The Fundraising Climate 2013

Due to technical issues beyond my control, I am re-posting this. The original post date was January 28, 2013.  The information may still be timely so enjoy reading it for the first time or re-reading it.  Feel free to pass the link along to anyone you think will benefit from the information.  Thank you.


Recently, I was on a Chronicle of Philanthropy conference call with Blackbaud’s Steve McLaughlin and Patrick Rooney from the University of Indiana School of Philanthropy. Here are my take-aways.

1. Compared to 2011, giving in 2012 was flat and there is no expectation of a dramatic increase in 2013.

2. If the economy continues to grow at the slow rates we’ve s seen in the last few years, it will take charitable giving a decade to return to pre-recession levels.

3. Donor mindset has changed. They want outcomes over output. Instead of reporting that your organization bought 500 books for underprivileged students, they now want to know the actual percentage of students that learned to read as a result of having access to the books purchased for them.

4. The best acquisition and retention numbers come from donors that are engaged using multiple communication channels. Single channel communications are not nearly as effective. Non-profits must engage current and potential donors using a variety of channels, including regular mail, e-mail, website, social media and mobile devices. The conference call did not address engaging with others via face-to-face meetings and by phone, but they should be added to the communication mix.

5. Browsing the web through a mobile device will surpass desktop devices in 2014. Nearly 40% of e-mails are now opened on a mobile device. Non-profits miss out if they do not invest in engaging constituents via mobile devices.


How do you think your organization’s charitable giving will change from 2012?

Are you using outputs and/or outcomes to communicate your organization’s success?

Are you using multiple communication channels to raise money? If so, what is working and what isn’t working?