Charitable Giving in 2013 Had Highest Growth Since Great Recession

A new report by Blackbaud reveals last year’s fundraising trends and totals among nonprofit organizations. It was an up year, with giving increasing overall almost 5 percent.

The combination of growth across organizations of all sizes and a reversal of negative trends by all sectors contributed to a positive year.

Charitable giving in 2013 saw the largest year-over-year increase since the Great Recession, according to Blackbaud’s latest “Charitable Giving Report.”

Overall, giving in 2013 increased by 4.9 percent from 2012 and represented $12.5 billion in fundraising.

“2013 really showed that the fundraising environment is continuing to improve for the vast majority of organizations,” Steve MacLaughlin, coauthor of the report and director of Blackbaud’s Idea Lab, said in a statement. “The combination of growth across organizations of all sizes and a reversal of negative trends by all sectors contributed to a positive year.”

Broken down by organizational size, charitable giving grew by

  • 5.7 percent within large organizations, those with annual fundraising of more than $10 million
  • 3.8 percent within medium organizations, those with between $1 million and $10 million in annual fundraising
  • 3.6 percent at small organizations, those with less than $1 million in annual fundraising.

Blackbaud tracked fundraising data from 4,129 nonprofit organizations throughout the year, grouping them into nine sectors: arts and culture, education, environment and animal welfare, faith-based, healthcare, human services, international affairs, medical research, and public and society benefit. International affairs organizations had the highest year-over-year growth in fundraising with 13.2 percent.

Overall online giving was also up. It grew by 13.5 percent compared to 2012 and accounted for 6.4 percent of all charitable giving in 2013. Donations during #Giving Tuesday—the online charitable giving campaign that falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving—were up 90 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.

“Online fundraising continues to be a growth engine for nonprofit organizations, and there is no reason to expect this growth to slow for the foreseeable future,” the report noted.

A consistent trend over the last several years is the concentration of giving in the last quarter of the year.  The report noted that more than one-third of overall charitable giving happens in the last three months of the year, with most happening in December.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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