Overall Charitable Giving Increased Leading Up To November

Nonprofits had a pre-holiday increase in charitable giving during the three months ending in November 2013, though the increase in online giving was slightly less than the same period a year ago.

According to the latest numbers from the Blackbaud Charitable Index by software firm Blackbaud in Charleston, S.C., overall charitable giving was up 4.6 percent compared to the same period last year; online giving increased 9.4 percent.

While the increase in the rate of overall giving was slightly greater in 2013 than in 2012 (4.1 percent), online giving was significantly less than in the previous period (22.8 percent). Melanie Mathos, a Blackbaud spokeswoman, said that the huge increase in 2012 can be attributed to the outpouring of philanthropic support that occurred in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

“We’ve been seeing great growth throughout the year,” said Mathos. “There’s a few factors that play into this: The recovering economy, people are more comfortable giving online, and nonprofits are getting savvier about online fundraising.”

Small organizations (those with less than $1 million in total revenue) had the biggest increase in the three-month period, a 15.4 percent surge when compared to the previous year. Overall giving for these types of nonprofits were at 3.4 percent, however. Large organizations (more than $10 million in revenue) had the smallest difference between overall giving and online giving, 6.7 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.

Medium-sized nonprofits (between $1 and $10 million in revenue) had the smallest increase in overall giving – 0.6 percent – but a 6.6 percent increase in online giving. Steve MacLaughlin, director at Blackbaud, said this is likely because mid-sized organizations have been investing in online and it’s starting to pay off more for them.

The Blackbaud Index tracks more than $12 billion in giving to U.S.-based charitable. It is updated on the first of each month (or the next business day) and is based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent change. The Index for the entirety of 2013 will be released in February.

You can view the Index in its entirety at https://www.blackbaud.com/nonprofit-resources/blackbaud-index