Charitable giving drops in the first half of 2019

    Overall revenue from charitable gifts is down 7.3% nationwide for the first six months of the year, and according to Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations President and CEO Kelly Pepper, the decline hasn’t avoided Louisiana-based organizations. 

    “I certainly can tell you many of them are seeing a decline,” says Pepper. “They’re concerned about annual campaigns and charitable giving overall.” 

    And it’s not just revenue that’s declining. The number of donors is down 5.8% nationwide. Revenue from gifts of $1,000 or more is down 8.2%, and mid-range gifts, from $250 to $999, fell 3.5%, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2019 Second Quarter Fundraising Report. 

    How an organization grapples with the loss of donors and charitable revenues varies between nonprofits, Pepper says, as each organization has specific fundraising plans and revenue streams. While area nonprofits can look to grants, special events and changes to their annual campaigns to help fill the gap, ultimately, says Pepper, it depends on Louisiana philanthropists to give back. 

    One local agency which has struggled over the past few years with fundraising is the Capital Area United Way, which fell short of its 2018 workforce giving campaign goal. CEO George Bell was unable to be reached for comment before this afternoon’s deadline. 

    “While I’m hopeful people will recognize the work of the nonprofit sector and that they’ll support it, there’s a lot of things people are looking at, changes in economic opportunities in the state, that’s impacting all of us in the community,” she says. “That makes a donor cautious and careful about the investments their making, both into nonprofits, as well as their own companies.”


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