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Giving inches up overall, surges online

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PJ staff report

Charitable giving overall grew 1.4 percent in the three months ended Aug. 31, compared to the same period a year earlier, while online giving grew 20.4 percent, two new reports say.

Still, charitable giving overall for human-services organizations fell 19.3 percent for the period, while online giving for those groups grew 20.5 percent, say the Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving and the Blackbaud Index of Online Giving.

“With the exception of the months immediately following the Haiti earthquake [on January 12], the Index shows that human services organizations have struggled to maintain positive year-over-year growth in 2010,” Steve MacLaughlin, director of Internet solutions for fundraising-software firm Blackbaud, says in a statement.

“Online fundraising has been the exception to this trend and has continued to have year-over-year growth for the past 12 consecutive months,” he says.

Launched in June, the charitable-giving index in July reported a 4.5 percent decline in overall giving for the previous three months compared to the same period a year earlier.

The overall trend is based on $2.2 billion in revenue over 12 months at 1,364 nonprofits, while the overall trend for human-services organizations is based on $640 million in revenue over 12 months at 431 groups.

Launched in July, the online-giving index initially reported a 12.4 perent increase for the previous three months.

The online-giving index is based on $407 million in revenue over 12 months at 1,676 organizations.

“The summer months were particularly difficult as the economy took a hit and people’s attention was brought back to the economy,” Lynn Edmonds, president of direct-response fundraising agency LW Robins, says in a statement released Blackbaud. “The economy is bouncing back a little now.”

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