The Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Helping nonprofits increase giving at a faster pace by providing critical tools for tracking and evaluating their annual growth in giving.


2021 Fundraising Slightly Ahead of 2020 Figures, Buoyed by New Donor Retention

(Posted by AFP Global | November 10, 2021)

Fundraising in the first half of 2021 kept up with the impressive levels from 2020, though the slowdown in growth in the second quarter of the year suggests continued volatility in giving for the rest of 2021, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2021 Second Quarter Fundraising Report. Read more.

Americans Give Generously and More People Give—But not All Nonprofits Benefit

(Posted by Jon Biedermann, Chair, Fundraising Effectiveness Project | June 23, 2021)

Personally, I am thrilled that the latest results of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2021 Quarter 1 report showed estimated dollars were up 6%.  And the report shows a 10% increase in overall donors—finally reversing a decade long trend of fewer U.S. households donating money.

And donor retention, too, is up, which foretells increasing revenue in the future.

But not all nonprofits benefited from this increase in giving.  Unfortunately, the median giving to nonprofits in the first quarter of 2021 declined when compared to 2020.  Winners were Human Services and Animal Groups, losers were Arts & Culture and Education.

Want to learn more?  Please download the latest real time philanthropy reports from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project and GivingTuesday at


Who We Are

The lead sponsors of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project are the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.


What We Do

The goal of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) is to help nonprofit organizations increase giving at a faster pace. FEP pursues this goal by providing nonprofits with tools for tracking and evaluating their annual growth in giving.

Growth in giving is the net of gains in giving minus losses in giving. Nonprofits raise more money by investing more money in growth-oriented fundraising strategies that both increase gains and reduce losses. The FEP is focused on “effectiveness” (maximizing growth in giving) rather than “efficiency” (minimizing costs).

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How We Do It

FEP conducts an annual survey, provides useful growth in giving performance measurement tools and publishes gain(loss) statistics in quarterly and yearly reports through a partnership between AFP, #GivingTuesday, and participating donor software firms.

The FEP resources support growth-oriented fundraising programs. The goal of the Growth in Giving Initiative (GiG) is to help grow philanthropy’s share of the GDP. The GiG Initiative has emerged as a larger umbrella organization in conjunction with the creation of the new Growth in Giving Database and its enormous potential for research. We currently have more than 25,000 nonprofit organizations participating in this important effort, representing more than 125 million donation transactions.

Our partnership with GivingTuesday gives us additional data resources and broadens our audience to help grow giving.  Together, we co-produce the Quarterly Fundraising Report™, a deep dive into a wide variety of YTD fundraising metrics.

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