Over half of charities see growth in giving

Fifty-two percent of charities in the U.S. and Canada saw an increase in donations in the first six months of 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier, when over half of charities saw an increase, a new survey says.

The share of charities that posted higher charitable receipts in the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2013 is up from 46 percent that saw increases in the first half of 2012, says the survey by the Nonprofit  Research Collaborative.

Fifty-eight percent of education and arts charities reported increases in funds received, compared to 48 percent of health charities and 49 percent of human services charities, says the survey, which was based on 1,180 responses, including 76 from Canadian charities.

Seventy-five percent of charities surveyed continue to use diversified fundraising strategies, including board giving, major gifts, direct mail, email, foundation proposals and three other methods.

Among education organizations, for example, 58 percent reported growth in major gifts received, compared to 45 percent of all organizations reporting an increase in major gifts.

The share of organizations reporting  growth in funds fell slightly in every subsector, every size group and every region of the country, with bigger declines in human services, in very large organizations and in the South, compared with the same period in 2013.

In the South, 48 percent of organizations raised more in the first six months of 2014, compared to 59 percent in the same period in 2013.

Among organizations with annual budgets of at least $10 million, 47 percent reported growth in charitable receipts, compared to 57 percent in the period last year.

Among human services organizations, 48 percent saw growth in charitable receipts, compared to 52 percent among all organizations.

Among organizations that receive at least half but less than all their philanthropic revenue from the areas they serve, 58 percent reported growth in funds received, compared to 45 percent of organizations that receive less than half of their funds from their service area.

Seventy percent of organizations say they are on track to meet fundraising goals for the fiscal year ending or ended in 2014, down from 77 percent that reported after the first six months of 2013 that they were on track to meet their goals.

The key factor survey participants attributed to fundraising success was organizational capacity for fundraising, including staff availability, board commitment, and realistic goals with a plan for reaching them.

— Todd Cohen

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