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Not-for-profits optimistic about the future: survey

2 min read

Conducted in order to assess the impact of the recession on not-for-profit organisations across the world, the survey brings together responses from 126 respondents and every continent.

The Management Centre’s Director Bernard Ross said the survey results reflected the resilience of the global not-for-profit sector. “Fundraisers have been quick to adjust to the economic climate, and our experience is that roughly a third of not-for-profit organisations are stepping up to the challenge of the recession, and as a result becoming more effective and actually raising more income.

“In many cases, not-for-profit organisations report that donors are responding to increased need by increasing donations. But it’s not easy. Fundraisers are having to work harder and smarter to raise funds.”

The major findings show that:

  • 50 per cent of not-for-profit organisations globally reported a decline in income over the past year, 33 per cent saw an increase
  • Not-for-profit organisations in Asia were hit hardest with an average income fall of 13 per cent, compared to an average decline in Europe of just 1 per cent
  • Worldwide, fundraisers’ confidence is growing with 56 per cent reporting that they feel more optimistic about donations in the coming 12 months
  • Europeans are more pessimistic than any other region, with only 30 per cent feeling optimistic, compared to 70 per cent of Asians and Australasians.

Half of those surveyed not-for-profit organisations reported a decline in income, but one third (33 per cent) of fundraisers have generated additional income despite the recession, according to the survey.

Even among those who saw their income fall or stay static, the majority (54 per cent) were reluctant to blame the global recession as the sole factor, citing additional causes such as:

  • Difficulties in recruiting good fundraisers.
  • Poor crisis leadership from other directors and the board.
  • Lack of effective strategy for dealing with the crisis.

The most common factors reported to have positively impacted income levels were:

  • Increased investment in fundraising and working harder to counteract anticipated income falls.
  • Finding new sources of income.
  • Major donors stepping in to boost income.
  • Innovation in fundraising to create new offerings.

The research highlights the potential for success where fundraisers took a proactive approach in meeting the recession head on.

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