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Fundraising On Upward Trend, New Report Indicates

(June 22, 2010) Nonprofit revenue in the U.S. increased 12.1 percent in the three months ending April 2010 as compared to the same period last year, according to a new report.

In the first release of what is to be a monthly index, nonprofit software and services firm Blackbaud tallied the fundraising revenue of 1,400 nonprofits representing $2.2 billion in yearly revenue. The report indicated a sharp year-over-year increase in nonprofit revenue for the period spanning February, March and April. 

The increase is due in part to disaster relief giving for Haiti, but also represents a larger trend of recovery, says Blackbaud's chief scientist Chuck Longfield.

The data show that donations for the smaller organizations bottomed out in July of 2009, remained roughly flat throughout the second half of 2009, and turned upward starting in January 2010, Blackbaud stated in a press release. However, for large organizations, which saw the greatest spike in revenue totals over last year, it is still hard to tell how much of the growth was due to Haiti giving.

"It does look like things are on the upswing," Longfield said in an interview with eWire on Friday. "It was not only the large organizations, which benefited from large scale disaster relief efforts, that saw an increase over last year--small organizations are also doing better than last year--so we drew the conclusion that organizations are starting to stabilize or come out of the recession."

Breakdown by Organization Size

Large organizations (with annual revenue of $10 million or more) saw an overall increase of 19.2 percent from the same three-month period last year (February, March, April). These organizations were gradually showing positive totals over 2009, and then saw a spike in revenue in the last two months of rolling three-month averages (March 2010 and April 2010) due to the disaster relief giving.

In the three month period ending April 2010, small organizations had a 12.3 percent increase from 2009. These nonprofits (with annual revenue less than $1 million), had remained flat in their revenue totals compared to the year prior for the period of August 2009 to December 2009, then began showing increases beginning in 2010.

Mid-sized organizations (with annual revenue between $1 million and $10 million) are showing a slower recovery and still had a 2.5 percent decline. This is less of a decline than this period in 2009, but mid-sized organizations have yet to see year-over-year increases in revenue since the recession took its greatest toll in mid-2009.

To view the Blackbaud index showing revenue trends for the past 12 months based on size of organization, click here, or go to

About the Report

Called the Index of Charitable Giving, Blackbaud's new indicator is based on actual revenue statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing the various fundraising sectors (arts, environment, education, healthcare, etc). The index is intended to give fundraisers a way to compare their fundraising performance with other like-sized organizations. The company says it intends to soon publish totals for each fundraising sector, but for now the report breaks down total revenue for small, mid-sized and large organizations.

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