Blackbaud Newsroom

Alumni Donors and Revenue in Higher Education Return to Pre-Recession Levels

Blackbaud’s Annual donorCentrics Report highlights key giving trends and patterns across higher education, including public and private institutions

Charleston, S.C. (April 23, 2014) – Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB) today released its 2013 donorCentrics Annual Report on Higher Education Alumni Giving. The report looks at giving trends across 123 higher education institutions over the past three years. Findings in the report indicate that alumni donors and revenue are returning to patterns of giving prior to the Great Recession.

“Before the economic recession, the national trends in higher education were ‘donors down’ and ‘dollars up,’” said Shaun Keister, author of the report and vice chancellor of development and alumni relations at the University of California, Davis. “That all changed in 2009 with both key metrics dipping and dipping sharply. For the second year in a row, however, we are seeing a return to pre-recession trends and patterns, indicating that the impact of the recession has been minimized.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Alumni Donors were down – Overall, alumni donors were slightly down for both public and private institutions. The overall median change in donor counts was down 1.1 percent, with private institutions dipping 0.7 percent and public institutions down 1.1 percent.
  • Revenue is up – Overall revenue is up, with a positive change of 5.3 percent compared to 2012. This marks the third consecutive year of positive change in revenue for both public and private institutions, after tougher years in 2009 and 2010, showing that the impact of the recession has subsided.
  • Donors are giving more on average – The actual median change in revenue per donor in 2013 was impressive, with a 5.8 percent positive change overall. The median revenue per donor in 2013 was $531 (compared to $488 in 2012 and $469 in 2011).

“It’s interesting to see how the recession impacted nonprofits and how they are responding afterward,” said Jenny Cooke Smith, a Higher Education donorCentrics solutions consultant at Blackbaud.  “While participation rates continued to decline for both public and private institutions – a byproduct of both growing class sizes and generational shifts in donors – the report provides insight into this trend, as well as suggestions for helping to combat these issues.”

Download the report to learn more about alumni participation, donor retention, reactivation, and donor acquisition trends from 123 institutions around the country.

About the survey
Blackbaud’s Target Analytics applied the following rules to standardize data from each of the institutions participating in the 2013 donorCentrics Annual Report on Higher Education Alumni Giving: Soft credits and matching gift payments are excluded. Direct mail, telemarketing, and the Internet are by far the dominant revenue sources for most schools; however, events, personal solicitation, and other sources are included. Indicators are calculated on a cash payment basis, as opposed to a pledge basis. Retention rates are calculated by dividing the number of donors giving in the current year who also gave during the previous year by the total number of donors who gave in the previous year.

About Blackbaud
Serving the nonprofit and education sectors for 30 years, Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) combines technology and expertise to help organizations achieve their missions. Blackbaud works with more than 29,000 customers in over 60 countries that support higher education, healthcare, human services, arts and culture, faith, the environment, independent K-12 education, animal welfare and other charitable causes. The company offers a full spectrum of cloud-based and on-premise software solutions and related services for organizations of all sizes including: fundraising, eMarketing, advocacy, constituent relationship management (CRM), financial management, payment services, analytics and vertical-specific solutions. Using Blackbaud technology, these organizations raise more than $100 billion each year. Recognized as a top company by Forbes, InformationWeek, and Software Magazine and honored by Best Places to Work, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Andy Prince
Blackbaud, Inc.

Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.