CHARLESTON, S.C. – Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) today announced the release of a report focused on fundraising trends based on monthly findings from The Blackbaud Index and featuring commentary from Dave Strauss, president and chief executive officer of SCA Direct. Additionally, Blackbaud announced the release of a new specialty index focused on environmental and animal welfare organizations.
“With the elections behind us, and the economy and markets improving, fundraising results have started to stabilize,” said Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud’s chief scientist and creator of The Blackbaud Index. “The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving has shown positive growth for four consecutive months, however, the U.S. is still a long way from putting its economic house in order. I expect 2011 to continue the trend of the past 4 months with slow but steady improvement across most industries and organizations.”
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving are updated on the 15th of each month and are based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent changes in charitable giving. They represent the most comprehensive and timely sources of charitable giving available. (More on the methodology is available at www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex.)
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that overall giving remained relatively flat with a small increase of .3% for the three months ending November 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009. This trend is based on $2.2 billion in 12 months’ charitable revenue from 1,468 nonprofit organizations.
Blackbaud also releases additional data and analysis that reports on organizations by size. The Index found that three-month overall giving for small organizations (prior year revenue of $10 million) decreased 0.3%.
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that online giving increased by 8.7% for the three months ending November 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009. This was the first time in 2010 that online giving dropped below double digit percentage growth. This trend is based on $421 million in 12 months’ online charitable revenue from 1,679 organizations.
The Index found that three-month online giving for small organizations (prior year revenue of $10 million) increased 8.3%.
The Blackbaud Index – Environmental and Animal Welfare
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that environmental and animal welfare organizations had an overall giving increase of 3.2% for the three months ending November 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009. This trend is based on $259 million in 12 month online charitable revenue from 93 organizations and indicates an increase after three negative months.
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that environmental and animal welfare organizations had an online giving increase of 15.8% for the three months ending November 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009. This trend is based on $18 million in 12 month online charitable revenue from 109 organizations and continued the double digit percentage online growth trend.
Dave Strauss, president and chief executive officer of SCA Direct, a direct marketing agency specializing in programs that build donor/member loyalty, provided commentary on The Blackbaud Index in a report that accompanied this month’s update. “There are two events that greatly affected conservation and environmental organizations in 2010,” said Strauss. “First, the bump you see in May, June and July has to do with the BP oil spill. Many environmental organizations promoted the work they were doing in Louisiana and the Gulf, and it showed in the donations they received during those months. Second, when the climate bill didn’t pass in July, the wind came out of the fundraising sails, which sent organizations into a three-month dip. If it would have been passed, there would have been a new momentum in the environmental community, creating expectations for organizations to help lead the way.”
According to Strauss, the consistent double digit growth in online fundraising in 2010 is only the beginning. “In the next two to five years, we’re going to see even larger shifts to online channels,” said Strauss. “Nonprofits should evaluate their online contact strategy and integration between on and offline as it is critical to understanding how an organization is interacting and reacting with its supporters.”
Diane Clifford, senior vice president of marketing and constituent development
at Defenders of Wildlife reported that the organization saw a similar online
trend identified by The Blackbaud Index with a Q2 bump in fundraising revenue
related to the BP oil spill, then smaller increases through year-end. “Our
offline revenue followed the overall Index trends,” she said. “With
the drop in consumer confidence and the stock market over the summer, we experienced
declining offline response rates, which stabilized in November and ticked up
in December. We’re most strongly feeling the impacts of reduced acquisition
over the last several quarters and plan significant investments in 2011 to build
back both the online and offline files.”
According to Anne Senft, vice president of membership and online marketing at National Wildlife Federation, 2010 was a very solid year for the organization, largely because of fundraising around the oil spill. She noted that even pulling out disaster-related giving, the organization’s year-over-year fundraising revenues were still steady. “We saw an increase in revenue in May, June, and July and again saw an increase in year-end fundraising,” she said. “A lot of that had to do with the residual effect of the oil spill and the fact that we received a lot of national media because of our work in the Gulf.”
Blackbaud is the leading global provider of software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, build strong relationships, and raise more money to support their missions. Approximately 24,000 organizations — including The American Red Cross, Boston University, Cancer Research UK, The Taft School, Lincoln Center, The Salvation Army, Tulsa Community Foundation, Ursinus College, Earthjustice, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the WGBH Educational Foundation — use one or more Blackbaud products and services for fundraising, constituent relationship management, financial management, website management, direct marketing, education administration, ticketing, business intelligence, prospect research, consulting, and analytics. Since 1981, Blackbaud’s sole focus and expertise has been partnering with nonprofits and providing them the solutions they need to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Blackbaud also has operations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.