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AFP FUNDRAISING SURVEY SHOWS GIVING REBOUNDED IN 2003

SEATTLE (AFP eWire - March 15, 2004) - Nearly 73 percent of respondents to AFP's third annual State of Fundraising Survey indicated that their organizations raised the same amount of money or more in 2003 than they did in 2002.

These figures and others contained in the survey were presented today at a press conference at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

The survey, which asked 3,000 charitable fundraisers to compare their organizations' fundraising efforts in 2003 to those in 2002, found that charitable giving increased for most types of organizations in the nonprofit sector (education, health, etc.) and for different fundraising techniques (direct mail, planned giving, online giving, etc.).

The survey's results reflect a much stronger fundraising performance by the charitable sector in 2003 than in the previous two years.

Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated that their organizations raised more money in 2003 than in 2002, while 20 percent reported approximately the same amount of funds raised and 27 said that their organizations actually raised fewer funds in 2003 than in 2002.

'These figures, along with the other results in the survey, show a significant rebound in charitable giving and fundraising in 2003,' said AFP President and CEO Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE. 'While the first half of 2003 was very difficult, charitable giving turned the corner in the middle of the year. Many organizations enjoyed very good results in the final quarter of 2003.'

Subsector Results

The average overall increase in fundraising for all respondents to the survey was 5.74 percent. Education charities performed the best in 2003, increasing their fundraising on average by nearly 12 percent. Environmental (6.59 percent), religious (6.25 percent), healthcare (4.44 percent) and social service organizations (4.16 percent) also did well.

Arts and cultural organizations did not perform as well, increasing their fundraising totals, on average, by only .82 percent. The category of 'other' organizations, including international organizations, actually saw its average fundraising decrease by 0.87 percent.

Larger organizations that raise more funds tended to perform better. Organizations that raised more than US$1 million did very well, increasing their fundraising totals by at least 9 percent. In contrast, organizations raising less than US$1 million performed poorly, with charities that raised less than US$500,000 seeing their fundraising totals actually decrease by half a percentage point on average.

The survey also found that online giving is becoming more popular with charities and donors. Forty-seven percent of organizations indicated they use the Internet to solicit gifts, compared to 34 percent in 2002 and 37 percent in 2001. Of those organizations they employed online giving techniques, 61 percent raised more money in 2003 through online giving than they did in 2002.

The final results and analysis of the survey will be released later this year in May and will be available on AFP's website.

For a chart of figures and statistics, click on the attachment below.

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