Giving rebounds, donors decline

The drop in giving following the unprecedented outpouring of support in the wake of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina has ended, but the number of people donating to charity continues to fall, a new report says.

Response to the disasters caused a spike in overall giving in 2005, but corrected in the first three quarters of 2006, causing both revenue and donor counts to drop, as recorded by Target Analysis Group’s Index of National Fundraising Performance.

However, fundraising revenue rebounded in the fourth quarter of last year, the Target’s fourth-quarter report says, fueling a 0.7 percent increase in revenue in 2006 compared to 2005.

While the fourth-quarter results indicate a turnaround in donations, the actual number of people contributing to charity has fallen 2.8 percent from 2004 to 2006, due to declines in both donor acquisition and retention.

Growth in revenue-per-donor drove the overall increase in fundraising revenue last year, but the study cautions that continuing declines in donors could hurt revenue over the long term.

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