Economic Picture Brightening for Charities

Release date: September 10, 2003
A new GuideStar survey shows that contributions for nonprofits are running ahead of last year.

In July GuideStar, the national database of nonprofit information, asked individuals associated with charitable organizations how their nonprofits fared financially during the first six months of 2003 compared to the first half of 2002. Some 59 percent said contributions had either increased (39 percent) or stayed about the same (20 percent) compared to last year at this time. Thirty-five percent reported a decrease, and another 5 percent weren't sure.

These numbers show a slight economic recovery when compared to results from GuideStar's last economic survey, conducted in November 2002, where only 22 percent of respondents indicated that contributions had increased over 2001 levels. Similarly, the 2002 survey showed that contributions had decreased for 43 percent of the respondents.

Robert G. Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO, noted:
This is good news for nonprofits. In contrast to last fall's results, participants who said contributions had increased outnumbered those who reported they had decreased. Because most charities receive the bulk of donations in November and December, this is a particularly encouraging trend.

Unfortunately, the majority of respondents also said that demand for their services had increased, and a significant number of charities continue to struggle. We will do a follow-up survey in October to see if both the recovery and increased demand continued during the third quarter of 2003.
To request a copy of the survey report, which contains both statistical analysis and narrative comments, contact Suzanne Coffman at 757-229-4631, ext. 27.

About GuideStar

GuideStar,, offers information about the programs and finances of 1.7 million IRS-recognized charitable organizations. GuideStar powers many on-line giving systems and distributes both free and subscription-based nonprofit data to grantmakers, nonprofits, donors, government charity regulators, and professionals serving the sector. To find out more about GuideStar services, go to

News Contact

Suzanne E. Coffman
Director of Communications
757-229-4631, ext. 27