New survey reveals fundraising trends driving success in 2019

A major new benchmarking report from charity tech partner Blackbaud Europe examines fundraising trends driving success in 2019 – and beyond.

Chloe Green | 12th Dec 19
fundraising trends 2019

Click here to download the report “The Status of UK Fundraising 2019”

Over 1,000 charity professionals have contributed to a survey revealing the trends driving fundraising success in The Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Benchmark Report.

The report, produced by charity software partner Blackbaud Europe in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising, found that organisations that were meeting or exceeding their fundraising goals had three key things in common, along with some important trends around fundraising that charities need to know to plan their strategies for 2020 and beyond.


Who was included in the survey:

The Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Benchmark Report collected data in April and May 2019. It consisted of 38 questions and was completed by 1,012 respondents. Of these respondents:

  • 30% were from small charities
  • 38% were from medium charities
  • 65% were fundraisers
  • 72% identified as female
  • 28% identified as male
  • 92% of respondents were white
  • 60% of respondents had worked in the non-profit sector for 5 years or more


What did we find out:

Trend No.1 – Fundraisers are happy people!

One of the clearest fundraising trends was that fundraisers enjoyed their line of work (84%), were positive about the future of the sector (66%), and were not looking for a new role outside of the sector (95%).


Trend No.2 – GDPR not as difficult as expected

Many initial reactions to GDPR-implementation were wary. However, the 2019 survey found that many organisations were finding it less difficult to navigate than expected. The survey found that 40% of respondents felt unaffected by GDPR and that it had not led to a significant loss of supporters. 77% of respondents said that GDPR made them think differently about engagement strategies, with 31% of respondents viewing it as a positive thing for their organisations. However, 57% of respondents viewed it as a drain on resources.


> See also: GDPR: how charities can avoid being a statistic in the era of ICO crackdown


Trend. No.3 – Fundraisers have the right resources

60% of respondents who said their strategy successfully increased fundraising said their people had the right level of skills, while 52% of these respondents said they had the right level of investment in fundraising activity. Of these, 52%, 66% said they effective systems and technology in place.


Trend No.4 – More work to do

Respondents to the survey also said that they thought the sector could do more to address diversity, equality, and inclusion – with only 21% feeling that the charity sector was taking appropriate action. The survey found that only 8% of fundraisers are from minority ethnic groups, and that 85% of entry level positions are held by women, dropping to 61% of director posts. Conversely, men occupy 15% of entry-level roles but 37% of director roles.


> See also: Nominate your top digital BAME charity leaders


Challenges and opportunities revealed

Speaking on release of the survey, Casper Harratt, Director of Marketing at Blackbaud Europe said: “Over 1,000 charity professionals took the time to give us their insight into fundraising in the UK right now. What came across in our analysis is the level of agreement in most areas.

“There’s wide ranging evidence that a solid strategy, skills and systems are required to sustain growth, and that GDPR was not the death-knell of fundraising.

“Undoubtedly, there are serious challenges and areas to improve on, particularly diversity across the sector and in senior leadership positions. But it is encouraging that fundraisers generally have faith in their own organisations to embrace opportunities and tackle these challenges head-on.”


You can download the full report for free here.