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Nonprofits optimistic on fundraising

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Nonprofits are a lot more upbeat about fundraising, a new survey says.

Among nonprofits surveyed by Sage North America for Sage Nonprofit Insights, Q1 2011, 90 percent are optimistic they will raise the same amount or more than they did in 2010.

That compares with 70 percent of respondents that said the amount they raised in 2010 was equal to or higher than the amount they raised in 2009.

Online fundraising still represents only a small share of funds nonprofits raise, the survey says, although nonprofits expect online giving to increase this year.

Nearly one in four nonprofits received no funds online in 2010, and just over half received only 1 percent to 5 percent of their donations online.

Another 14 percent received 6 percent to 10 percent of their donations online, and 11 percent received 12 percent of their donations online.

But 44 percent of nonprofits expect the share of online donations to grow in 2011, mainly by adding online-giving capability to their websites and promote it more in communications to donors.

Roughly half of nonprofits surveyed expect the amount of government funding they received to decline in 2011, mainly as the result of budget cuts by local government.

And 85 percent of nonprofits that receive some government funding say recent changes in the political environment will have at least some effect on their funding.

Seventy-four percent say they are “very or somewhat” concerned that some tax exemptions for nonprofits will be revoked in the next year or two.

“While signs point to a more positive outlook on fundraising, it’s clear that nonprofit organizations are still cautious and concerned, particularly as the state budget crisis and the [expiration of federal stimulus funds] continue to unfold,” Krisat Endsley, senior vice president and general manager for nonprofit solutions at Sage, says in a statement.

“We’re entering a time where diversification of funding sources and increasing attention to individual donors will be key for many groups looking to mitigate potential declines in government funding and contracts.”

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