The Blackbaud Institute Index – Canada

Even in the current environment, generosity continues to remain strong. Over the last 12 months, organizations of all sizes saw increases in their fundraising. Whether responding to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, expressing passion through a social movement, or supporting a pandemic-related cause, constituents have continued to give.

Various factors like the pandemic will continue to play out for some time. Strong leaders focus on building cohesion and resilience, ensuring the organization can maintain the course while still positioning for future growth. The Blackbaud Institute Index offers data trends to help you understand the current situation.

The Blackbaud Institute Index offers data trends to help you understand the current landscape, as well as the context you need to leverage this as a benchmark against your own efforts. Data can help crystallize your understanding and offer insights on what the recent several months illuminate. We hope you can use this Index to gain confidence in your own planning. These insights should help recalibrate and reinvigorate you in fulfilling your mission over the next few months and beyond.

The Blackbaud Institute Index includes over 200 Canadian organizations and nearly $330 million in giving. The 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 the 2021 Charitable Giving Report published in February 2022, where you will find further unique data, information on how to benchmark yourself, and insights for many subsectors.

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

  • Q3 2022 vs. Q3 20212.2%
  • Last 12-Months0.6%*

A look at year over year changes shows overall charitable giving in Canada increased 0.6% over the last 12 months. Additionally, online fundraising in Canada experienced a 5% increase in the past 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Navigating the Current Landscape

  • Remember that donor retention remains one of the most critical factors in fundraising success. We’ve seen an increase in new donors over the last two years, which is a departure from a decade-long trend of fewer charitable-giving households. Stay focused on communicating the continued value of your mission and stewarding your supporters.  

  • Think about your organization’s adaptability in concert with the fact that supporters say they want multi-dimensional engagement experiences to continue. Take a look at recent donor research to understand what supporters want today. Continue to embrace social media and digital platforms to connect with supporters.  

  • Stay connected across teams  so you can respond with agility. Now is the time for leaders to focus on transparency and communication. Continue to focus on solid data management practices so that all teams can access the information they need. 

  • Sharpen your focus on building a better world aligned to goals shared by global changemakers. Whether you’re a grant-maker or grant-seeker, use the SDG Connector to find your match to the UN’s Sustainable Developments Goals using your NTEE, NAIC, or ICNPO code. Use your SDG’s targets and indicators to help you maximize your impact, tell your story, and align funding opportunities.  Access the new guide to leveraging the SDGs in your organization to get started.

  • Benchmark your organization using the 2022 Status of Canadian Fundraising Report. Over the past year we've surveyed hundreds of professionals across the nonprofit and charitable giving space to get their perspectives on shifts in fundraising targets, organizational collaboration, and digital transformation in the social good space. 

A Message from Allan Hoffmann

allan-hoffmannBlackbaud President and General Manager of Blackbaud Canada

The Blackbaud Institute Index is an excellent tool enabling Canadian organizations to gauge the overall direction of giving across the country on a quarterly basis. I am thrilled the Blackbaud Institute continues to be a resource that organizations can use to understand trends, benchmark their efforts, inform their strategic planning, and ultimately make better decisions.

How we create the Index

Each quarter, we draw actual giving statistics from the databases of over 200 Canadian charities 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 organizations subsequently make grants to other charities. We do not currently exclude the advantage amount, or the value of goods and services provided in exchange for donations or event participation (for example: a campaign where donors who give more than $100 receives a coffee mug or the difference between the cost of a meal provided at a signature event and the cost of sponsorship or ticket). 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 organization.

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 organization 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 behaviour. 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 organizations have big campaigns (events or mailings) that occur at roughly the same time each year. However, if an event was in late May one year but June 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.

For more information

Questions: Contact us at [email protected].
Press: For press and media inquiries, contact: [email protected].

For more Canadian insight: 50 fascinating stats about Canadian Charities.

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

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Benchmarking: The Insight Track to Success

Listen to your data to transform your organization’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 organization. Click below to download the free guide, no email required!

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