As the state of the economy continues to make headlines, Network for Good sees mixed nonprofit attitudes about the 2011 fundraising season. In these uncertain times, nonprofits face unique challenges when appealing to donors who are themselves experiencing financial strain.
An informal poll of a subset of Network for Good nonprofit customers reveals that, while 40% of organizations are feeling optimistic about how much they will raise this year, an equal 40% are unsure as to what this fundraising season will bring,. The remaining 19% are feeling pessimistic.
The one glimmer of hope for fundraising, even in a down economy, is online giving. Network for Good remains cautiously optimistic given that growth in online donations through its giving system has been strong in 2011. Overall, donations are up 14% for the period of January through November versus the same period in 2010.
According to Network for Good's CSO Katya Andresen, “It’s tough out there for nonprofits this year. But they can still get strong fundraising results online. Just as people are doing more shopping online, they are likely to do more giving online.”
Another reason to remain positive despite the dreary economic outlook is that consumers want to spend on charitable donations. New research from Leo Burnett demonstrates that consumers are cutting back on some things (from energy drinks to music purchases to salon hair treatments), but they want to be spending on charity - and consider it an emotional need. Network for Good sees that trend playing out online where, not only are more individuals making donations, but they are making slightly larger gifts. Donors supporting Network for Good nonprofit customers are spending an average of 6% more on their donations in 2010. The average gift size was $107 for the period January through November 2011.
In November, donations were up 16% across the Network for Good platform versus the same month in 2010. This growth is inline with recent ecommerce figures showing that shopping has grown 15% over last year. And giving season is just getting started. Online giving levels will increase each day until a peak of activity on December 31, just before the tax year ends. Network for Good sees close to 10% of annual donation volume come in on the last two days of the year. In fact, giving concentrates between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm in the evening on December 31.
Donors looking for an easy and convenient way to support their favorite causes at year’s end can make a gift to one or more nonprofits through Network for Good’s giving portal www.networkforgood.org or through several Network for Good partner websites such as The Capital one No Hassle Giving Site (www.capitalone.com/give) Causes on Facebook (www.causes.com), Crowdrise (www.crowdrise.com), Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org) or GuideStar (www.guidestar.org).