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Fundraising Down Slightly Because of Hurricanes: Optimism Still Strong that Giving Will Recover By Year's End

November 15, 2005

DATE: Nov. 15, 2005

FOR RELEASE: Immediate

CONTACT: Joyce O'Brien, V.P., Marketing & Communications, (703) 519-8457

(Alexandria, VA) Nearly half of U.S. charities have seen their fundraising decline because of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes and the associated relief efforts, according to a survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) released on National Philanthropy Day®.

The Hurricane Impact Study, which surveyed fundraisers in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas, found that 46 percent of respondents saw their fundraising decline because of the hurricanes and the relief efforts.

The survey asked respondents to compare their fundraising totals in August and October (pre- and post-hurricanes) to the same times in 2004. As of Aug. 1, 2005, 45 percent of organizations were raising more money than they had at the same point in 2004. Forty-three percent were raising the same amount, and 12 percent were raising less money than in the same time period the previous year.

As of the end of October, the percentage of organizations raising more money than in 2004 had dropped eight points to 37 percent. Thirty percent of charities were raising the same amount, and 33 percent were raising fewer funds.

'Just as we saw in 2001 with September 11, the hurricanes have had some short-term impact on giving to non-relief organizations,' said Alphonce Brown, ACFRE, vice president of development for the National Academy of Public Administration and chair of AFP. 'But we also are very optimistic that by year's end, most charities will end up with very solid fundraising numbers.'

Brown noted that in 2001, September 11 had a similar impact on charitable giving. But by the end of 2001, more than 60 percent of charities reported raising more money than they had in 2000.

'One of the reasons we're so optimistic about giving bouncing back is because of the generosity of the American people,' said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. 'Contrary to what some observers are saying about donors, we have seen very little evidence of donor fatigue so far this year. No matter what happens, when the need is greatest, Americans have never hesitated to open their hearts and their wallets and support the charities that provide critically needed programs and services everyday.'

According to Maehara, she thinks that by year's end, the percentage of organizations that will raise more money in 2005 than in 2004 will be even higher. 'A lot of organizations are hedging their bets right now, but I think there are so many positive signs - the economy, a public very interested in giving - that most charities will end up going quite well this year.'

Despite the fundraising declines, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents indicated they expected their year-end fundraising totals to exceed those of 2004. Twenty-eight percent predicted their fundraising would be about the same as 2004 and 24 percent said their year-end fundraising figures would be less.

The release of the hurricane impact data coincided with National Philanthropy Day® (NPD), a day to recognize and remember the contributions that philanthropy - and those involved in the philanthropic process - have made to the world. More than 125 NPD celebrations involving over 50,000 people are taking place across North America.

'Releasing the survey on National Philanthropy Day® is an opportunity to thank the public for its support of hurricane relief efforts,' said Maehara. 'But it's also a chance to remind people that other needs in our country must continue to be met, and that all charities and causes deserve and need their support.'

View the survey data under Attachments below.

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents nearly 27,000 members in more than 175 chapters around the world working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. Visit for more information.

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AFP Hurricane Impact Survey — DOC Format, 92160KB

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