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Donations Rose Sharply Last Year at Many Charities, Survey Finds

Chronicle of Philanthropy

Elizabeth Schwinn

March 27, 2007


Seven in 10 charities raised more money last year than in 2005, according to a new survey of fund raisers, the highest percentage that achieved increases in the six years since the Association of Fundraising Professionals has been conducting surveys of charitable giving.

The survey was released here at the annual meeting this week of the association, which attracted an estimated 4,000 fund raisers.

Fund raisers said they were optimistic that giving would continue to be strong: Two-thirds of the fund raisers predicted that their organizations would raise more money this year than in 2006.

The increases charities achieved in 2006 were significant. Nearly a quarter of the groups reported that their donations increased 50 percent or more last year, while 40 percent increased donations by 20 to 49 percent. About 29 percent of the organizations garnered increases of 20 percent or less.

Techniques That Worked

The survey, which polled fund raisers at 450 charities in the United States and Canada, also asked about techniques organizations use to raise money.

Nearly all the techniques charities used last year produced better results than in the previous year, with nearly all fund-raising approaches helping charities produce at least 10 percent more than the same approaches did in 2005.

Online donations are growing fast for most organizations: Nearly 88 percent of the groups that raised money online said donations increased last year; in 2005, only 55 percent of the groups that solicited donations online said they raised more than in 2004.

The number of groups that said they raised greater amounts of money through special events last year increased by 20 percent from 2005, while the number of organizations that did better with direct-mail and telemarketing fund raising grew by some 15 percent over the previous year.

The final results of the association's "State of Fundraising Survey 2006" will be available in May on the organization's Web site.

Reprinted with permission of The Chronicle of Philanthropy

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