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AFP State of Fundraising, 2002 Report

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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This report provides a useful snapshot of the situation and challenges faced by fundraisers in non-profit organizations. Unlike many surveys with wide scope, the AFP report highlights the situation of arts and culture non-profits in Canada. Drawing on a survey of just over 300 Canadian and a similar number of American fundraisers, the report highlights how charitable fundraising changed in 2002 compared to 2001 and what challenges were faced or anticipated by fundraising professionals. Of the Canadian survey respondents, 63% indicated that their organization raised more money in 2002 than in 2001, while 12% raised about the same amount in the two years, and 25% raised less in 2002 than in 2001. Canadian charities raised an average of 8.3% more in 2002 than in 2001, much higher than the 1.6% increase among American organizations. The average increase for Canadian arts and culture charities was 9.3%, slightly higher than the overall Canadian increase. Roughly two-thirds of all Canadian fundraisers (68%) and of Canadian arts and culture fundraisers (63%) expect to raise more in 2003 than in 2002.

In terms of the impact of various challenges on 2002 fundraising efforts, the economic and stock market situation was the most commonly expressed challenge, with 56% of Canadian respondents citing the economy as having a significant impact on their fundraising (ratings of 4 or 5 out of 5). Increased competition for charitable dollars was cited as a significant challenge by 42% of Canadian respondents. Decreasing corporate support or sponsorship (31%) and government budget cuts (28%) were cited by roughly similar numbers of Canadian respondents. Other challenges, such as lack of Foundation support, loss of public confidence and the aftermath of September 11th were cited by 16 to 18% of Canadian respondents.

A number of Canadian respondents also expressed concern over human resource issues, including recruitment, retention and fundraising leadership.

In the National Arts Centre report, a Quebec participant noted that Quebeckers have higher expectations of state support and therefore do not give as much privately. In the Association of Fundraising Professionals report, a Quebec fundraiser noted that “the development of a philanthropic culture [in Quebec] had a positive impact” on their fundraising efforts. Canadian surveys have shown that, on a per capita basis, Quebeckers contribute the least to charitable organizations. If the philanthropic culture in Quebec is indeed changing, this may provide new opportunities for Quebec-based arts organizations.

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