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Nonprofits Say Annual Giving Revenue, Donor Numbers Grew in FY2011

Nearly 70 percent  of respondents to a new survey on annual giving say their organizations raised more during fiscal year 2011 compared to 2010, and more than 60 percent say they saw an increase in the number of donors.

The 2012 Survey of Annual Giving Programs by the Annual Giving Network features responses from annual giving professionals at nonprofit organizations worldwide in education, arts and culture, health, human services and environment. Nearly 90 percent identified themselves as educational organizations.

"With a majority of the responding organizations identifying themselves as educational, it's likely that the survey provides a more accurate depiction of this sector," writes Dan Allenby, founder of the Annual Giving Network and assistant vice president for annual giving at Boston University.

A significant finding of the survey is that direct mail appeals accounted for the largest source of donors at most organizations (60 percent) as well as the largest source of annual giving revenue at most organizations (73 percent).

Other key findings:

  • Direct mail is viewed as the top strategic priority for annual giving programs with 94 percent citing it as important or very important.
  • Personal outreach by staff, volunteer engagement and board giving are seen as higher strategic priorities than any marketing program or tactic with the exception of direct mail.
  • Most annual giving programs have relatively few staff members and modest budgets.
  • Annual giving is a relatively stable field with the majority of staff viewing it as a potential long-term career.
  • New media and technology, such as social media and texting, remain relatively low strategic priorities in the field.

The Annual Giving Network surveyed more than 260 organizations worldwide.

This article is from the June 2012 issue of BriefCASE.