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5 Key Fundraising Trends from 2013

Each year Blackbaud reports on charitable giving trends based on data from The Blackbaud Index, which has measured giving on a monthly basis for nearly four years. This year our charitable giving analysis measures actual data from more than 4,000 nonprofit organizations representing more than $12.5 billion in total fundraising in 2013.

Steve McLaughlin Steve MacLaughlin

Here are five key findings from the 2013 Charitable Giving Report:

  1. Overall charitable giving grew 4.9% in 2013, while online giving grew 13.5%.
    A recovering economy, rebounding stock market and perhaps most importantly, nonprofits are seeing a return on the investments in people, process, and technology they made during the recession.
  2. Online giving accounted for 6.4% of all charitable giving in 2013.
    This dropped from 7% in 2012. This metric has moved up and down since 2010 because of spikes in online giving, especially driven by natural disasters and other episodic events. We expect it to continue to fluctuate in the future. Although online giving continues to grow strongly, traditional fundraising methods are still driving the majority of charitable giving.
  3. Large organizations had the greatest increase in overall charitable giving in 2013, while small organizations had the greatest increase in online giving during 2013.
    That’s a really positive sign considering large organizations grew the least in our 2012 analysis. Smaller organizations without large established direct mail or other traditional fundraising channels are taking an online first approach to their fundraising strategy.
  4. International affairs organizations had the greatest increase in overall charitable giving in 2013, while faith-based organizations had the greatest increase in online giving in 2013.
    A very exciting finding is that each of the nine sectors we look at has positive growth in 2013, which was a reversal of the trend we saw in 2012, when four sectors were down. This indicates strong momentum heading into 2013. Six out of the nine sectors in the analysis had double digit online giving growth.
  5. More than one-third (33.6%) of overall charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year, with the highest percentage (17.5%) coming in December.
    We’re starting to see organizations start to shift away from last-minute fundraising appeal. Events like #GivingTuesday, which this year happened very early in Dec. are helping nonprofits start the conversation in the giving much earlier. Nonprofits need to start planning now to diversify their fundraising throughout the year.

These are all positive trends for the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit organizations can leverage the 2013 Charitable Giving Report to benchmark giving and help inform nonprofits’ fundraising strategies in 2014. You can download the report at

The preceding is a guest post by Steve MacLaughlin, the Director of the Idea Lab at Blackbaud, where they leverage the company’s expertise, information, and technology to accelerate bringing new solutions to the nonprofit sector. Steve has spent more than 15 years building successful online initiatives with for-profit and nonprofit organizations across the world. Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets.

Topics: Charitable Giving