by Mark Jones

According to a recent article titled “Charitable Giving Lags Economic Growth” in USA Today, fewer nonprofits reported declines in revenues last year than in 2009. While that is certainly positive news, many nonprofits continue to struggle. The USA Today report shows that 33% of nonprofit revenues were less in 2010 than in 2009. However, 43% of nonprofits reported increased revenues and 24% stayed the same.

At ECCU, our Ministry Advisory Panel reported for the third quarter in 2010 that 65% of respondents had the same or increased revenues while 35% reported decreased revenues when compared to the third quarter of 2009. These numbers clearly show many nonprofits continue to struggle. In talking with various ministries and staff here at ECCU, I have seen a type of ebb and flow at ministries that have experienced difficulties. For some, one year is okay and the next is down and for another, a tough year has been followed by a better year.

The USA Today article also identified that online giving is still a relatively small source of revenue, but for those nonprofits that offered online giving, 58% experienced an increase in revenues.

Maximizing cash inflows (revenues) continues to be one of the financial priorities we often discuss with our members. We ask the ministries we work with, “How easy (or difficult) do you make it for your donors to give to you?” A growing number of donors today (Generation X and Y) are choosing different giving methods than previous generations. Many only carry a debit card and maybe a credit card and prefer to give online or use online bill payment. Not having the ability to accept donations from these younger generations not only reduces your revenues but limits the opportunity for these younger donors to get involved.

What steps are you taking to increase your revenues and make it easier for your donors to get involved?

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