The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and major impact on nonprofit fundraising in the first few months of the crisis. While the picture still remains challenging for many organizations, new data from a large-scale CCS Fundraising survey of nonprofit organizations suggests that the philanthropic landscape has improved markedly thanks in part to innovative approaches to fundraising.

The results, which reflect survey responses from 1,014 individuals representing nonprofit organizations across sectors, track performance and perceptions between May 1 and June 1. This report is a follow-up to an initial CCS survey that captured activity between April 1 and May 1. Here are three key takeaways:

Fundraising Performance is on the Upswing

In the latest report, 23% of respondents cited fundraising increases, while only 14% noted increases in the previous survey. Additionally, the June 1 report showed decreases to fundraising being reported by 56% of respondents, a drop from the 63% reporting decreases a month prior. While these new numbers are notably more positive, the picture remains challenging with more than half of respondents citing declines in fundraising.

Major Efforts Continuing with Modifications

Following trends seen in the first edition of this survey, most nonprofits report that they will continue with their major pre-existing campaign plans with appropriate adjustments.

The data shows that organizations have also used technology and innovation to continue large fundraising initiatives. For example, just under two-thirds of respondents reported that they were either considering or had already held a virtual fundraising event amid the widespread inability to host in-person gatherings. Similarly, nearly two-thirds of respondents reported undertaking a special appeal or emergency fund amidst the pandemic.

Donor engagement methods leveraging technology also rose during the month of May, with an increased percentage of respondents citing their use of social media and other online methods of engagement, like webinars and podcasts.

Nearly Three-Quarters Have Not Made Staffing Changes

The number of nonprofits reporting layoffs and furloughs of fundraising staff increased slightly from the last survey, though a majority of respondents (72%) reported that they had no staffing changes. Hiring, on the other hand, remains stagnant as most organizations have not added new staff during this time.

Click Here to Access the Full Report

CCS will continue to roll out new installments of this survey in the coming months, in addition to offering insights on how the data should inform short- and long-term fundraising plans. If you have questions about the report or would like to discuss your fundraising strategies, contact CCS today.

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CCS Fundraising is a consulting firm that works with nonprofits. We provide campaign counsel, strategic planning, and other services to strengthen development efforts for charities.

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About the Author

CCS Fundraising is a strategic fundraising consulting firm that partners with nonprofits for transformational change. Members of the CCS team are highly experienced and knowledgeable across sectors, disciplines, and regions. With offices throughout the United States and the world, our unique, customized approach provides each client with an embedded team member for the duration of the engagement.