Fundraising Climate Darkest in Decade

    Confidence in fundraising has plunged to the lowest level since at least 1998, according to the latest data from the Philanthropic Giving Index (PGI).

    Nonprofit fundraising professionals surveyed by researchers at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University gave an overall PGI score of 64.8 in December, down 21.7 percent in six months and 27 percent from December 2007. Historically, the PGI — launched in 1998 — has ranged from 72.3 in the summer of 2003 to 94.6 in December 1999.

    Human-services, public-benefit, environmental, animal-welfare, and international programs reported the most difficult fundraising environment.

    “This is a hard year for fundraisers at many organizations across the nonprofit spectrum. These results reflect that the U.S. economy is in recession,” said Patrick Rooney, interim executive director of the Center on Philanthropy. “Our research for Giving USA Foundation shows that total giving generally declines by about 2.7 percent annually during longer recessions. While we don’t yet know what will happen to total giving in 2008, the PGI is a strong indicator of the difficult challenges fundraisers are clearly concerned with as 2008 comes to a close.”


    January 2009