A Potpourri of Research for Fundraisers

Have you ever thought:

I really want to keep up with the latest research in nonprofit fundraising. But I barely have time to care for all of my donors. I wish someone would just share a list with me.

Well, here’s one I pulled together for fundraisers like you with the help of my Twitter peeps. It ranges from broad studies on the state of fundraising to more specific research on donors or online giving. There’s even a study on how much fundraisers get paid.

Consider it a place to start. And please, I welcome your contributions of research reports that have helped you be more thoughtful about your fundraising.

Thought provoking, must reads:

Underdeveloped:  A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising. CompassPoint. 2013

What it costs: Free download

What it says: Troubling findings documenting widespread instability in the profession, including high turnover, lack of commitment to profession, performance problems and long vacancies in positions. Small and medium sized nonprofits can’t find enough qualified fundraisers at a cost they can afford. Small and medium sized nonprofits lack many of the conditions for fundraising success including basics such as fundraising plans and data management systems to poor relationships between development and executive directors and lack of an organization wide culture of philanthropy.

Great Fundraising. Clayton Burnett, researched by Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang, 2013

What it costs: Free download.

What it says: This study of 5 top performing UK fundraising charities, as identified by 20 “leading thinkers”  asks and answers: What makes for great fundraising? Described as delivering substantive growth, it requires Level 5 leadership, a talented and experienced team, a culture of organizational learning, effective communicators, and individual and team systems thinkers. Read the executive summary.

Growing Philanthropy in the United States. June 2011 Summit in Washington DC, Sponsored by Blackbaud and Hartsook

What it costs: Free download

What it says: This think tank offers twenty recommendations for how we can improve charitable giving in the US, which has remained static at 2% of household income over the last 40 years. Recommendations range from a focus on individual donors to improving the fundraising profession.

A Few Handy Benchmarking Sites

To do your own comparative research:

ASampling of Other Research of Interest

If you are wondering about how your compensation compares to others.
2013 AFP Compensation and Benefits Study

Wondering about the effectiveness of your online fundraising? Take a look at this study.

Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study

We are big fans of Penelope Burk’s Donor-Centered Fundraising which looked into the minds of donors. This report adds to that:

2012 Cygnus Donor Survey.

Wondering where those pie charts on who gives in the US and where they give come from? This is the study. You can get the executive summary for free:.

Giving USA

Wondering what the wealthiest think about their charitable giving?

High Net Worth Philanthropy

A study of the nonprofits founded 1970 or later that that passed $50 million in revenues. A surprising finding – they did not have highly diversified revenue sources.

How Nonprofits Get Really Big

If you’ve been looking for data on young donors, this is a good place to start.

Millennial Donors
This report reveals what research donors do before giving. You’ll be surprised.

More Money for More Good

The facts and figures about social media use. Draw your own conclusions.

State of the Media, Social Media Report 2012 Nielsen

What’s on your list? Please send that along so I can add to this list.

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