Each year, EFA surveys its members to collate and present the sector with a picture of fundraising developments across Europe. In the 2013/14 survey, released today, EFA presents a positive picture of growth, reflecting the economic recovery of European markets and a more optimistic outlook for the year ahead.
Key findings of the survey, Fundraising in Europe 2013/14, include:
Voluntary income levels show signs of recovery
As the European economy shows signs of a recovery, so too does the nonprofit sector. The fundraising community is positive about voluntary income, with the large majority of European nations reporting increased or stable donation levels over the past year.
In last year’s European Fundraising survey, one quarter of EFA’s members predicted that national voluntary income levels would rise in 2013. This year, 41% of members say voluntary income did rise during 2013.
Fundraising organisations are optimistic about future voluntary income growth
Having outperformed their own expectations, the nonprofit sector is more positive about performance going forward, with more than half of national associations saying voluntary income will rise in 2014. At the same time, the sector anticipates that the impact of the global economic downturn will continue to be felt during the years ahead. Respondents fear that the poor economic climate will be the most negative factor to impact fundraising in 2014.
Public trust and confidence levels stable, but concerns remain
The general consensus is that public trust and confidence is stable across Europe and will remain so during the year ahead, but there is less optimism about this factor than voluntary income. Fundraising organisations are concerned about a lack of public confidence, which was the most common barrier to have restricted fundraising in 2013. When asked to rank the current concerns of fundraising charities, public trust is the lead concern.
Greater professionalism is the most positive influencer for fundraising
Advances in professionalism (reflecting developments in fundraising practices and professional standards) are identified as the most positive influencer for fundraising, both when looking back over 2013 and in making predictions for the year ahead. At the same time, respondents cite a shortage of fundraising skills as a key barrier that may hamper future growth and fundraising developments.
Nonprofits seek better tax breaks for charitable giving
When asked to identify one improvement that national governments could make to support nonprofits, European nations most commonly said they wanted better tax breaks for charitable giving as a means to help encourage donations from the public.