Blackbaud: Charitable Giving Down Slightly in First Half of 2011

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September 27, 2011; Source: Blackbaud | Nonprofit revenue in the first half of 2011 is down slightly compared to H1 2010 according to an analysis of fundraising data covering 80 organizations, including over 39 million donors and more than 80 million gifts totaling over $2.4 billion in revenue. Larger gifts-per-donor are not making up for a decline in the total number of donors.

The International Relief sector is showing big losses compared to the highs of H1 2010, which were mostly due to the Haiti earthquake; this decline was to be expected in the absence of a large natural disaster in H1 2011. Societal Benefit and Human Services are two sectors that are doing well, and Arts & Culture and Religious organizations are recovering. But the Health, Animal Welfare, and Environment sectors all see continued weakness amid a sluggish economy.

The analysis was conducted by Target Analytics, a unit of Blackbaud Inc. (Disclosure: My wife Helen Flannery is a co-author of the Blackbaud National Index.)—Chris Hartman


  • Charity

    Considering the state of the economy these days I find it surprising (and comforting) that charitable giving isn’t down more. I think charities have gotten more sophisticated about how they market themselves. Innovative fundraising methods via the web in particular.

  • John Pemberton

    Weird. This contradicts the information given for the first half of 2011 by the Blackbaud index. Which one is correct? Or, are they both wrong?

  • Chris Hartman

    Interesting. The “Blackbaud Index” is a separate index with its own algorithm. As I understand it, the Blackbaud Index does not contain data on the number of donors. Suggest you contact Blackbaud PR for more info:

    Blackbaud Public Relations

  • John Pemberton

    The Blackbaud Index is not an algorithm. It is simply a giving total of 1300 Blackbaud client nonprofits – not really representative of all giving in the US.

    Something called the Atlas of Giving is based on algorithms. It measures total US gifts monthly and forecasts giving.