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AFP State of Fundraising 2004 Final Report Released

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The final report of AFP's State of Fundraising 2004 survey is now available online in the Attachments section below (PDF format).

The executive summary from the report is below.

Executive Summary

In early 2005, AFP asked a representative sampling of their membership to compare their organizations' fundraising totals at the end of December 2004 to their fundraising totals at the end of December 2003.

Some of the key questions that AFP wanted to learn answers to included:

  • How did fundraising fare in 2004 compared to 2003?
  • What fundraising techniques did especially well or poorly in 2004?
  • What types of organizations excelled at fundraising in 2004 (small organizations, education groups, etc.)?
  • What key challenges did fundraisers face in 2004?
  • Did the relief efforts for the Southeast Asia tsunami affect charitable fundraising?

Overall, respondents said giving was generally strong in 2004. In the United States, 64.9 percent of respondents raised more money in 2004 than in 2003. This is the highest positive variance in the four years the association has conducted the survey. Furthermore, 44.6 percent of U.S. respondents raised at least 10 percent more money in 2004 than in 2003, and 24.9 percent reported that they had raised at least 20 percent more.

A little more than 10 percent of U.S. respondents said they raised the same amount in 2004 as in 2003 (compared to 26 percent who had raised the same amount in 2003 compared with 2002), and 24.7 percent reported they raised less (compared to 20 percent who had raised less compared to the past year in 2003).

In Canada, 62.4 percent of respondents said they raised more money in 2004 than 2003, with 40.4 percent raising at least 10 percent or more money in 2004 than in 2003 and 23.7 percent raising at least 20 percent more money. Slightly more than 12.4 percent of Canadian respondents raised the same amount in 2004 as in 2003, while 25.3 percent reported they raised less.

The survey also asked participants how six different fundraising techniques (direct mail, telefundraising, major gifts, planned giving, online giving and special events) performed in 2004 versus 2003. In the United States, most organizations (50-63 percent) reported raising more money using a particular specialty than they did in 2003 using the same specialty. Special events were particularly effective: 65 percent of respondents raised more money in 2004 than in 2003, a 12 percentage-point increase from the 2003 survey and a 20 percentage-point increase from the 2002 survey.

One exception was planned giving, where only 37 percent of respondents (the lowest of any fundraising technique) saw an increase in these types of gifts in 2004 versus 2003. Thirty-eight percent raised about the same amount through planned gifts, while 25 percent raised less (the greatest decrease of any fundraising technique).

In Canada, the results were more mixed. A majority of respondents reported an increase in funds raised in 2004 versus 2003 with online fundraising (68 percent), major gifts (60 percent) and special events (53 percent). However, direct mail (45 percent), telefundraising (44 percent) and planned giving (34 percent) were not as effective.

What issues were of greatest concern to professional fundraisers in 2004? In the United States, 17 percent of the respondents cited the economy as the single most important detriment to fundraising in 2004. Other issues that negatively affected their fundraising included increasing competition for the charitable dollar (14.9 percent), developing fundraising strategies and overall strategic planning of an organization (8.4 percent), brand awareness of charity and mission (7.8 percent) and staff issues in the development office (7.5 percent).

In Canada, 18.7 percent of respondents said that too many nonprofits and increased competition for the charitable dollar negatively affected their fundraising in 2004. Other challenges cited include staffing issues in the development office (13.1 percent), brand awareness of charity and mission (12.3 percent) and problems with overall organization leadership--board, volunteers and staff (10.4 percent).

When asked if tsunami giving had affected their fundraising efforts, 84 percent of U.S. respondents claimed it had no effect, while almost 16 percent said it did have an impact. At the same time, 63 percent of Canadian respondents said the efforts had not affected their fundraising, but almost 37 percent said they were affected, both in terms of the number of contributions received and in the amount of funds raised.

Attachments

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