The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released its annual Philanthropy 400 survey.

Get your hands on the full report. But here, from the publicly released summary, are some highlights that impressed The Agitator:

    • Donations to the largest 400 charities grew by 13% in 2005, to $62.7 billion (the second year of double digit growth … 2004 giving rose 11.6%). Excluding $2.6 billion these charities received for the Katrina and tsunami disasters, growth still reached 8.3%.
    • These top 400 charities accounted for more than $1 out of every $4 raised by charities last year.
    • Charities needed to raise at least $37.7 million to make the top 400 list.
    • Donor-advised funds are proliferating, with 89 of the top 400 offering this option.
    • The biggest “loser” category, down 10.6% in otherwise rosy results, was the Arts & Culture category, which includes libraries, museums and public broadcasting.
    • On the upswing was the Environment & Animal Welfare category, up 16% in 2005 and reversing a downturn of 2.8% in 2004 (attributed to concern over global warming and animal rescue donations after Katrina).
    • But community foundations saw the biggest rise — 41.6% for the year.

A couple of interesting fundraising initiatives caught our eye as having lessons for other causes and charities:

    • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital raised $3 million in a two day, 20 station Spanish radio campaign, demonstrating the strong giving potential of Latino donors.
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of America generated $40.8 million in new contributions in 2005, after investing $3.5 million in training 368 of its local clubs to conduct face-to-face solicitations with potential donors.


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