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54 Percent of Canadian Charitable Organizations Surveyed Say Contributions Rose in 2011

Contacts: John Skendall, 202/329.2971

Melanie Mathos, 843/654.3307

Vancouver, BC: More than half of surveyed Canadian charitable organizations saw growth in charitable giving, according to the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), which conducted its first-ever survey of Canadian charities.

Of surveyed charities in Canada, 54 percent said contributions increased in 2011, compared with 2010. Just 20 percent saw charitable receipts remain flat in 2011. About a quarter (27 percent) saw received contributions fall in 2011.

“Charitable giving has fluctuated in Canada over the past several years, so we’re pleased to find a majority of organizations raising more money in 2011,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), one of the founders of the NRC. “We hope to see even more giving in 2012 and are buoyed by the sense of optimism in the sector now.”

Looking ahead for 2012, more than 70 percent of organizations in this latest study anticipate increases in charitable contributions received. However, the economy remains a concern to many. About 3 in 10 (29 percent) said that the economy, both nationally and globally, is the greatest challenge to fundraising this year.

The study found that most charities don’t rely on just one fundraising method, but rather employ a wide variety of techniques. On average, respondents used 8 of the 10 different fundraising methods studied. The report includes reported changes in receipts for all ten fundraising methods, including online, through direct mail or events, and planned gifts and major gifts.

"Donors are increasingly responding online; this study shows a remarkable result, that 51 percent of responding organizations reported an increase in online fundraising in 2011," said Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud's chief scientist. "From what we have seen in the industry, to drive this successful level of online response, fundraisers must engage their donors across multiple channels."

 Board members and charitable giving

NRC survey respondents answered questions about board member giving and board member engagement in fundraising. In Canada, just 38 percent of responding charities require every board member to make a contribution.

About 7 in 10 of responding charities said that their board members assist with fundraising by making links between the organization and a prospective donor, either through:

  • Use of the board member’s name in appeals (76 percent),
  • Making introductions (71 percent), or
  • Asking friends and associates (66 percent).

Between 50 and 60 percent of organizations have board members who take a more active role in fundraising, which includes:

  • Chairing events (59 percent),
  • Securing sponsorship funding (52 percent), or
  • Making personal visits to prospective donors (52 percent).

About the Survey

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) conducts surveys two times a year. The April 2012 reports from the NRC, for Canada and the U.S., will be available after April 1 at

This survey was conducted online in January and February 2012 about fundraising results  from 2011 and plans for 2012. The 162 Canadian respondents form a convenience sample. There is no margin of error, as it is not a random sample of the population studied. Reported results are statistically significant using chi-square analysis.

About the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC)

Each NRC member has, at a minimum, a decade of direct experience collecting information from nonprofits concerning charitable receipts, fundraising practices, and/or grantmaking activities. NRC partners are the Association of Fundraising Professionals; Blackbaud; Campbell Rinker; the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University; Convio; Giving USA Foundation; and the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute.

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