Smaller Mass. Nonprofits May Face Fundraising Challenges
September 26, 2017 Smaller Massachusetts nonprofits may have to work harder this year to raise fundsmeaning seeking more gifts from individuals who are likely to make smaller average donationsif findings from a recently completed study of nonprofits nationally hold up for the Bay State.
According to the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey
, based on input from 155 organizations with annual revenue under $2 million, completed and released by Third Space Studio, a North Carolina strategy consultant to nonprofits, 36% of overall revenue came from individual donations last year. That was up from 34% the year before.
At the same time, 48% of individual donors gave $1,000 or more, down from 50% the year before.
Adding to fundraising demands is a reported drop in the share of board members who are engaged in individual fundraising work, falling to 38% last year from 40% the year before.
According to the survey, nonprofits retain 60% of individual donors from one year to the next. However, consistent with the drop in average individual gifts, recurring gifts last year accounted for 12% of individual donor revenue, down slightly from 14% the year before.
The smaller the organization, the more dependent it is on individual donations. According to the survey:
- Organizations with annual budgets under $200,000 derive 48% of their revenue from individual donors.
- Those with annual budgets of $200,000 $499,999 get 41% of their revenue from individual donors.
- Organizations with annual budgets of $500,000 $999,999 derive 25% of their revenue from individual donors.
- Organizations with annual budgets of $1 million to $2 million get 24% of their revenue from individual donors.
Online fundraising seems to be on the rise. Last year, 24% of individual donations came through the web, up from 21% the year before. And 40% of online donors gave an average gift of $300.
Seventy-four percent of nonprofits reported having a fundraising plan, with 82% of those plans including strategies, goals, and a calendar of fundraising activities. However, only 47% of those plans included a breakdown of activities and sub-goals, and only 31% included a clear articulation of resources available for fundraising.
Fundraising plans are more fully useful if they're consulted: only 12% of survey respondents said they often consult and adjust their plans. Another 42% said they look at their plan on a regular basis, and 8% rarely consulted their plan.