Nonprofit Charities See Increase in Donations

Americans gave more to charities over the past three months than they did during the same period last year, according to the Blackbaud Index, which tracks charitable giving.

The report showed that overall charitable giving to nonprofits increased 0.9% and online giving increased 8.1% for the quarter ending May 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013.

"We've gotten out of the worst [of the economic decline], and if we are going to really make it and be successful, we've got to move, but quickly and nimbly, with real purpose," said Michael Nilsen, vice president for public affairs at the Association of Fundraising Professionals. "We're at a crossroads. With the economy expected to improve, if you miss this boat, you're not going to do well over the next couple of years."

As reported in the recently released Charitable Giving Report, overall charitable giving grew 4.9% and online giving grew 13.5% for the full year 2013 compared to the full year 2012. An interactive infographic on Blackbaud's website offers highlights from the report.

The Blackbaud Index provides up-to-date information on charitable giving today. Tracking more than $13 billion in US-based charitable giving, the Index 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.

Featuring overall and online giving, the index can be viewed by size and subsets of the nonprofit industry via an interactive online chart. It also offers a new fundraising benchmark calculator that allows users to easily chart their own results against the index and historical data to provide a fuller view of charitable giving.

In addition, The Blackbaud Index Canada, which tracks charitable giving to the Canadian nonprofit sector, today reported overall charitable giving decreased 6.8% and online giving increased 4.8% for the three months ending May 2014. The Canadian Index draws its data from 285 organizations that raise more than $700 million a year and can be accessed at