Who are the top fundraising charities in Australia?
It can be difficult to be absolutely definitive about this as charity Annual Reports can be tricky to interpret. There are a few challenges:
Different reporting periods and timeliness – whilst the majority of not for profits have year ends of June some are December and a few are April or September. There can also be significant delays in posting annual results onto websites, for some charities it takes more than nine months to share their results online.
Different classifications of income and expenditure – gross fundraising income is fairly comparable across organisations as long as in kind valuations are excluded but on the expenditure side it is very hard to know if the annual report figures are “apples with apples”. For this reason we have set up the More Cost Effectiveness Benchmarks using detailed management accounts.
Unconsolidated Federations – some Federations, such as the Heart Foundation report a consolidated income for the group but other such as Cancer Council do not. Where possible we have added up the state incomes of member organisations to give a “brand” figure. We feel this is fairer as the public generally believe these organisations are national in their scope. However, we do also report on income per head of population served which far more clearly illuminates the performance of state entities.
However, using the most up to date data for the majority of charities – which is year ending 2012 we can see the following “league table” for fundraising income. In this analysis we have excluded, where known, any income from Op Shops or other commercial ventures but included bequest income.
What this table does not reveal though is how critical fundraising is to each of these organisations – and there are huge variations. For example, World Vision relies on fundraising for 70% of revenue and Mission Australia just 8%.
Overall, for the full set of 59 charities we tracked the average fundraising reliance was 52%. It is also interesting to look at the growth rate for each of the organisations over the past three years.
The most meaningful comparison to look at is Fundraising growth excluding bequests (although this limits the number of organisations we can look at due to some organisations not declaring bequest income separately). On this basis we see the fastest growth is from Red Cross (+51%) and Fred Hollows (+38%) whilst organisations such as World Vision (-10%) and Save the Children (-1%) have experienced declines. Overall, for all the charities where bequest data is available for all years we see an overall growth of 16% from 2010 to 2012. Of the 35 charities with full data, 8 declined in non bequest income and 27 increased.
Importantly we can also begin to track market share for a comparison group of charities to show whether people are outperforming the market and gaining share or growing slowly and effectively losing share.
If you want to know how you compare to nearly 100 other charities for income, growth rate and market share call Martin on 0435 306202.
If you want to know how well you are doing on a comparable cost basis the please consider joining our Cost Effectiveness Benchmarking service – click here for more info.
More Strategic are specialist not for profit management consultants with an unhealthy obsession with financial data and spreadsheets. We are not charity accountants but we do know what fundraisers and not for profit leaders need to measure.