Online Giving Trends
Online Giving Growth YOY
Three-Year Increase in Online Giving
Percent of Total Fundraising from Online Sources
Percentage of Online Contributions from a Mobile Device
Online engagement is a critical component of a nonprofit organization’s communication, fundraising, advocacy, and stewardship strategy. 2020 showed the vital role that online engagement and giving play in donors’ lives and nonprofits’ goals. We continue to see that the digital landscape is transforming the social good sector. In this section, we’re providing a specific look at online engagement trends to help you understand how to keep pace with this transformation.
Online Giving Trends by Size
Online giving in 2020 grew 20.7% year over year for the 4,964 nonprofit organizations in the analysis. These growth rates harken back to the early days of online giving, but they are much more significant now that the medium has matured. Online giving grew in size, gift amounts, retention rates, and the overall percentage of giving in 2020.
Nonprofit organizations of all sizes had positive online giving growth in 2020 compared to 2019. Large organizations, with total annual fundraising of more than $10 million, had an increase of 15.0% in their online fundraising in 2019. Medium-sized nonprofits, with total annual fundraising between $1 million and $10 million, had an increase of 24.9% in their online fundraising. Small nonprofits, with total annual fundraising less than $1 million, grew their online fundraising 22.3% compared to 2019.
Taking a more longitudinal three-year view of fundraising from the same organizations revealed a 32.4% increase in online giving.
2020 Online Giving Trends by Organization Size
Percentage of Total Fundraising from Online Giving
We have measured the growth of online giving for over 20 years. A key metric is the percentage of total fundraising that comes from online giving. Nonprofit organizations can use this metric to benchmark their online giving performance against peer organizations within each subsector or of a similar size.
2020 Percentage of Total Fundraising from Online Giving
As a point of comparison, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that e-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 accounted for 14.3% of total sales. The data reveals once again that consumer behavior is also donor behavior.
Percentage of Total Fundraising from Online Giving by Size
Small nonprofits continue to grow their digital fundraising programs, with 18.9% of their total fundraising coming from online giving. Medium-sized organizations saw 10.1%, and larger nonprofits increased to 9.4% in 2020.
Percentage of Total Fundraising from Online Giving by Subsector
In terms of the percentage of total fundraising from online giving, Animal Welfare, Faith-Based, Human Services, and K–12 Education organizations have all now crossed over the 10% threshold in their online giving programs. We should expect to see this trend increase across a broader set of subsectors.
The Blackbaud Institute has measured the growth in online donations made on mobile devices for many years now. In 2020, an estimated 28% of online donations were made using mobile devices. This has grown steadily since 2014, when it was just 9% of online donations.
Donor retention reflects how you keep in contact with your donors and build a pathway for continued support. It is a direct, quantifiable reflection of how you are engaging your donors and communicating your mission, and your online presence can amplify these aims. As online giving continues to grow each year, calculate these figures at your organization so you can benchmark the growth of giving channels from year to year.
First-Year, Online-Only Donor Retention Rate
Multi-Year, Online-Only Donor Retention Rate
Online Giving Trends by Subsector
When examining online giving trends by nonprofit subsector, we see that Human Services, Faith-Based, and Animal Welfare organizations had online giving growth above 20% in 2020. There were double-digit gains for a wide range of other subsectors in 2020.
2020 Online Giving Trends by Subsector
Three-Year Rolling Trend
2020 Average Online Donation Amount by Subsector
The Charitable Giving Report continues to measure average online donation size by subsector. Across all subsectors, the average online donation is $177. Just like with overall giving, we see a wide variance in average online donation amount among subsectors. This analysis includes all donations, including large major donations, which could also account for the higher numbers in some subsectors.
2020 Average Online Donation Amounts by Subsector
Online Giving Trends by Month
In 2020, there was a spike in online giving during December. Organizations in the analysis still drive a significant amount of online giving in the final month of the year. Additionally, nearly 40% of all online giving happened in the last three months of 2020.
2020 Online Giving Distribution by Month by Subsector
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