Cambridge, MA (Vocus) July 1, 2008
Organizations in the Target Analytics Index of National Fundraising Performance generally underperformed in the first quarter of 2008 (January through March). Overall donors and revenue both declined in Q1 2008, and the declines were evident across most of the sectors in the index.
Donor numbers in the index fell -4.0% from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008. Donors have been declining consistently for the past two and a half years; the index has not experienced positive donor growth since the U.S. Gulf Coast hurricanes in the fall of 2005. About a third (39%) of the organizations in the index had positive growth in the first quarter of 2008 over the same period one year before.
In the first quarter of 2008, for the first time in two and a half years, overall revenue declined as well. Revenue fell -1.8% from Q1 2007 to Q1 2008. 40% of the organizations in the index had positive revenue growth in Q1.
Revenue per donor has been steadily increasing for the past two years. This continued into the first quarter of 2008 as well. Revenue per donor grew 2.1% from Q1 2007 to Q1 2008, on top of 3.6% growth over the same period one year before.
Until now, increases in revenue per donor compensated for donor declines, allowing overall revenue to continue to grow. In the most recent quarter, however, continued revenue per donor growth could not make up for the donor decreases and prevent overall revenue from declining.
For most organizations, overall donor declines have been due primarily to declines in new donor acquisition. New donors declined -2.3% from Q1 2007 to Q1 2008, on top of a -5.3% decline over the same period one year before. Just under half (47%) of the organizations in the index did, however, have positive new donor growth in the first quarter of 2008; this is an encouraging change from previous quarters when new donor declines were more widespread.
First quarter numbers only represent returns over the first three months of the calendar year and these three months are often the slowest period of giving during a given year for many organizations. Fundraisers may shift annual direct marketing campaigns from one quarter to another. In addition, smaller donor counts and revenue totals in Q1 tend to exaggerate the magnitude of percentage increases and decreases in donors and revenue. For these reasons, Q1 results may not be fully representative of eventual year-end results.
For a complete summary of key findings, please visit http://www.blackbaud.com/targetanalytics.
Target Analytics, a Blackbaud company, delivers data-driven, collaborative solutions designed to help non-profit organizations maximize their fundraising potential.
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