New U.S. Giving Survey Released: Impact of Disaster-Relief Fundraising on Nonprofits

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The survey reports that 72% of respondents believe that fundraising for disaster-relief missions has reduced giving to other missions, trust and donor fatigue are issues, and small to medium size nonprofit organizations are the most impacted by funding shortfalls.

A new national survey released by several firms working with nonprofit organizations confirms that donors need to dig deeper in 2005. Funding shortfalls at nonprofit organizations are another disaster in the making–-loss of key services.

Charley Shimanski, President/CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association says, “The results of this survey are critical to us because many nonprofits receive 50% of their charitable gifts in November and December and we now have the data to deliver our message of the need for charitable giving ‘at home.’”

The survey gathered information from over 500 donors, nonprofits and nonprofit consultants nationwide.

The survey revealed, in part that:

  •     32% of donors who gave to disaster relief efforts did so by diverting a portion or all of their regular giving to other causes.
  •     56.6% of nonprofit organizations that conducted annual campaigns this year and measured results experienced decreases over previous efforts. Of those, 95.4% reported that the decrease was directly tied (41.9%) or suspected to be tied (53.5%) to disaster relief.

View Full Report:
View Additional Data:
View Short Fact Sheet on Findings:

The survey partners suggest, “Donors, your generosity is more important now than ever. It is vital to sustain your giving to organizations you have supported in the past, because people they serve still depend on your gift.”

The survey contains significant additional findings related to donor fatigue, donors’ trust in how charitable gifts are spent, nonprofits’ views on how they are perceived by the public, and the impact of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005.

“As consultants working with nonprofit organizations, we conducted this survey for the benefit of all nonprofit organizations. We learned that many nonprofits have provided disaster relief even though it was not in their mission and many received no additional funding to do so. We are amazed at what was accomplished by these agencies for the people, animals and other organizations impacted by disasters. But we are concerned about what will happen to these organizations if donors' support for their vital missions is not restored,” say the survey partners.

The survey was conducted by a partnership of consultants who donated their time and resources to gather this valuable information for nonprofits:

CommUlinks of Colorado

Contacts: Jim Moore, Renée Beauregard

Phone: 303-400-3456


M.L. Hanson Consulting

Contact: M.L. Hanson

Phone: 303-627-4044



Contact: Charles Maclean, PhD

Phone: 503-297-1490


Whole Brain Technologies, LLC

Contact: Teri Robnett

Phone: 866-833-2494


Primary Nonprofit Collaborator:

Colorado Nonprofit Association

Contact: Charley Shimanski

Phone: 303-832-5710

Mobile: 303-909-9348


"Final Report: Fundraising in Light of Recent Disasters," the survey, "Fundraising in Light of Recent Disasters-3rd Quarter Results," "Vital Points," and "Other Responses are © Copyright 2005 - All Rights Reserved

See Quotation, Linking and Attribution Policies in the Final Report.

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Jim Moore
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