Fundraising Effectiveness Project Shows Giving Up 2 Percent

The NonProfit Times | August 21, 2018

Donations to charities in the U.S. increased by 2 percent in 2017 while the number of donors increased by 0.7 percent, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report. The report, a product of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) and the Growth in Giving database a database of charitable donation history also found that the donor retention rate increased slightly to 45.5 percent. The donor retention rate, the percentage of donors who gave in 2016 and again in 2017 to the same organization, has hovered in the mid-40th percentile for the past decade, underscoring just how difficult it is for nonprofits to keep donations flowing from their supporters. “While the overall growth in giving of 2 percent is positive, the millions of donors who do not repeat their giving is very concerning,” said Erik Daubert, ACFRE, a nonprofit consultant and chair of the FEP. “The fact that nonprofit organizations are losing 54.5 percent of their donors from one year to another is not a sustainable strategy.” Daubert also noted how and why the FEP’s findings are different from other sources of data on the health of the U.S. philanthropic sector, such as Giving USA, which projected a 5.2 percent giving increase. “The FEP’s database looks at more than 13,500 organizations and $68 billion in contributions actual dollars given to charities providing service and does not include entities like donor-advised funds or complex algorithms to determine overall giving. The database includes a broad representation of many different subsectors and size of charitable organizations, making it an accurate reflection of what’s happening in philanthropy and fundraising.”

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