Report: Charitable Giving Recovered in 2003

Compared to 2002, fundraising in 2003 improved for most nonprofit organizations, with 73 percent of the 3,000 charitable fundraisers surveyed saying they raised the same amount of money or more in 2003 than in 2002, the Philanthropy News Network reported March 16.

The annual State of Fundraising 2003 Survey from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) found that 53 percent of charities raised more money in 2003 than the previous year, 20 percent raised about the same amount, and 27 percent said they raised less money in 2003.

“We have to keep in mind that 2001 and 2002 were some of the worst years for charitable giving over the past 40 years,” said AFP President and CEO Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE. “Charitable giving, while not outright decreasing, was very flat. While our survey can’t measure exactly when it happened, at some point in 2003, charitable giving turned the corner.”

The average overall increase among those surveyed was 5.74 percent. Education charities did the best in 2003, with environmental, religious, healthcare, and social-service organizations also performing well.

The survey also found that online giving is growing in popularity among charities and contributors. According to the report, 47 percent of the organizations queried said they used the Internet to solicit gifts, compared to 34 percent in 2002. Of those charities with online-giving capabilities, 61 percent raised more money online in 2003 than they did in 2002.