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The year 2021 marked the emergence from challenges of 2020, specifically the COVID-19 pandemic that transformed the way arts and culture organizations reached and served their patrons. Following a year in which many organizations shut their doors and swiveled creatively to new methods of delivery, 2021 featured a slow return closer to normal. Although many continue to grapple with challengesmost notably the advent of the delta variant and a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusionarts and culture organizations enjoyed a rebound in 2021.

In this section, we examine the specific ways in which giving to arts and culture organizations has unfolded both over the long term and the recent past. This section offers clues into how this vital subsector weathers change and how fundraisers and leaders alike can prioritize engagement to continue serving into the future. 

Overall Giving

Charitable giving continued to grow in 2021 in response to the ongoing needs associated with the pandemic. While the world adjusted to a new normal, the growth in giving exceeded nearly everyone’s expectations. Not only did both overall giving and online giving grow in 2021, but the average donor was more generous than ever. Social good organizations of all sizes were rewarded for their resilience, and donors demonstrated their enduring dedication to supporting the causes they care about. 

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased 9% from the previous year. The average donation for arts and culture organizations was $519. The average online donation was $98. Organizations in the arts and culture subsector received 7.7% of total fundraising from online giving in 2021. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.  

For more information on this topic, please visit: Total Overall Giving


Past 12 Months

Data from the Blackbaud Institute Index, which captures quarterly giving statistics, shows that in the last 12 months, arts and culture organizations experienced a 15.2% increase in overall fundraising and an11.1% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending December 2020. Check out the Blackbaud Institute Index for more insight.   

For more information on this topic, please visit: Total Overall Giving