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The 2015 AFP State of the Sector

What trends have affected fundraising and philanthropy over the past couple of years, and what should charities be focused on in 2016? AFP’s first State of the Sector identifies key issues, provides insight from practitioners and nonprofit leaders and identifies important challenges for next year.

After providing a general overview of the nonprofit sector and the state of giving, the document looks at trends in five areas derived from a variety of studies, surveys and other research:

  1. Focus Internally to Find External Success
  2. Fundraising: Finding the Right Balance
  3. Retention Through Engagement and Community
  4. Online Communications and Fundraising
  5. Public Trust

At the end of the document is a checklist that suggests key goals and activities for the next 12 months, along with a list of the studies and surveys mentioned in the report so members can find more detailed information if they’d like.

“This is the type of review and insight that AFP should be providing to the profession, and we are planning on developing this document into an annual report and expanding it in future editions,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP.

The first version is mostly U.S.-based, though many of the strategies the document refers to are applicable in different communities. AFP will be creating a document emphasizing Canada, as well as a global fundraising piece, in the near future.

While the State of the Sector is meant to comprehensive, it’s also meant as a conversation starter for practitioners to talk about what they’re seeing in their regions and what trends are affecting their organizations.

“We are very interested in getting your feedback and comments on this project,” said Watt. “As I mention in the introduction, perhaps there are trends we’ve missed, or you disagree with some of the points. I hope members find it useful, and please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or questions.”

The full 2015 AFP State of the Sector document can be found here

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