Microsoft word pareto fundraising media release latest benchmarking analysis may 2010 v4 jg
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4 May 2010
Leading Canadian charities come together in the spirit of sharing and best
Pareto Fundraising has released the results of their 2010 benchmarking study looking at trends
in the Canadian charitable sector.
The latest analysis looks at data through to the end of December 2009 from the participating 14
Canadian charities including: Amnesty International Canada, BC Cancer Foundation, Canadian
Diabetes Association, Canadian Red Cross (Western Canada), CARE Canada, The Children’s Wish
Foundation Canada, cbm Canada, Canadian Feed The Children, David Suzuki Foundation,
Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Nature, the
SickKids Foundation and WWF-Canada.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, the results were mixed as to how charities in Canada
have fared. Whilst income overall fell in 2009, there were certainly some positive signs for the
sector, again reinforcing that those organizations that have taken a long term view to growth
have come through the financial downturn relatively unscathed and in a strong position
heading into and beyond 2010.
Specifically, the latest analysis, which looked at historical data from 4.7m donors and more than
$2.2b worth of gifts, found that:
• Income from individuals fell in 2009, down 10% to $158m. The key driver of that was a
drop in onetime cash gifts donated, which decreased $17m last year (this is due to a
decline in the number of cash gifts – the average cash gift actually rose).
• As reported in the previous round of analysis, monthly giving continues to provide a
tremendous stream of ongoing income for charities. At the height of the recession,
monthly giving grew 9% in 2009, now providing $48m annually for the 14 organizations
involved in the cooperative. Based on the current growth trajectory, monthly giving
looks set to overtake cash giving in the next year as the major source of individual
funding for Canadian charities.
• Income from planned gifts increased last year (8%) despite the average value of realized
bequests falling from $35k to $32k (though it still remained well above the 2007 level of
$27K). This represents a huge area of growth for Canadian organizations. Despite the
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fact that the number of bequests left each year is on the rise, these levels are still
lagging behind other developed fundraising nations.
• The level of income and number of new cash donors from direct mail fell in 2009 by
15% and 22% respectively. This decrease in income was despite the increase in average
gift levels via direct mail overall (a bigger increase than in the previous year).
This decline in income was offset partly by the shift in focus for many organizations to
recruiting monthly donors. The fall in new donors being recruited is both a reflection of
less prospecting activity being undertaken overall, as well as a fall in the number of new
recruits coming on board.
• Online giving continues to grow, an increase in income of 17% from 2008. However
giving online remains a relatively small chunk of the pie, accounting for just 2% of all
individual income versus more traditional means like direct mail which represents closer
According to Rebecca Davies, Director of Fundraising at Médecins Sans Frontières, participation
in the benchmarking study over the past two years has helped Médecins Sans Frontières make
responsible choices about which areas to invest in, particularly during turbulent times.
Davies says “The involvement in the benchmarking group has not only helped reassure us that
the decisions we’ve made to invest heavily in monthly giving and bequests have strategically
been the rights ones for us but the participation in discussions with other leading Canadian
organizations has been invaluable. We really appreciate the candour and sharing of best
practices in the group sessions, and getting some context to the data provided.”
For more information on Pareto Fundraising’s Benchmarking Study please contact Jonathon
Grapsas at +1 647-347-0157 or by email at email@example.com.