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Charitable Giving Down So Far in 2009, But Critical Giving Period Coming Up

October 20, 2009

(Arlington, VA.)  More than half of charities are experiencing a downturn in contributions so far this year compared to the same time in 2008, according to an informal poll by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Fifty-one percent of respondents reported lower fundraising totals so far in 2009 compared to the same time period last year. More than a quarter (27 percent) were raising about the same amount, and 22 percent were raising more. The responses (833) came from a question on AFP's website.

"In many respects, the response is not surprising given the many challenges charities have faced this year in their fundraising," said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. "Hopefully we'll see a strong uptick in giving over the last three months of the year, so I expect the number of organizations raising more money will increase dramatically."

Most charities receive anywhere from one-third to one-half of their overall contributions in the last three months of the year, according to previous surveys conducted by the association. AFP's 2009 Holiday Giving Survey, which will be conducted in December, will provide another snapshot of fundraising performance and greater analysis of trends.


Figure 1: How Fundraising is Faring So Far in 2009 Compared to 2008

Question: Compared to the same time period in 2008, how is your organization's fundraising now faring?


Poll Graph

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in 206 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to