by Kendra Carter and Chris Delja
2017 was a busy year for nonprofits! A new administration in Washington instituted changes in many areas that directly impacted their programmatic work. The tax reform bill that was passed in late December will likely have long-term implications for charitable giving.
As nonprofits wrapped up year-end giving, the roundData team was interested to see what the fundraising data would reveal.
Fundraising Data in 2017: A Year of Varying Success
The data we looked at was from the subset of NGO Connect clients who are also roundData subscribers. Also, we specifically focused on national organizations with robust offline marketing programs.
Keeping this in mind, we found that nonprofits experienced varying levels of success in 2017.
Year over year revenue ranged from -6% to 24% growth, with an average of 14% growth. Year over year changes in the number of gifts had a broad range–from -17% to 39% growth. Overall, the number of gifts increased by an average of 9%.
There was also a broad range for the number of donors. We saw a range between -39% and 29% growth in the overall number of donors.
While growth fluctuated across some categories, there was also consistent growth in categories like sustainer giving, annual contributions, and $1000+ gifts.
A Strong Year for Sustainers
Monthly giving was a driver for both revenue and donors in 2017. While the numbers likely represent increased investment in monthly giving programs, most organizations who saw big increases in these programs focus on relief and advocacy work. Overall revenue from sustainers increased from a low of 16% to a high of 73%, with an average of 19%.
This revenue growth appears to result from greater numbers of sustaining donors, rather than from increases in average sustainer gift amount. The number of sustainers grew at a range of 9% to 60%, with an average of 14%. Comparatively, the average sustaining gift amount grew at a range of 0% to 9%, with the average of about 1%.
Increase in Annual Contributions
For most of the organizations in our data set, the overall annual contribution per donor did go up. This suggests that there was positive change in factors like donor retention, and a decrease in the number of missed payments.
93% of donors in our data set gave through an automated method (credit card or ACH), and provided 95% of the revenue. 7% of donors still pay by check, although they are only responsible for 5% of the revenue.
Greater Support from $1000+ Donors
We were also interested in analyzing $1000+ donations. Results indicate that 2017 was a positive year for clients, with growth almost across the board in terms of revenue that came from these $1000+ gifts. Revenue rose from just under 1% to 19%, with an average growth of 15%.
In general, we also saw increases in the number of gifts (8% average growth) and number of donors (4% average growth) in this $1000+ group, too. Average gift amount grew slightly for most organizations, ranging from -5% to a 40% increase, with an average increase of 8%. However, the annual revenue per donor grew by an average of about 12% across our data set. In fact, we saw growth in this metric for all clients.
I hope you enjoyed this brief look at fundraising data trends from 2017! Stay tuned for another post that focuses more on channel based giving and donor retention.
For more robust sector based information, we also encourage you to check out the Target Analytics Index of Direct Marketing Fundraising Performance when they release their Q4 2017 results. If you have any questions about roundData, feel free to contact us.