Blackbaud Newsroom

Blackbaud Reveals Latest Giving Trends for Higher Education Institutions

New multi-year report shows a strong economy and stock market,
coupled with new techniques helped lead revenue growth in 2015

Charleston, S.C. (April 22, 2016) – Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community, today released its 2015 donorCentrics Annual Report on Higher Education Alumni Giving featuring giving trends from public and private higher education institutions across the United States and Canada over the past three years. Key findings from the report show that giving through annual fund programs were strong for 2015 and driven by increases in donor retention and giving frequency.

“If there is one theme this year, I would say ‘steady’ is true for most of the metrics. In general, the news is good for fiscal 2015. Participation rates from past alumni are holding strong,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations, University of California-Davis. “Recurring gifts are continuing to be an important topic and we are finally starting to see some colleges get some traction with sustainer programs—a few schools are even beyond 5% of annual fund gifts coming from recurring gift donors.”

Key findings from Blackbaud’s 2015 donorCentrics report

  • Revenue is up – Overall revenue is up, with a positive change of 4 percent compared to 2014. Both public and private institutions saw an increase in overall revenue for the third year in a row—with some schools realizing over 5 percent increase in revenue.
  • Donors are giving more – The median revenue per donor increased for both public and private institutions this year with an average increase of 6 percent. This trend was seen across all donor levels—new, current, and reactivated.
  • Monthly sustainers are increasingly important – While the number of donors remained relatively flat this year, the number of gifts per donor increased slightly. Driving these results are strong recurring giving programs. Having grown steadily since 2011, over half of first-year donors are now giving through a recurring gift program.

“With the addition of the donorCentrics’ dashboards this year, we are able to gain more insight into donors that make multiple gifts throughout the year, as well as identify giving patterns from larger donations of varying levels,” said Richard Becker, president of Blackbaud’s Target Analytics. “This helps us project trends not normally seen through regular reporting and will help schools of all sizes create better strategies for future annual fund programs.”

To learn more about alumni participation, donor retention, reactivation, and donor acquisition trends from more than 200 institutions around the United States and Canada, download the report at To examine trends and evaluate the aggregated performance of public and private institutions across the country with Shaun Keister, register for Blackbaud’s April 25 webinar.

About the 2015 donorCentrics Annual Report on Higher Ed Alumni Giving
The donorCentrics Report on Annual Giving was created to help higher education institutions better track, benchmark, and analyze fundraising performance to predict future campaign success and areas of opportunity for growth. The report standardizes key metrics across institutions of various sizes to provide an even, and applicable, multi-year view of annual fund giving trends.

About Blackbaud

Serving the worldwide philanthropic community for more than 30 years, Blackbaud (NASDAQ:BLKB) combines innovative software, services, and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works in over 60 countries to power the passions of approximately 35,000 clients, including nonprofits, K-12 private schools, higher education institutions, healthcare organizations, foundations and other charitable giving entities, and corporations.The company offers a full spectrum of cloud and on-premise solutions, as well as a resource network that empowers and connects organizations of all sizes.Blackbaud’s portfolio of software and services support nonprofit fundraising and relationship management, eMarketing, advocacy, accounting, payments and analytics, as well as grant management, corporate social responsibility, education. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise, invest, manage, and award more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

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Nicole McGougan
Public Relations