and society benefit;
  • +0.9 percent, medical research;
  • -3.9 percent, environment and animal welfare; and,
  • -7.8 percent, international affairs.