Overall Giving Trends
Overall giving in 2021 grew 9% on a year-over-year basis for the 8,635 nonprofit organizations in the analysis. The Charitable Giving Report has reported an increase in giving for multiple consecutive years.
Overall Giving Trends by Size
US Donor Profiles and Behaviors
Using data science and data assets, Blackbaud Target Analytics® is in a unique position to provide key insights into the US nonprofit subsector and its donors. These insights provide answers to some of the most common questions asked by fundraising and nonprofit professionals.
Average Donor Age in the US
Long recognized as one of the most reliable predictors of giving, age reflects life experience and correlates to earning capacity and relative debt reduction. More critically, age is just one of many demographic indicators that provides a solid foundation for identifying, connecting with, and stewarding your most valuable constituents.
Since 2016, the average donor age has increased from 62 to 65. This is an indication that the mature donor cohort has demonstrated their reliability when it comes to giving back. However, this is also an indication that nonprofits have not yet fully tapped into the charitable behavior of younger generations. This should be top of mind as loyal mature donors start to age out of the giving pool.
First-Year, Offline-Only Donor Retention Rate
Multi-Year, Offline-Only Donor Retention Rate
Your organization should calculate your overall donor retention rate annually to assess who chooses to stay in your donor circle every year. While organizations with a high retention rate keep or renew many donors from year to year, those with a low rate must acquire new donors to keep their bottom lines above water. This reinforces the significance of calculating retention to benchmark your internal progress from year to year.
Average Donation Amount
Average Online Donation Amount
Median Donation Amount for Gifts Below $1,000
Median Donation Amount for Gifts Above $1,000
In addition to these figures, you can better target the right donors—those with the capacity and a propensity to give to your cause—just by knowing more about their spending habits. Resources like the Share of the American Wallet report illuminate trends in spending and the demographic indicators that support organizations in efficiently identifying top prospects.
Overall Giving Trends by Nonprofit Subsector
Each organization in The Blackbaud Institute Index is categorized by one of 12 subsectors using its National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities—or NTEE—code as reported on Form 990. These subsectors are Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Environment, Faith Communities, Healthcare, Higher Education, Human Services, International Affairs, K–12 Education, Medical Research, and Public and Society Benefit. Each subsector is weighted based on Giving USA® data to ensure that no individual organization or subsector is overrepresented in the analysis. The Index also includes giving to Foundations, but this data is not currently used to calculate giving trends to avoid the potential of double-counting revenue.
Environmental organizations grew by 19.3% in 2021, followed by Arts and Culture nonprofits with an increase of 15.2%. In total, five of the subsectors experienced double-digit giving growth in 2021 compared to 2020.
2021 Overall Giving Trends by Subsector
Taking a longer view of subsector trends, nonprofit organizations in the Human Services, Environment, and Animal Welfare subsectors have had the best three-year giving trend performance.
Three-Year Rolling Trend
2021 Average Donation Amount by Subsector
Across all subsectors, the average donation amount is $813. This was an increase of 10% from 2020. There is a significant variance among different subsectors. It is attributable to organizations with a larger number of major and principal donations from donors. For example, Higher Education organizations have an average donation of $1,631 compared to $299 for Animal Welfare nonprofits. Nearly every subsector experienced significant growth in average gift amounts in 2021 compared to 2020.
2021 Average Overall Donation Amounts by Subsector*
Overall Giving Trends by Month
Last year was a continuation of multi-year trends in monthly giving patterns. October, November, and December continue to represent 37% of charitable giving, which has been true for many years now. While December remains the largest month as a percentage of giving, June continues to drive giving due to end-of-fiscal year fundraising campaigns.
While a look at year-over-year change provides a glimpse into recent months, we must look at data from a multi-year perspective to understand the full scope of giving trends. Organizations should anticipate growth as they kick off giving days and end-of-year campaigns. Know which months yield the highest giving for your organization and ensure that you are prepared to use these opportunities and maximize your end-of-year campaign.
2021 Overall Monthly Giving Distribution by Subsector
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