Mission & Purpose
We study charitable fundraising at nonprofit organizations and the factors that drive success and growth.
As a collaborative effort, we aim to reduce the survey burden on charities by combining our originally separate studies to send fewer requests for survey participation.
The Collaborative members consolidate what were formerly several independent surveys into single, planned series. Participating nonprofit organizations can anticipate when surveys will arrive, have a sense of the types of questions to be asked, identify the correct respondent, and over time, create a set of consistent respondents to allow for deeper analysis of the resulting data. This approach provides more useful benchmarking information than repeated cross-sectional studies.
We survey in the United States and Canada twice a year.
Surveys always ask about whether fundraising proceeds increased, stayed the same or decreased. We also ask about proceeds from a dozen different fundraising methods. Special sections focus on other topics. These have included board engagement in fundraising, capital campaigns, and staffing and budgets for fundraising.
The NRC research is distinctive because it does not track how much is raised, as other studies do, but focuses on “how” and “why” information, including asking open-ended questions and tracking responses related to specific fundraising methods.
The NRC formed in mid-2010 under the leadership of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and other organizations assisting nonprofit organizations in the wake of the ‘Great Recession’ of 2007 through 2009.
The first report came out in November 2010 about charitable results in the first nine months of that year. Since then, we have issued reports about the full prior year at the annual conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. We issue mid-year reports in the fall.
We also have covered some special topics, including board engagement in fundraising, capital campaigns, staffing and personnel for fundraising, and others.