Fundraising Effectiveness Project – 2017 Survey Report

The 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Project Survey Report summarized data from 10,829 non-profit organizations covering year to year fundraising results for 2015-2016.


Here is a quick outline of just some of the findings:

  • Participating organizations raised $9.129 billion dollars in 2016 compared to $8.862 billion dollars in 2015 for an overall rate of growth in giving of 3% ($267 million).
  • Participating organizations had 8.91 million donors contributing in 2016 compared to 8.86 million donors contributing in 2015 for an overall rate of growth in donors of 0.6% (49,421).
  • The donor retention rate was 45 percent in 2016. That is, only 45 percent of 2015 donors made repeat gifts to participating nonprofits in 2016.
  • The gift retention rate was 48 percent in 2016. That is, only 48 percent of 2015 dollars raised were raised again by participating nonprofits in 2016.
  • Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size (based on total amount raised), with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones.

The 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report summarizes data provided by four donor software firms: Bloomerang, DonorPerfect, eTapestry and Neon. These four firms provided anonymized gift transactions for all of the non-profits using their software. This data was then cleansed to remove abnormalities, for example any organization with less than 25 donors, or organizations that did not have any donors in 2015 or 2016. The resultant data set contained 10,829 non-profit organizations.