Giving remains sluggish, survey says

Slammed by an erosion in giving by individuals, over a third of nonprofits are raising less money this year than last year, a new survey says.

Thirty-seven percent of 500 public charities and public foundations surveyed online in October by GuideStar said contributions fell in the first nine months of 2012, compared to the same period last year, while 34 percent said they grew and 28 percent said they were flat.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said gifts from individuals were smaller, and 75 percent said fewer individuals gave.

Nonprofits also were hit with rising demand for services, with 38 percent reporting demand grew modestly, and 26 percent reporting it grew greatly.

The pattern for 2012 was similar to 2011, GuildStar said, “suggesting a nonprofit sector where things are not getting much better or much worse, at least from a financial perspective.”

Twenty-nine percent of respondents expect year-end giving will decline compared to last year, while 37 percent expect it to stay flat, and 30 percent expect it to grow.

Forty-two percent of nonprofits surveyed plan to increase their budgets in 2012, while 32 percent will keep them flat, and 24 percent will reduce them.

Thirty-eight percent of nonprofits said freezing salaries is the way to cut budgets, the method cited most often.

Todd Cohen

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