An Oscar-Worthy Performance from the 2014 Charitable Giving Report


Blackbaud’s 2014 Charitable Giving Report is out and it just might be our industry’s equivalent to the “Summer #1 Blockbuster” flick. (Besides the fact that it’s 15 degrees out, it’s February, the report is all about data, it’s not a movie, it doesn’t come with popcorn, and it’s free. Other than that - this report is Oscar-worthy.)

Who doesn’t appreciate a recap of 24 months of giving data sourced from 4,798 nonprofit organizations and more than $16.2 BILLION in fundraising revenue?! Yes, Blackbaud Data Analysts, I tip my wooly winter hat to you.

Aaaand now… Let’s roll out the red carpet for the 5 most glamorous key takeaways from the 2015 Charitable Giving Report:

  1. Giving is Growing: Overall giving grew approximately 2.1% in 2014 over the previous year
  2. The Small and the Mighty are Getting Mightier: Small organizations (Less than $1M) had the greatest increase in overall fundraising in 2014
  3. Where Do I Get My Biggest Bang for My Buck?? Online - that’s where. Online giving grew 8.9% YoY
  4. The Who’s-Who: Specific verticals including Higher Ed, K-12 Ed and Healthcare saw the biggest lift(s) in online revenue
  5. The Icing on the Fundraising Cake: Online donations were 6.7% of all fundraising in 2014 - still a fairly small piece of the red velvet cake - but growing year after year

These gems tell me that digital optimization will continue to pay-out dividends in ROI as Americans continue to be become more and more online-savvy. Regardless of digital device, as people turn to online channels to pay their bills, buy goods, connect with friends - they are also turning online to give to their favorite causes.

The question is - how are you reaching new supporters online? According to the donorCentric Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report, online-acquired donors have a much higher cumulative value over time than traditional mail-acquired donors. Furthermore, email drives more conversions, by the numbers, than other online outreach including social media. So, if you’re looking for new online donors - your strongest bet is to recruit new email-responsive folks and effectively cultivate them toward high-impact actions such as giving.

As I continue to flesh out the report for my cinema-ready screenplay, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Christopher Walken agrees to the leading role.


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Amanda Luther is a Senior Client Manager at