Giving grows overall and to higher education

Overall charitable giving grew 1.3 percent for the three months ended April 2014, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from 4,138 organizations that raised over $13 billion in the previous 12 months, The Blackbaud Index says.

Online giving grew 7.9 percent in the same three-month period compared to the same period a year earlier among 3,281 charities that raised $1.8 billion online in the previous 12 months.

Overall fundraising revenue for 558 colleges and universities in the U.S., representing $1.5 billion in annual fundraising, grew 8.9 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, according to the Blackbaud Index for Higher Education.

Online fundraising revenue for 436 colleges and universities, representing $132 million in annual fundraising, grew 15.1 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, the Blackbaud Index says.

Helping to fuel that growth, particularly at schools with capital campaigns, was a healthy stock market, Blackbaud says.

While fewer alumni made gifts last year, the number of alumni for whom colleges and universities now have contact information has growth because online tools have made it easier for schools to find alumni, says Chuck Longfield, creator of the Index and chief scientist for Blackbaud.

While the growth in contacts, combined with a decline in the number of of alumni who give, has resulted in lower participation rates, “finding alumni is a good thing,” he says. “If you find them, you have an opportunity to engage and cultivate them so they’ll give.”

Todd Cohen

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