Reported in Chronicle of Philanthropy.
While many of the nation’s largest charitable organizations saw healthy gains in their fundraising results in 2011, the sluggish economic recovery is affecting many organizations as well as the outlook for 2012, theChronicle of Philanthropy reports.
According to the Chronicle‘s annual Philanthropy 400 rankings(subscription required), the largest U.S. nonprofits achieved a median 7.5 percent increase in fundraising revenue in 2011. The outlook for this year is less rosy, however, with nonprofits on the list forecasting a median increase of roughly 1 percent.
The survey found wide variations as far as which organizations came through the economic downturn in good shape and which are still struggling. For example, while top-ranking United Way Worldwide saw a 1.2 percent increase in gifts and donations, the $3.9 billion it raised in 2011 is 8 percent below its pre-recession levels. On the other hand, eleven of the top twenty charities on the list raised more in 2011 than they did before the 2008 financial crisis. They include Fidelity Charitable, which saw gifts and donations jump 31.3 percent, to $1.7 billion, and ranked second overall on the list, displacing the Salvation Army, which fell to third place.
Donations of food, medicine, and other non-cash gifts fueled the growth of many of the groups on the list, including Feeding America, which saw a 71.6 percent increase in donations and leapfrogged from fourteenth to sixth place. Indeed, at least forty organizations on the list received more than 50 percent of their contributions in the form of non-cash donations. The two organizations with the largest percentage gains in cash donations were the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens(480.1 percent) and the Rhode Island Foundation (396.8 percent).