Wondering how fundraising is performing so far in 2014? Yeah, we were too. Using data from The Blackbaud Index, we are able to provide the first insights into fundraising trends for the first six months of 2014 compared to 2013.

For more than four years now, The Blackbaud Index has provided the most up-to-date information on charitable giving. Tracking more than $13 billion in US-based charitable giving, the Index is updated on the first of each month and is based on year-over-year percent changes. The Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report provides insights into fundraising trends on an annual basis. Be sure to check them both out.

Overall Giving Trends
2014 Mid-Year Fundraising TrendsThe Blackbaud Index analyzes fundraising data from more than 4,200 nonprofit organizations in the United States based on $13.6 billion in fundraising revenue. Overall giving was up 1.6% for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013.

Public & Society Benefit nonprofits have grown the most on a year-over-year basis followed by International Affairs and Environment and Animal Welfare organizations.

Both K-12 Education and Medical Research organizations have seen a decrease in overall giving for the first six months of 2014 compared to 2013. These sub-sectors did have positive fundraising growth in 2013.

According to Giving USA, 59% of contributions are to Faith-based, Education, and Human Services organizations. The performance of these organizations during the rest of the year will significantly influence fundraising growth in the US.

Online Giving Trends
2014 Mid-Year Fundraising TrendsThe Blackbaud Index also measures online giving data from over 3,300 nonprofits that represent more than $1.7 billion in online fundraising. Our analysis found that online giving was up 8% for the first half of 2014 compared to 2013.

This growth was driven by double-digit increases by Healthcare, Higher Education, and Arts & Culture organizations. These groups have traditionally lagged in online giving results, but we are seeing a clear change in trends with these nonprofits.

Medical Research and International Affairs organizations raise a significant amount of their fundraising revenue from online giving and they are seeing good growth trends.

These are positive results for online giving heading into the second half of 2014. Nonprofit organizations need to continue diversifying their online fundraising focus and shift away from a heavy emphasis on the last days and weeks of the year.

What It All Means
The mid-year trends in both overall and online giving are positive for most nonprofit organizations. The slight increases so far might be a sign of leveling out after two years of solid fundraising recovery. The mid-year trends in 2013 were a bit more positive, but there were several factors at play including the economy, stock market, and domestic natural disasters.

The word “cautious optimism” might be a good way to describe the fundraising outlook for the rest of 2014. So much of it depends on how well nonprofit organizations have learned to focus on building relationships and retaining donors following the recession.

You can continue to monitor fundraising results by visiting the Blackbaud Index on a monthly basis.


Steve MacLaughlin is a Director of Analytics at Blackbaud, the leading provider of technology and services to the nonprofit sector. Steve has spent 20+ years driving innovation with a broad range of companies, government institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Institute of Fundraising National Convention, Civil Society Conference, Resoure Alliance’s Fundraising Online, and a keynote speaker at such events as the Crescendo Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and supports its focus on both the growth and professionalism of the nonprofit technology field as well as building knowledge and information sharing capacity throughout the sector.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, will be published in September 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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