Christian Nonprofit Organizations See Strategic Need to Move Donors Up 'Giving Pyramid'

For Christian nonprofit organizations, the primary fundraising challenge is to move donors up the "giving pyramid," a survey conducted by the finds.

In a survey of two hundred and fifty fundraising executives at ECFA's church-related member organizations, 90 percent of respondents identified securing larger donor commitments as the area where they most needed to improve. Respondents also cited concerns about an aging donor base and inadequate board involvement among their fundraising challenges. Only 23 percent of survey respondents confirmed the oft-cited "80/20 rule" that 80 percent of gifts are given by 20 percent of donors, while 30 percent reported a 75/25 ratio and nearly 27 percent were tracking above the "80/20 rule." While the most common response from CEOs and chief development officers to the question "What area of your fundraising is keeping you up at night?" was donor acquisition (17 percent), one respondent wrote, "I know that when we do what is required, God will provide."

According to the survey, CEOs at the organizations surveyed carried a donor case load of twenty-six on average, while CDOs averaged sixty-one donors. The survey also found a slight disconnect between awareness of the need to communicate impact measurement to donors and implementation of such a system. Although 72 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their donors are very interested in the impact of their programs, products, and services, only 61 percent said they communicate those metrics externally.

"Highlights of the survey may now be utilized to trigger thoughtful discussions among nonprofit leadership," said ECFA president Dan Busby. "By studying trends and what is working in fellow organizations, leaders can determine how to tackle these fundraising interests most effectively."

"ECFA's Inaugural Nonprofit Fundraising Survey Reveals Strategic Need to Move Donors up Giving Pyramid; '80/20 Rule' Changing" Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Press Release 08/26/2013.