A Publication of WTVP

Every year, The Chronicle ranks the 400 nonprofit organizations that raise the most money from private sources. Last year, these 400 groups collectively raised $70.3 billion—a 3.5-percent gain from 2010. But emerging trends from the survey suggest larger nonprofits make up the majority of the groups showing improvement, while smaller organizations are still struggling due to the poor economy.

In addition, most of the gains were made by groups that receive the majority of their contributions in the form of donated products or services, as opposed to cash funds. In fact, three of the top 10 ranked charities—Task Force for Global Health, Food for the Poor, and AmeriCare Foundation—are groups for which donations make up 90 percent or more of their total gifts. Other successful groups were those that raise most of their money in stock gifts, as the market recovery last year helped to revive that channel.

On the other hand, United Way Worldwide and the American Cancer Society, both in the top 10, rely heavily on cash gifts. These groups retained the same rankings this year as last, and fundraising remained relatively flat for both, with gains at just under one percent.

In fact, just two of the top-10 charities— both with local chapters in central Illinois, saw major increases in cash gifts last year:

Salvation Army donations grew by 5.1 percent, due in part to the success of its publicity campaign, “Doing the Most Good,” and the American Red Cross raised nearly 64 percent more, largely due to increased aid for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

For nonprofits reliant on cash donations, the overall average, according to, was a mere 0.2 percent increase. These days, it seems holding steady is a feat all its own. Read the full report at