A report released today by Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) found that nonprofits could potentially improve their fundraising returns by better aligning with donors’ giving preferences and increasing transparency. The new report, Donor Perspectives: An investigation into what drives your donors to give, is based on survey results from more than 4,000 donors in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. “The donors have spoken! Nonprofits are not always meeting their needs, and are leaving valuable donations on the table,” said Dennis McCarthy, Blackbaud’s vice president of strategy. “The good news is, by making it easier for donors to learn about their organization, keeping them informed about their donation’s impact and providing multiple methods for donating, nonprofits can potentially improve their fundraising.” The report provides a view of the nonprofit sector from the donor perspective and compares results from Blackbaud’s recently-released 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry report (SONI), which gauged levels of nonprofit optimism and explored successful management strategies. In all three countries, there was a relationship between donation preferences and the average annual contributions donors made to charities over the past year, suggesting that nonprofits should keep donor preferences in mind and ensure donors are easily able to contribute in various ways. Donations hold steady According to the Donor Perspectives report, approximately 25 percent of donors from each country reported that the amount they donated to charity increased from the previous year. US donors were primarily motivated by a change in their financial situation while donors in the UK and Australia cited an innate desire to help. On average, US respondents reported donating nearly three times as much to charity as UK or Australia donors. One-off donations vs. regular donations One-off donations (which are not scheduled to repeat) are very popular with 80 percent of respondents reporting making a one-off donation to at least one charity in the last year as donors continue to be burdened with financial uncertainty. Roughly two-thirds of respondents from each country reported making regular, or recurring automatic donations, in the past year.