Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving in Oregon Survey: 2009 Mid-Year Update

Recently released, the Oregon Community Foundation’s “Giving in Oregon Survey: 2009 Mid-Year Update” offers an interesting and important glimpse into the mindset and perception of the current economic and charitable giving climates and the collective impact on nonprofit organizations serving Oregon. Completed in August and September, 2009, by 134 nonprofits (all OCF grantees), the survey reflects a reasonable breadth of responses to questions about the impact of the economic climate on charitable giving in Oregon in 2009.

Overall, the responses indicate a guarded optimism with regard to the charitable giving taking place in Oregon. A surprising 59 percent of respondents indicated that the climate for charitable giving in Oregon today is “fair.” A nearly equally surprising 13 percent of respondents deemed the climate in Oregon as “good.” It seems that professionals in Oregon’s nonprofit sector are optimistic about the sustainability and potential for growth of charitable giving in the state.

Anecdotal comments shared in the mid-year update also indicate recognition of the importance and potential impact of continuing to communicate with current and potential donors since organizations may need to acquire, nurture, and retain more donors giving smaller donations.

While many types of organizations are highlighted, the survey does not separate healthcare organizations into a separate category. In speaking with Katie Shriver, research officer, at the Oregon Community Foundation, I learned that respondents were selected from all of OCF’s granting areas and that responses from healthcare organizations were included in the Social Services portion of the survey.

The findings of this survey should prove useful to organizations looking to planning for sustainability and growth in the 2010 calendar year. To access the update in its entirety, visit