Disaster Giving and The Blackbaud Index | npENGAGE

Disaster Giving and The Blackbaud Index

By on Mar 15, 2011 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving have been updated to show results for the 3 months ending January 2011 through the same period in 2010. Blackbaud updates these indices each month and they are based on a three-month moving average of year- over-year percent changes in revenue.

This is the first time that the indices have included fundraising data related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The Blackbaud indices include organizations that raised money specifically for Haiti relief in the year-over-year analysis. Some important trends will be explored later to show analysis of post-Haiti giving.

Overall Fundraising Trends

Blackbaud Index for Charitable GivingThe Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving is a broad-based fundraising index that reports total revenue trends of 1,434 nonprofit organizations representing $2.19 billion in yearly revenue on a monthly basis, both offline and online. The Index is based on actual revenue statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing arts, culture, and humanities; education; environment and animals; healthcare; human services; international affairs; public and society benefit; and religion sectors.

The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that overall revenue increased by 4.7% for the 3 months ending January 2011 as compared to the same period in 2010. Small, medium, and large organizations all had positive growth in the analysis.

Online Fundraising Trends

The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving is a broad-based fundraising index that reports online revenue trends of more than 1,800 nonprofit organizations representing $426.5 million in yearly revenue on a monthly basis. The Index is based on actual revenue statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing arts, culture, and humanities; education; environment and animals; healthcare; human services; international affairs; and public and society benefit sectors.

The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that online revenue decreased  by 9.3% for the 3 months ending January 2011 as compared to the same period in 2010. Small and medium organizations were up in the analysis, but large nonprofits were down 28.2%. This is almost completely attributable to the large amount of Haiti relief giving in January 2010.

Disaster Giving

Giving both online and offline towards disaster relief had a significant impact on the nonprofit sector in 2010. The 2010 Online Giving Report goes into some detail about the significant amount of raised by International Affairs organizations.

Blackbaud did some analysis to see what would happen if International Affairs organizations were removed from the indices. The goal was to get a clearer view of non-Haiti related giving on a year-over-year basis.

The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving would be up 6.3% year-over-year if International Affairs organizations were removed. This shows that overall fundraising is beginning to show positive growth signs.

The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving would be up 0.8% year-over-year if International Affairs organizations were removed. The significant year-over-year decline in online giving is directly attributable to several large International Affairs organizations.

Online giving in response to Haiti was higher than all previous disasters and demonstrates that the Internet is a first response channel of choice for donors. This also means that it is normal and expected for organizations to have a significant year-over-year difference in their online fundraising.

This points out how online giving is more susceptible to dramatic changes because of episodic giving.  We know from the 2010 Online Giving Report that online giving to Haiti was mostly concentrated in January 2010 and had much less impact on other months of the year. This is another reason why the Blackbaud indices use a three-month moving average as it allows spikes like this to be smoothed out over time.

Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

Blackbaud is monitoring early giving data from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. It is expected that this will follow similar trends from Haiti where the majority of online giving is concentrated over a short window of time. The giving is primarily going to large International Affairs organizations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

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, Resource 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, became a bestseller in 2016.

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

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