Index: Fewer donate, but they dig deeper

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The Target Analysis Group Quarterly Index of National Fundraising Performance found a 2.4 percent median decline in donors for the first three quarters of 2006 compared with the same period in 2005.
As in the previous two quarters of 2006, Q3 donor counts decreased because of declining acquisition of new donors and declining retention and reactivation rates. However, revenue received per donor rose 2.4 percent over the same period, making Q3 year-to-date revenue essentially stagnant versus the same period in 2005, with a median decline of 0.6 percent.
Target Analysis Group delivers data-driven, collaborative solutions to help nonprofits maximize their fundraising potential.
The Cambridge, MA, company reported that donor counts were down in all five industry sectors analyzed in the index. One explanation is that an exceptional fundraising period occurred the year before, including relief for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Organizations in the international relief and animal welfare sectors had the largest donor and revenue declines.
Nonprofits in the advocacy, health and environmental sectors had median revenue increases in the third quarter of 0.05 percent, 2.3 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. These sectors experienced the same donor declines as the rest of the index, the analysis said, so these revenue increases result from growth in revenue per donor.
The index findings were based on data analysis of donor giving transactions. Target Analysis Group evaluated transactions for 67 nonprofit groups, including nearly 37 million donors and more than 66 million gifts totaling $1.8 billion. The complete summary can be found at The next installment of the index, to be released in March, will report through December 2006.

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