Half of Non-Profits Face Fundraising Troubles in 2012

Year-end holiday giving not expected to improve situation

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The 2nd study in a 1-week period shows fundraising at more than half of charities nationwide is faring poorly. And recent analysis of data from 500 non-profit organizations found that 37% raised less in the first three quarters of 2012 than during the same period of 2011.  

Only 28% received only as much as they had last year. Three-quarters of the groups that suffered a drop said fewer people were giving, and those who were contributed smaller sums.  

Nonprofits aren’t expecting the year-end holiday giving season to improve the situation much:

  1. About 65% of charities in the survey predicted that contributions in the last three months of 2012 would be less, or about the same as they were in the last quarter of 2011.
  2. And of those predicting an increase, most said it would be moderate, with only 2% of charities predicting large gains.

The percentage of charities reporting a decline, according to GuideStar, was the second highest since the survey was started 11 years ago, and surpassed only in 2009 when slightly more than 50% of charities reported a drop in donations.

The share of charities reporting declines fell in both 2010 and 2011 before rising again this year.

While donations to certain types of charities — especially donor-advised funds, which depend largely on wealthy contributors — has finally exceeded pre-recession levels, the two studies released this week suggest that it will be a long time until most nonprofits have recovered from the downturn.

Another pressure nonprofits are facing is a growing need for aid. Nearly two-thirds of charities in the GuideStar survey said that demand for their services has grown this year.

Some 38% reported a modest increase in demand or need, with 26% reporting greatly increased requests for help.

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