Trends Suggest the Unsettled Economy and Election Season Dampen Fundraising
Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB) today announced that charitable giving remained relatively flat through September 2012. Overall charitable giving fell 3.1% and online giving grew slightly by 2.7% in the three months ending September 2012 as compared to the same period a year ago.
Continuing uncertainty about the economy and the outcome of the fall elections appear to be having a large impact on charitable fundraising. "The recession is continuing to hurt people," said Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud's chief scientist and founder of The Blackbaud Index. "Things are challenging now across most nonprofit sub-sectors, with most nonprofits doing the best they can to hold their own and donors doing the same." Nonprofits also are finding it "very difficult to find new donors, but doing a decent job holding onto the donors they have” he said.
Blackbaud also released a report focused on fundraising trends based on monthly findings from The Blackbaud Index and featuring commentary from Patrick Bassett, president of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Karla Williams, principal of The Williams Group and Kimberly Kubik, director of advancement at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass. In addition, a new specialty index focused on K-12 Independent Schools was launched today and will be updated monthly going forward.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving are updated on the first of each month (or the next business day) and are based on a three-month moving average of year-over-year percent changes in US-based charitable giving. They represent the most comprehensive and timely sources of charitable giving available. To subscribe to monthly email or text alerts, or to read about the methodology, visit www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that overall charitable revenue decreased 3.1% for the three months ending September 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011. This trend is based on $8.3 billion in 12 months' revenue from 2,931 nonprofit organizations.
Blackbaud also releases additional data and analysis that reports on organizations by size. The Index found that three-month overall charitable revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased 1.8% in September, while overall charitable revenue at medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1 – 10 million) increased 2.4%, and overall charitable revenue at large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million) decreased 7.2%.
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that online revenue increased by 2.7% for the three months ending September 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011. This trend is based on $379 million in 12 months' online revenue from 1,926 organizations.
The Index found that three-month online revenue for small organizations (prior year revenue of < $1 million) increased 9.6% in September, while online revenue at medium organizations (prior year revenue of $1 – 10 million) increased 6.7%, and online revenue at large organizations (prior year revenue > $10 million) decreased 3.3%.
NEW: The Blackbaud Index – K-12 Independent Schools
Blackbaud introduced a new specialty index this month, focused on the K-12 independent schools, which will be updated monthly going forward.
The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving reports that K-12 independent schools had an overall charitable revenue increase of 3.1% for the three months ending September 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011. This trend is based on $499 million in 12 month revenue from 321 schools.
The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving reports that K-12 independent schools had an online revenue increase of 17.6% for the three months ending September 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011. This trend is based on $30 million in 12 month revenue from 132 schools. For historical charts, visit www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex.
Key fundraising strategies that have proven effective at independent schools, said NAIS's Basset, include early and persistent cultivation of donors. Schools should begin cultivating alumni as soon as they graduate, and should work continually to build relationships with them, he said. "Know the donor," he said. "At the end of the day, people give because of their interests, not because of the school's need, but because they want to feel good about something."
Effective fundraising strategies also include telling compelling stories that focus on people and communicating with donors using vehicles that they prefer, including the use of mobile and digital media. "It's not one size fits all," he said. "It's what size fits you."
Visit www.blackbaud.com/blackbaudindex for further information on The Blackbaud Index and additional industry subsets, for monthly updates on the first (or next business day) or to subscribe to email or text alerts, and to download the latest report.
Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than 27,000 customers in over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12 education, animal welfare and other charitable causes. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutions and related services for organizations of all sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, social media, advocacy, constituent relationship management (CRM), analytics, financial management and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine and honored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or upon request from Blackbaud's investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.
Melanie Mathos, 843-216-6200 x3307