Picking Apart the 2014 Giving USA Stats
The data scientists over at Eleventy Marketing Group have been thinking through the 2014 Giving USA report. Overall, they point out something that has been very real to all of us in the industry — the past decade has been a rocky one for nonprofit organizations. There have been high highs and low lows. But new statistics from Giving USA reveal nonprofit fundraising numbers are close to returning to pre-recession levels earlier than expected.
Here are a few highlights from Eleventy's review:
- For nonprofits, one of the top factors influencing donor giving is the economy. It makes sense. The more money people have to give, the more they will give. Preservation of self and family typically come ahead of helping others.
- When the Great Recession hit in 2007, nonprofit organizations took a major hit. Giving numbers suddenly saw a sharp drop, with nonprofits losing billions in donor dollars. It was significant enough that it led many nonprofits to cut staff and services, or fold altogether.
- The official recession (as charted by economists) lasted from 2007 to 2009. But the ripples of this deep recession, and the slow recovery and fear of a repeat recession from companies and consumers, kept giving numbers flat in 2010 and 2011, as well. Most researchers predicted giving wouldn't return to pre-recession levels until 2018.
- In 2012, giving took a jump upward, and that trend continued in 2013. Economic growth and consumer confidence are increasing, and nonprofits are seeing more donor dollars.
- Overall charitable giving has increased 12.3 percent since the end of the recession in 2009. While this is a slower recovery than nonprofits experienced following past recessions, it is still better than what many industry experts expected.
- The Giving USA report notes: "If total giving continues to grow at current, inflation-adjusted rates, it could be just one or two more years for total giving to return to the peak level realized in 2007 ($349.50 billion)." The report also notes that five subsectors (education, foundations, human services, health and environment/animals) have already reached or surpassed giving levels prior to the recession (when adjusted for inflation).
- As long as the economy continues to improve, individual giving should continue to increase — particularly among wealthy individuals, whose major contributions dropped significantly during the recession (to the tune of $30 billion in contributions according to Forbes). This is undoubtedly good news for nonprofits.
While these trends point to improved overall giving health in the industry, it's up to individual nonprofits to continue this growth by building stronger donor relationships, as pointed out in the Eleventy Marketing Group blog.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.