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Fundraising most important income source for charities, report shows

Fundraising most important income source for charities, report shows

Fundraising is the most important source of income for charities, with having dedicated fundraisers vital for its growth, a new report by Blackbaud in association with the Institute of Fundraising shows.

Blackbaud and the IoF released the report, a survey of over 800 non-profit organisations, during this week’s Fundraising Convention. Covering subjects including the GDPR, digital fundraising, CRM, and data management, The Status of UK Fundraising 2018 Benchmark Report shows that fundraising from individuals is the most important source of income for charities with 28% of respondents putting it in first place, followed by fees and earned income, and government grants.

It also shows that fundraisers are vital to growth across all channels, irrespective of the size of charity, and that the presence of fundraising staff directly affects all aspects of a charity, with charities that have dedicated fundraisers tending to have done better financially over the past financial year. In fact, charities without that dedicated function are more likely to say that fundraised income has decreased (40% compared to 23% with dedicated fundraisers.

The report also shows that 89% of charities feel they need to demonstrate the impact made towards their mission more than ever, but across the board, charities do not believe that recent negative stories in the media have affected them.

In addition, when the survey was conducted in May this year, 61% said their organisations were ready for the GDPR.

Peter Lewis, CEO at the Institute of Fundraising, said:

“The vital role of fundraisers in charities is illustrated in the findings from the survey—across the board, charities that have dedicated fundraisers are more likely to have seen income growth and be engaged in a wider range of fundraising activity.

“Investment in fundraising works; while some charities will have more resource than others, putting dedicated resources into growing fundraising will reap benefits for organisations in the future.”

Lianne McGrory, Managing Director of Blackbaud Europe, added:

“The stand-out takeaway from this report is the positivity surrounding fundraisers, confirming their ability to directly impact causes and their undeniable value to the non-profits they serve. Non-profits are feeling assured about the current climate, and belief in fundraisers appears to be at an all-time high.”

The full report and its findings can be downloaded from the Blackbaud site.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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