Robust Giving of 2011 Forecast to Slow Down

Data from the Philanthromax Atlas of Giving showed a jump in charitable donations in the United States during the spring of 2011. Per a release from Philanthromax LLC, the April 2011 giving figure of $29.5 billion was a 2.4 percent increase from the month prior and a 9.2 percent jump from April 2010. So far, the total charitable giving for 2011 is over 8 percent higher than in 2010.

Unfortunately, Philanthromax forecasts a slowdown in contributions lasting until the year’s end due to gasoline prices, uncertainty around unemployment rates, an increase in fundraising and activities for the 2012 election and deficit-related economic fears. Overall however, 2011 should still be a better year for donations than 2011.

The Philanthromax Atlas of Giving compiles monthly giving reports and forecasts.

Privacy Concerns and Your Mobile Fundraising Campaign

Is your nonprofit considering a mobile fundraising campaign? Advances in mobile communications technology offer innovative ways for nonprofits to share their stories and appeals with potential donors, but a recent survey shows that smartphone users continue to have privacy concerns around the use of mobile applications. 

A poll conducted in early 2011 by Harris Interactive found privacy to be of the highest concern among smartphone owners (38 percent), followed by security (26 percent). In fact, nearly all (99 percent) of the survey respondents ranked privacy and knowledge of how personal information is shared as extremely important, very important or important. Mobile technology users are not passive about these concerns either, as the data indicate that over half (52 percent) of smartphone owners reported reading an application’s privacy policy.

What does this mean for the nonprofit looking to take their fundraising activities mobile?

  1. Do your research. Whether you are going with an SMS/text or a mobile application for your drive, understand the security features offered by the service provider as well as their privacy policy.  Also, test the technology several times before the launch. How much information is required of your potential donors? Do you think the information required would be a deal-breaker? Would your kids/friends/neighbors/parents?
  2. Embrace transparency. Is the privacy and security of your donor information important to you? Then don’t ignore the topic – tell your donors!  Direct potential donors to the application’s privacy policy rather than make them search for it. Share what you know about how their information will be used and by whom, including how your organization handles donor information.
  3. Have a Plan B. Make certain that your organization’s website is updated and ready to accept online donations if donors are not able to use the application for any reason – from a technological bug to their own comfort level.

Have concerns about donor privacy made your nonprofit hesitant to try mobile fundraising or have these issues had little impact on your nonprofit’s use of this method of giving?

A complete version of the report is available for download on the website.

Study Pinpoints Effective Strategies for Nonprofit Fundraising

This week, Blackbaud, Inc., a provider of software for nonprofit organizations worldwide, announced findings from two studies that shed light on fundraising methods and strategies among nonprofits.

One study was based on the debut of Blackbaud’s Peer-to-Peer Event Fundraising Consumer Survey, an online instrument that gathered data on respondents’ peer-to-peer development experiences. Findings highlight the importance of a personal connection to the cause (69 percent reported fundraising motivation from a personal link) and the approval of the use of formal fundraising teams including captains and giving goals (73 percent).

The other study, the donorCentrics Event Benchmarking Summary, used fundraising data from six nonprofits between 2007 and 2009 to compare methods and outcomes in annual giving and marketing of fundraising events. This report allowed the participating agencies to compare donor retention rates by year with organizations similar to their own (the average retention rate was 41 percent).

A narrative that encourages “buy in” – making a personal connection with participants, a team with an inspired captain, clearly defined goals – these are not just components of a successful fund-raising event, they are integral parts of most successful development departments. What makes your fundraising events successful? What lessons have you learned about peer-to-peer fundraising with your cause?

Additional information about these  studies is available at the Blackbaud, Inc website.

A Global Report on Nonprofit Technology

Blackbaud, a leading global provider of software and services for nonprofit organizations, has released its 2010 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey, a report on the operations, fund raising, technology and accountability and stewardship of organizations across the globe.  The 2,383 survey  respondents included professionals from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and six other counties in Europe and Asia.

The report, available for download here, discusses trends identified from the response data including:

  • Traditional methods of communication are not being replaced by emerging technologies, although new interactive methods are increasingly used.
  • Fund raising is a growing profession globally.
  • Organizational Effectiveness (OE) and Return on Investment (ROI) are no longer a U.S trend as donors around the world are interested in the use and impact of their contributions.