Happy 2013!

It seems that, at this time of year, everyone has some ideas of what's in store for the year. Some will be on track and some won't, but regardless, having some idea of where things are going can help you in your fundraising planning for the year.

While I could take a guess at where things are headed, I prefer to leave that to the data experts. Here are some places you can look to stay up-to-date on trends and forecasts:

The Atlas of GivingStandard Edition is a complimentary report including 12 months of results and a 12 month forecast of national charitable giving (updated monthly), insight and analysis of factors and events that affect giving, and practical suggestions to help practitioners with their budgets and fundraising plans. There are more advanced reports available for an additional fee.

You may have also heard about the Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving. This broad-based fundraising index reports total giving trends of 3,039 nonprofit organizations on a monthly basis. The Index is based on actual giving statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes and types.

Giving USA is another great source of information. The Annual Report on Philanthropy reports on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States. It's the most comprehensive charitable giving data available. The Executive Summary is available at no charge.

And in case you're confused by three different sources of data, here's a link to a page on the Atlas of Giving website that shares more about the differences between these reports and data sets.

Do you have additional resources you use? Feel free to share them in the comments below!