A Look At The Nonprofit Research Collaborative

Answered questions.

What if…you could find out which fundraising methods were working in organizations like yours?  Are events up or down? What about direct mail? Should you invest in more proposals to corporations or invest in web site development?  These are real questions affecting nonprofit organizations of all types in the U.S. and Canada daily.

The Nonprofit Research Collaborative addresses these questions and more. Every six months, the group surveys thousands of charitable organizations in two countries to find out where funds raised are rising – and where they are not.  It is the only study that provides more than 10 years of data about fundraising results and links those findings to whether or not nonprofit charities are reaching their fundraising goals.

A soon-to-be released study compares the first six months of 2013 with the same period in 2012. In addition to reporting about fundraising methods, this edition also asked about annual fund campaigns.  More than three-quarters of responding organizations have a fundraising drive to generate revenue for the current operating year. The report, which will be released in the coming weeks, shares findings about retention rates, use of benefits and gifts for donors, and other tactics used to help meet fundraising goals. Sign up here to get a copy when it comes out.

A prior report looked at board engagement in fundraising, for which the short answer is, “Do it,”  and the longer answer includes recommendations about how to engage board members and in what types of tasks. A special section in the winter 2013 report focused on planned giving. These are available now and the recommendations apply now, too. Findings from earlier reports are available, including:

  • Average board gift amounts (around $1,000) when board giving is required
  • Size of fundraising staff associated with meeting fundraising goal, showing that having at least one full-time paid staff member matters, and
  • What share of total fundraising receipts is attributable to various fundraising methods – note that as of early 2012, 65 percent of respondents said that they received between 1 and 9 percent of all gift dollars online.

These and others can be searched on a page for “Findings.”

Six organizations are part of the Nonprofit Research Collaborative : Association of Fundraising Professionals, CFRE International, Campbell Rinker, Giving USA Foundation (of which Alexander Haas is a member), the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Submitted by Guest Blogger Melissa S. Brown, facilitator for the Nonprofit Research Collaborative