The Blackbaud Institute Index – UK

Special Section: Spotlight on JustGiving

To ensure no great cause goes unfunded, JustGiving has also helped people in 164 countries raise over $4.5 billion since its inception in 2000 for good causes through online fundraising and crowdfunding. Though COVID-19 impacted large charity participation events, JustGiving tracked strong giving rates throughout the year due to increased personal activations. Even without marathons and other traditional active events, consumers led the way through personal appeals, runs, and walks, such as Captain Tom Moore’s nearly $40M fundraiser. The profound response from individuals was a key driver of the increase, more than doubling the number of donations YOY in certain use-cases. Here are just a few of the interesting trends we’ve tracked over the last year.

  • Active fundraising donations (cycling, marathons, walks, etc.): -48%
  • Charity Appeals Overall YOY: 199%
  • In-memory Appeals YOY: 56%

How we create the Index

Each quarter, we draw actual giving statistics from the databases of around 300 U.K.-based participating organisations using various fundraising systems to determine how much revenue was raised. We include giving from all sources of fundraising activities: direct mail, telemarketing, face-to-face fundraising, email, online, mobile giving, small- and large-scale events, and major and deferred giving.

We do not include the unfulfilled portion of pledge gifts, but we do include the donated value of in-kind and stock gifts. We include giving from individuals, corporations, and foundations but do not include giving by individuals or corporations to private and community foundations or other intermediaries. To include these gifts would double count the revenue when those organisations subsequently make grants to other nonprofits. We do not currently exclude the value of goods and services provided in exchange for gifts (e.g., the cost of premiums) but hope to in the future. And lastly, we do include adjustments made to gifts (e.g., bounced checks and refunds) to provide a more accurate accounting of real revenues. As a result, you may find that indices values change slightly as we obtain newly-adjusted data from each organisation.

We report the Index as a three-month moving median of year-over-year percent changes in giving. We add up all giving for the prior three months and compare this total to the same three months one year earlier to calculate the annual percent change for each organisation in our Index.

“Economic conditions, natural disasters, and market fluctuations have made it extremely difficult for non-profits to make fundraising decisions informed by the latest donor behavior. That is why we created the Blackbaud Institute Index — to provide insight into what happened in the prior quarter and valuable analysis by leaders in the sector into what fundraisers can learn from it.”

- Chuck Longfield, Founder of Blackbaud Institute Index and Blackbaud Institute Advisory Board Member

Many organisations have big campaigns (events or mailings) that occur at roughly the same time each year. However, if an event was in late April one year but early May the next, the change in monthly giving might be significant while the change in giving over a three-month period might be the same. An index based on a moving median is less sensitive to these small timing issues and will serve as a more practical decision-making tool. However, one downside of a moving median is that it can dampen large fluctuations caused, for example, by disaster relief giving.

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For more UK insight: The Status of UK Fundraising 2020

For more on these trends and additional insights, check out the Blackbaud Institute annual Charitable Giving Report.

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Benchmarking: The Insight Track to Success

Listen to your data to transform your organisation’s strategy. The Blackbaud Institute Index and Charitable Giving Report keep you aware of the trends, and now this guide offers practical strategies for using these resources to introduce benchmarking across your organisation. Click below to download the free guide, no email required!

Download the guide now

As 2020 continued to unfold with rapidly evolving challenges and change, the social good community finds itself navigating an unprecedented landscape. The global COVID-19 pandemic forced organisations to grapple with seismic shifts to their operations from canceling major fundraising events to working remotely to altering service delivery in adherence to government guidelines while meeting constituent needs. Social good leaders found themselves needing to respond to an overwhelming amount of unexpected change all at once.

The way your organisation adapts to challenges will determine both your current and long-term organisational health. The effects of the year’s many changes will continue to play out for some time. Strong leaders focus on resilience, ensuring the organisation can weather the storm while still being positioned for future growth. The Blackbaud Institute Index offers data trends to help you understand the current situation.

Since its launch in 2014, the Blackbaud Institute Index has grown to track over £310 million from approximately 300 organisations in U.K.-based charitable giving. The Blackbaud Institute Index is updated each quarter and reports year-over-year percent changes and giving to date for the last 12 months. For even more in-depth insights on how current and long-term trends can help you on the path ahead, read our newly released 2020 Charitable Giving Report.

Giving trend data is an invaluable tool, but it is only a retrospective that shows us what has already happened. Remember that charitable giving data is one facet of the philanthropic prism. Always track trends across your full revenue portfolio and target a sustainable funding mix in your long-term plans

Quarterly Overall Charitable Giving

  • Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019-11.2%
  • Last 12-Months-5.9%*

In 2020, overall charitable giving in the Blackbaud Institute U.K. Index decreased by 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. U.K. organisations received 4.3% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2020 Charitable Giving Report for more.

*In the past 12 months ending in December 2020, U.K. organisations experienced a 5.9% decrease in overall fundraising and a 32.0% increase in online fundraising.

Navigating the Current Landscape

  • Consider how your organisation is adapting to maximise digital engagement with supporters. As social distancing recommendations continue to keep in-person gatherings on hold, organisations across all sectors are being forced to innovate and engage differently across digital marketing efforts. Embrace this opportunity to use social media and digital platforms as a way to stay connected with supporters. If your organisation’s doors are shut to the public or your services are limited, staff should consider how they might be able to deliver some of the same programming through Facebook Live or other online platforms. Donors are more understanding than ever before and many are open to these platforms.
  • Remember that donor retention remains one of the most essential factors in fundraising success. Donors give because they believe in the organisation’s mission and believe their gift can make a difference. You should stay focused on communicating the continued value of your mission and stewarding your supporters. By this same token, don’t be afraid to be transparent with donors about challenges the organisation may potentially face due to a crisis. Supporters want to know how the causes they care about are faring. Earnest communication about challenges allows donors to engage and give the support that is needed.
  • Stay connected across teams so you can respond with agility. While you may still be working remotely, it has never been more critical for all teams across your organization to stay in sync. Your capacity for embracing innovative solutions to new challenges will rely on your team’s ability to stay connected. Now is the time for leaders to focus on transparency and communication. If it isn’t already part of your regular cadence, consider incorporating emails or video updates from leaders to keep staff engaged and on the same page. Continue to focus on strong data management practices so that all teams can access the information they need.

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