70% of nonprofits expect donations to increase in 2014. This stat shows nonprofit organizations have a very optimistic outlook, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Recession began in 2007. So what’s the reason for such unbridled optimism? Much of it can be attributed to the fact that the majority of nonprofits met their fundraising goals in 2013 and saw their numbers rise over the previous year.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at some notable numbers showing nonprofit giving gains last year. We’ll also provide key tips to keep your fundraising going strong in 2014.
About the NRC Winter 2014 Nonprofit Fundraising Study
The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) studies charitable fundraising at nonprofit organizations and the factors that drive success and growth. The organization conducts surveys twice a year, and each survey covers changes in charitable gift amounts received.
Published in March 2014, the report Nonprofit Fundraising Study: Covering Charitable Receipts at Nonprofit Organizations in the United States and Canada in 2013 highlights results from the Nonprofit Fundraising Survey (NFS) conducted in winter 2014. Reported results are based on survey responses from 538 nonprofit organizations across sectors.
Significant Stats on the Current State of Nonprofit Fundraising
As always, we suggest you read through the full Nonprofit Fundraising Study to view more detailed information and in-depth results. In the meantime, here are a handful of stats to give you an idea of the current state of fundraising and the collective nonprofit outlook for the coming year.
67% of nonprofits said they met their fundraising goal in 2013
63% in 2012
59% in 2011
62% of nonprofits say they raised more money in 2013 than in 2012
58% in 2012
53% in 2011
43% in 2010
62% of nonprofits saw an increase in major gifts in 2013
62% of nonprofits saw an increase in online gifts in 2013
37% in 2011
Nonprofits based in all regions of the U.S. saw similar growth in 2013:
68% increase in the South
64% increase in the Northeast
63% increase in the Midwest
63% increase in the West
Besides Art and Religion, all other nonprofit subsectors saw growth of at least 60%
70% of nonprofits expect an increase in fundraising results in 2014
57% of nonprofits anticipate a fundraising increase between 1% and 15% in 2014
13% of nonprofits expect to see substantial (15% or more) giving gains in 2014
3 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Drive Giving Gains This Year
Despite the collective optimism for fundraising success, nonprofits must overcome a number of hurdles to get there. In response to a survey question about the fundraising challenges they face in 2014, some of the most common nonprofit responses included:
15% lack of staff time/support
12% recruiting new individual donors
10% board/volunteer uncertainty about fundraising
9% mission or case for support
8% competition in sector
These challenges all point to the need to be more strategic with your nonprofit marketing and fundraising efforts in 2014. Here are three ways you can take action to spark giving gains:
1. Show and Tell People Where Their Money Goes
This has become a hot topic over the past couple years, with journalists and watchdog groups reporting more on nonprofit overhead and spending. While we all know investment in employees and services is necessary for continued growth and success, this heightened sense of scrutiny and awareness does mean nonprofits need to focus more on showing donors where their money goes. Personal stories, videos and dollar-for-item breakdowns can all have a big impact on keeping donors connected to your organization and your cause.
2. Find Ways to Keep Donors Consistently Involved
Nonprofits need to find more effective ways of engaging donors—and keeping them engaged—between donations. You want your donor relationships to be constant and ongoing rather than a once- or twice-a-year pit stop. One way to do that is by making an effort to expand your monthly giving program. Consider providing incentives (content, acknowledgements, gifts) to encourage monthly giving. Another way to keep donors involved is via online engagement. Consider installing a program to allow your donors to be online volunteers, giving them the power to represent your nonprofit and mission with their own fundraising websites.
3. Make Your Nonprofit Brand More Definitive
With more nonprofit organizations in existence than ever before, it’s more important for your organization to stand out. You want to position your nonprofit to fill a unique space in your sector. You want to differentiate your organization from the competition. To do that, you need to hone in on and highlight for your audience the things you do that no one else does. You have to chisel down your message to build a brand that encourages people to give because you are a one-of-a-kind organization providing a one-of-a-kind service. By building and defining a stronger nonprofit brand, you will build stronger donor relationships.
Looking to give your nonprofit fundraising a boost this year? Learn more about the creative solutions eleventy provides for nonprofit organizations—including modeling and analytics, branding and marketing, and our innovative ONCORE online fundraising platform.