2nd Annual Dutch Fundraising Growth Awards!

Published by Reinier Spruit on

Welcome to the second edition of the Annual Dutch Fundraising Growth Awards! Ok, not really an award show, but we’re gonna talk about Dutch market figures, fundraising growth and ranking the best fundraising organizations. And you have to admit, the title is catchy!

I have changed two things compared to last year’s ranking.

Last year my ranking was only based on the average annual growth rate over 5 years.  This year I’m going to include both short and long term growth. The sum of the rankings decides who is the best fundraiser!

The other thing I’ve changed is that the ranking only looks at a specific value segment. I will first focus on the organizations that raise more than 10 million euro. In the second part I’ve analyzed another 67 organizations between 2.5 and 10 million euro income. That way we can see which are doing the best with comparable resources.

The figures come from the CBF. Half December they will publish their 2011 figures and conclusions for the entire market. In this post we will not look at the entire market, but will focus on individual organization performance.

It’s interesting data to steer you into the right direction. Which organization do you need to watch? That’s the question I’ll try to answer. What is it that they are doing so well? That’s up to you. Sign-up for their e-news. Check out their website. Talk to their street canvassers. Become a supporter and experience their donor-journey. And obviously… talk to their fundraisers!

Ok, let’s go. First of all we will look at the total fundraising income. It gives you an idea of the Dutch fundraising market. I’ve listed 33 organizations that raise more than 10 million euro in total, ranked by their 2011 income. I’ve also added some percentages to paint a picture of the fundraising landscape in The Netherlands.

  • On average these organizations receive 22% of their total income from legacies.
  • Compared to last year they’ve grown their total fundraising income by 4.7%.
  • Average annual growth of the last 5 years is 3.5% and average annual growth of the last 10 years is 4.5%.


However, I don’t find above table the most helpful view, because it also includes income from legacies. It’s not that I don’t like income from legacies (check here), but legacy income is less predictable and can be less influenced in the short term.

So, next step is that we’re only going to look at the total income from fundraising EXCLUDING income from legacies. I think this gives a much better picture of your fundraising program, and in particular the result of our efforts as fundraisers in a timeframe of the last 5 years.

First we will look at short term growth. From here on I’ve shortened the analysis to 27 organizations that raise more than 10 million euro from non-legacy income. They are now ranked by “year over year growth %”, which is growth from 2010 to 2011. The average growth of the entire segment is 2.9%. Below you can see the organizations performing above the average.


We can do the same for long term growth. Below, I’ve looked at the same 27 organizations, but now ranked by “median growth %”, which is the middle growth percentage in the 5 year range from 2007 to 2011. For your information: I’m using the median growth percentage, rather then the average annual growth rate, to avoid any outliers in the first or last year. The median growth percentage for the entire segment is 4.9%. Below are the organizations performing above the average.


If we combine the ranking of the short and long term growth (basically taking the sum of both rankings), we can see the following strong fundraisers surfacing.

And therefore, in the category “10M+” the winner is… KWF (Dutch Cancer Society)!


To avoid comments on the huge success of Alpe D’huZes which contributes to the KWF income, I’ve already made some calculations. Without the Alpe D’huZes income KWF would still rank 3rd (with a 17% year over year growth and a 10% median growth). Considering the size of KWF’s fundraising income, these growth figures are simply dazzling… so very much deserved if you ask me…



Now, for the other category. Organizations with fundraising income (again excl. legacy income) between 2.5 and 10 million euro.

  • There are 69 organizations included in this analysis.
  • This segment showed 5.1% year over year growth (from 2010 to 2011).
  • The median growth percentage of the entire segment was 5.1% (in the 2007 -2011 period).

So, without further ado, in the category “2.5M – 10M” the winner is… VUmc Fonds (VU University Medical Center Fund)! Congratulations!


Now that you understand the process I’ll just show you the entire table for this segment, in their final ranking, but only the 33 organizations with above average overall performance.

[In the table you can see three columns with rankings. The first ranking is for the year over year growth (short term 2010-2011). The second ranking is for the median growth (long term 2007-2011). The last column is ranking of the sum of the other two rankings, therefore trying to express who is doing best taking both short and long term growth into consideration.]


So with an award show, there is always a prize. I guess you want to know what the prize is for being the best fundraiser…

Well, KWF and VUmc Fonds, and all other fundraisers for that matter, your prize is the biggest reward you can think of. With your exceptional fundraising you have made this world a better place. That is your prize. Congratulations!

Like last year we’ll try to organize a follow up with the best in class of both categories and look at what these organizations are doing right!

Questions or comments anyone?

Reinier Spruit

Reinier Spruit

Reinier is in love with fundraising since 2001. Ever since he's trying to improve his own fundraising skills and those of others. He's one of the original founders of 101fundraising. At the moment working with amazing clients through his one-man fundraising consultancy. Loves running and baseball.


Marc Wortmann · December 3, 2012 at 15:42

Hi Reinier,

Can you explain why Alzheimer Nederland is not in your list of long-term growth?

    Reinier Spruit

    Reinier Spruit · December 3, 2012 at 15:52

    Hi Marc,

    Actually it is.

    If you look at the last table, you can see that Alzheimer Nederland with 14.3% is ranked 9th of the total 69 organizations in the 2.5M-10M segment.

    But, unlike the 10M+ segment, I did not make a separate table.

    In combination with your short term growth ranking, you rank 11th overall (see last column).


Wimco · December 3, 2012 at 20:45

Thanks for this interesting list. Nice to see that still growth is possible during years of economic crisis. Already looking forwards to your list of 2012!

    Reinier Spruit · December 4, 2012 at 09:20

    Thanks for your comment Wimco!

    Although I agree that you can often see the effect of a bad economy in entire market fundraising results, I also think that if you are a great fundraiser your results will not be affected. There are many more reasons that contribute to your fundraising result. And I think of numerous (internal) reasons that weigh in much more. Blaming the economy is too easy (and used too often as an excuse) in my opinion.

    All the best!

Grant Cassidy · December 4, 2012 at 20:53

Great article. I Like your effort to make sensible and meaninful comparisonsm

    Reinier Spruit

    Reinier Spruit · December 4, 2012 at 21:30

    Thanks Grant! It’s indeed difficult.

    If you, or anyone else, has tips on how to improve the comparison even more (e.g. more value segments), I’m all ears for next year’s edition!


Dr.J.Christopher Daniel · December 5, 2012 at 08:59

It is really amazing and enlightening to read this blog and know of the funding initiatives of all the Dutch organisations listed.Great job done by these organisations!

Dr.J.Christopher Daniel,Ph.D
Executive Director
Goodwill Social Work Centre
No:5,South street Extension
Singarayar colony

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