Increase in Fundraising Campaigns Behind Jump in Receipts, Study Finds

Increase in Fundraising Campaigns Behind Jump in Receipts, Study Finds

The number of fundraising campaigns at charities in the United States and Canada has increased by thirty-four percentage points since 2011, helping to boost receipts, on a year-over-year basis, at 59 percent of the nonprofits surveyed during the first half of 2015, a new report from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative finds.

The latest report (41 pages, PDF) based on the NRC Fundraising Survey found that 46 percent of the organizations that responded to the survey had a structured fundraising campaign — either a capital campaign or "special" campaign — in place during 2015, compared to 12 percent in 2011. The report also found that two-thirds of the responding organizations running a capital campaign in 2015 reported a year-over-year increase in their receipts as of mid-year, while only 57 percent of those not running a campaign saw an increase.

According to the report, the jump in year-over-year giving was fueled by major gifts and corporate contributions, with major gift receipts up 55 percent and corporate giving up 44 percent. The report also found that nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of the survey respondents reported being on track to meet their fiscal year 2015 fundraising goals, up from 70 percent in 2014; that seven out of ten (71 percent) educational organizations reported an increase in their fundraising results as of mid-year, the highest for any of the seven organizational types tracked by the report; and that six out of ten (63 percent) human services organizations reported an increase in receipts — the first time in the five years of the survey that a majority of human services groups reported an increase at mid-year.

"Campaigns are associated with increased funds raised, but the impact varies by organizational budget size," said Tom Pollak, program director at the National Center for Charitable Statistics, an NRC partner. "There was a clear contrast: 75 percent of large charitable entities in campaigns saw revenues go up, but at smaller nonprofits, that figure was 59 percent. Smaller organizations, with operating budgets under $3 million, form the backbone of the nonprofit sector yet often are not in line for major gifts."

"Campaigns Reported at 46 Percent of Charities: Up From 11 Percent in 2011" Nonprofit Research Collaborative Press Release 01/04/2016.