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2012 a Stable Year for Higher Education Annual Funds: Fewer donors gave more, matching pre-recession national trends

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News Release

Blackbaud Inc. today announced the availability of the 2012 Index of Higher Education Fundraising Performance, a report that provides a summary of key performance indicators of annual funds at more than 100 public and private institutions.

“Fundraising for higher education annual funds in fiscal year 2012 can best be described as stable, or flat,” said Shaun Keister, author of the report and vice chancellor of development at UC Davis. “It appears donors had a holding pattern in their charitable giving. However, this isn’t bad news-given the economic challenges over the past several years, stability is what many programs seek.”

The analysis is conducted annually as part of Target Analytics’ donorCentrics Collaborative Benchmarking service for higher education organizations. Metrics are based on historical transactional information and are standardized across institutions to provide the most accurate, unbiased comparative performance information available in the sector.

Key findings include:

  • After a significant decline in 2009, followed by a slight bounce back in 2010 and 2011, higher education fundraising and performance across key metrics was relatively flat in 2012.
  • Donor retention rates continued to be stable, while reactivation rates continued to decline – a trend that appears to be sticking around.
  • Donors are giving more and making more gifts, increasing overall revenue per donor among nearly every type of donor (retained, reactivated, and new).
  • Participation rates continue to decline, a trend that is expected to continue until either the giving behaviors (and interests) of younger alumni shift more toward higher education, or annual giving programs develop more effective tools for engaging and soliciting younger alumni (such as recurring gift programs).

To download the report and learn about participating in future donorCentrics Collaborative Benchmarking groups, visit www.blackbaud.com/higheredfundraising.

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