Research & Reports

Blackbaud Study Shows Slight Increase in Overall Giving, More Record Highs for Online Gifts

Stewardship & Marketing: Donor Relations/Stewardship
Current & Prospect Donor Research Strategies: Benchmarks, Prospect Research, Research Reports
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Blackbaud’s annual Charitable Giving Report shows continued year-over-year growth and another record high for online giving for 2018.

In 2018, overall charitable giving in the United States increased 1.5% on a year-over-year basis, according to Blackbaud’s Report. This figure matches the finding from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s recent study, which found that giving grew approximately 1.6%.

2018 is the seventh consecutive year where the Report has documented an increase in giving, marking the longest sustained period of charitable giving growth since the last recession. Since 2016, overall giving has grown 9%, with giving to foundations growing 5% over the same three-year time period.

Online giving grew 1.2% in 2018 compared to 2017. This represented a slower growth trend compared to the double-digit growth rates experienced in 2017. Since 2016, online giving has grown 17%, and average online gift amounts have continued to increase. The average online donation in 2018 was $147.

Approximately 8.5% of overall fundraising revenue, excluding grants, was raised online in 2018—another record high. In addition, 24% of online transactions were made using a mobile device. This has grown steadily since 2014, and even higher rates occur for event registration and membership purchases.

Other Key Findings

  • Arts & Culture organizations had the largest year-over-growth in both overall giving (5.5%) and online giving (5.8%) in 2018. Animal Welfare, International Affairs, Higher Education, and Public & Society Benefit organizations also experienced substantial growth in overall giving compared to 2017. Public & Society Benefit, Healthcare, and Faith-based nonprofits also had positive growth rates in online giving in 2018.
  • With regard to international giving trends, overall charitable giving was up 1.9% and online giving increased 6.9% for nonprofits in Canada in 2018.  The Canadian Index includes giving data from 499 nonprofits with over $1.3 billion in charitable giving.
  • Trends for the seventh annual #GivingTuesday show that online giving increased 518% since 2012, and 29% of digital donations were made on mobile devices on #GivingTuesday 2018. 

The 2018 Charitable Giving Report includes overall giving data from 9,029 nonprofit organizations representing $31.9 billion in total fundraising from 2018, as well as online giving data from 5,537 nonprofits representing more than $2.7 billion in online fundraising from 2018, providing findings to help organizations benchmark their performance and guide their fundraising strategies.

For more information on research findings, charitable giving trends, including statistics on retention, donor characteristics and average donation amounts, download the 2018 Charitable Giving Report.

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