April Fools.

We know that nonprofit professionals are the hardest working folks out there and we want to help you succeed. So we’ve compiled 10 of the most valuable philanthropic resources available to help get you to the best results—and not twiddle your thumbs while you try to figure it out!

Here are 10 of the most helpful reports and resources for philanthropy professionals:

Giving in an Election Year

A new report on charitable giving in a political climate.

Wondering how donor support will fare in the face of federal and presidential political campaign competition? We dove deep into data from the 2012 presidential race to provide fundraising insight you can use during the 2016 election year, including:

  • The charitable giving habits of 400,000 political donors
  • How they were changed by the 2012 election cycle
  • Surprising demographics to target for outreach in 2016

2016 Nonprofit Sector Leadership Report

There is a lot of data in this report by Concord Leadership Group, but one finding indicates that having a strategic plan gives you a leg up on communicating a shared vision. And that gives you a head start on successful fundraising!

So if you’re currently struggling to get your story out, and 62% of those who took the survey said they were, then look to your strategic plan. Even if you’re not the CEO. Leaders exist at all levels. If you nonprofit is lacking a strategic plan, you can create one for your division. Or even for your personal role in the organization.

The 2015 Charitable Giving Report

For more insight into how fundraising fared this past year, take a look at Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2015 The 2015 Charitable Giving Report includes more than $18.2 billion in total fundraising and $2.2 billion in online giving data from 2015 and features key statistics on year-over-year charitable giving broken down by nonprofit size and sector. Special features this year include Canadian giving, #GivingTuesday, and mobile giving.

50 Fascinating Philanthropy Stats

The 50 Fascinating Philanthropy Stats is the central hub for need-to-know statistics on charitable giving, online fundraising, donor characteristics, and more. In order to move the needle on your fundraising performance, it’s important to understand the sector and how your organization compares. Bringing together statistics from reputable sources across the sector, it gives you the metrics you need to see the full picture of the philanthropic sector and move your organization forward, all in one easy-to-find location.

2016 NGO Online Technology Report

Based upon the survey results of 2,780 NGOs worldwide, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is unprecedented and provides valuable insight into the global NGO sector and its use of online technology.

A collaborative research project by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good, the 2016 Global NGO Online Technology Report is an inaugural effort to gain a better understanding of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide use online technology to communicate with their supporters and donors. Over the last two decades the NGO sector has embraced Internet technology, but at varying speeds based upon the Internet infrastructure of the country in which they reside. Social, economic, and political factors in each of the world’s countries have either hastened or hindered the development of Internet infrastructure, yet there is little research that compares NGOs globally and their use of online technology. To address this gap in research, this report set out to provide better in- sight into online technology and its use within the global NGO sector.

The State of Nonprofit Cloud

A Study of Nonprofit Use of Cloud Software by NTEN, supported by Microsoft Philanthropies. Some key findings from the report include:

  • Cloud services are a core part of nonprofit operations with 100% of survey respondents indicating they use at least two cloud services, up from 80% of survey participants in our last survey.
  • The newest addition to organizations’ cloud services ecosystems is document storage.
  • leading factors in decision making are service features and the ability for staff to work remotely (remote access) with the service.
  • In evaluating potential services, the biggest concern is whether staff will have reliable access to the organization’s data.
  • In comparing installed versus hosted services, respondents noted staff training as important but not likely to have a difference in their selection (contrast this to the results in NTEN’s annual Tech Staffing & Investment research, where respondents indicate that they have the tools they need but not the training to use those tools well).

The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study

This Study will act as a baseline for the peer-to-peer events happening in the fundraising world around you. Whether you’re interested in participant loyalty, fundraiser status, or team performance, this will give you a comparison for your program and help you make sure you aren’t missing a beat.

Here are some of our favorite notes from the Study:

  • For walk and 5k events, the percentage of participants fundraising has increased, but more than half of the people fundraising only have one donation.
  • Returning participants continue to be better fundraisers than new participants; raising in many cases, more than double what new participants do.
  • Participants who send emails outperform their non-email sending peers. Walkers who send emails raise $418.93 on average compared to non-email senders who raise $44.43!

The Point of Impact 

Whether you call it social investing, social impact investing, a grantmaking investment, philanthropy 2.0, or something else entirely, we see the new champion for a better world living—and giving—by the following definition:

Results-focused giving means more than simply “doing good.” It means investing with purpose to achieve specific, measurable outcomes and impact.Further, in the results-focused giving model, for every dollar invested into in a cause, whether from a corporation, a foundation, or an individual giver’s pocket, we should see specific and measurable impact in the form of social impact or social learning.

As with social impact, moving to a results-focused giving model doesn’t happen overnight. However, recognizing what makes results-focused giving different and highly effective can help set you and your organization apart from other funders in your field.

The Millennial Running Study

Nearly 42 million Americans are considered runners today, with 25- to 34-year-olds representing the largest age group.* Will these fitness-conscious Millennials follow in their forerunners’ footsteps and drop out of the race at 35? Or are they already defining a watershed time in the running industry?

RacePartner and Running USA have partnered with Achieve to publish the first-ever research study to find out why so many Millennials (born 1980-2000) get involved in running, and what organized running events can do to keep them interested and engaged.

The study, which is the first of its kind for endurance sports, takes a two-phase approach. The first phase of the study conducted earlier this year surveyed event directors and Running USA membership to provide interest areas for the results of the upcoming study. Those responses form a key building block for the second phase of the study, which will engage event research partners to distribute the survey to event participants.

npEXPERTS: The Future of Fundraising

The new npEXPERTS eBook, gathers 16 of the sharpest minds in nonprofits to sort through the trends and help us focus on the strategies that will lead us into the next era of philanthropy. From a renewed application of the fundraising fundamentals to frank discussions on the tools you’ll need, the topics they cover in the free eBook span a range of opportunities for positive change. Check out their insights to see where you are and where you have room to grow. And if you find yourself struggling to envision the future of fundraising, just remember: as a nonprofit professional, you’re already on the right track. So grab hold of the wheel and keep steering yourself forward.


Madeline Turner is the Online and Social Marketing Manager at Blackbaud. Prior to running Blackbaud’s social media and thought leadership blog npENGAGE, Madeline worked as a Managing Editor for Blackbaud’s Content Marketing program. It is her goal to create content and share ideas that challenge the status quo of the nonprofit industry. When Madeline isn’t tweeting or writing blog posts, you can find her drinking coffee out of her ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ mug, wearing giant headphones and singing off-key.

Get nonprofit articles, best practice advice, fundraising ideas and invaluable industry reports and webinars delivered for free!