Three-quarters of nonprofit organizations in the United States met their fundraising goals for 2017, while 21 percent are concerned that individual giving is likely to fall as a result of tax legislation passed in December, a report from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative finds.
Based on an online survey of 1,222 charities, the report, Winter 2018 Nonprofit Fundraising Study: Covering Charitable Receipts at Nonprofit Charitable Organizations in the United States and Canada in 2017 (43 pages, PDF), found that 75 percent of U.S. survey respondents met their fundraising goals for 2017, the highest percentage since NRC launched the annual survey in 2010. The survey also found that 63 percent raised more than they had in the previous year, with only 58 percent of respondents reporting increases in fundraising revenue in 2016.
In terms of issue areas, higher education institutions were the most likely to say they had reached their goals, with 85 percent reporting they had raised the amount they had hoped to, while public-society benefit organizations were the least likely, with only 62 percent reporting that they had met their targets. Success percentages for organizations in other categories ranged from 62 percent to 83 percent.
Looking ahead to this year's results, 61 percent of American and Canadian respondents said they expect 2018 to be another good fundraising year. In the United States, 10 percent of those surveyed said they believed new tax law changes would lead to increased giving, while 62 percent thought giving would remain the same or decline and 28 percent said the changes are too complex to attempt a guess at this point. In the U.S. and Canada, 24 percent of respondents identified organizational leadership, marketing, and staffing as concerns that could affect giving, while 17 percent singled out global, national, or local economic factors, including the U.S. stock market, as concerns.
"The 2017 NRC Study showed some amazing, record-setting results that reflect the professionalism, skills, and ethical dedication of fundraisers and charities," said Mike Geiger, CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, one of the five members of the NRC. "There was such dramatic change over the past year — economic, political, social — but charities and their fundraising programs continue to inspire donors to take action. Through strong donor engagement, innovative programs, and a commitment to high ethical standards, the charitable sector is raising more funds than ever to improve communities around the world."