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Giving grows overall, falls online

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Chuck Longfield

Chuck Longfield

Charitable revenue overall grew 3 percent in the three months ended in February, compared to the same period a year earlier, while online giving fell 8.6 percent, two new reports say.

Based on $2.2 billion in 12 months’ revenue from 1,430 nonprofits, The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving also found overall charitable revenue grew 6.4 percent in the three-month period at organizations with prior-year revenue of less than $1 million, compared to 4.8 percent at organizations with prior-year revenue of $1 million to $10 million, and 1.1 percent at organizations with prior-year revenue of over $10 million.

Based on $427 million in 12 months’ online revenue from 1,837 organizations, the Blackbaud Index of Online Giving found online revenue grew 18.8 percent in the three-month period for organizations with prior-year charitable revenue of less than $1 million, and 1.3 percent at organizations with prior-year revenue of $1 million to $10 million, but fell 27 percent at organizations with prior-year revenue of over $10 million.

Excluding online giving to international relief organizations, giving that grew significantly in the first three months of 2010 as part of the outpouring of giving to Haiti relief efforts, online giving for the three months ended in February grew 2.6 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Blackbaud also reported, based on $221 million in 12-month revenue from 163 organizations,  that overall charitable revenue to arts, culture and humanities organizations fell 3.1 percent for the three-month period, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Based on $19 million in 12-month revenue form 153 organizations, Blackbaud also reported that online revenue at arts, culture and humanities organizations grew 19 percent for the three-month period.

Chuck Longfield, chief scientist at Blackbaud and creator of the Blackbaud Index, says in a statement that the 3 percent increase in overall giving for the three-month period represented the seventh-straight quarter of higher giving.

And while overall giving remains at roughly 5 percent below pre-recession levels, he says, the increase “indicates we are well into a recovery in charitable giving.”

The increase is especially significant, he says, in comparison to the outpouring of giving to relief efforts in Haiti in the prior period.

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