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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. Charities 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 healthcare organizations was $608. The average online donation to organizations in the healthcare subsector was $439, positioning them among the leaders within this trend. Healthcare organizations received 3.3% 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, healthcare organizations experienced a 5% increase in overall fundraising and an8.4% 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


Snapshot in Time

From sourcing personal protective equipment to creating additional treatment sites and riding the ebbs and flows of virus variants, healthcare and medical research organizations have been adapting to a lot of change all at once. 

In crises, we can turn to the past for help navigating uncertainties. Time and again, key best practices in fundraising and engagement have supported organizations as they weather change. 

According to Giving USA, history shows us that overall charitable giving has rebounded alongside economic recoveries, and between 2012 and 2020 total giving as a percentage of GDP was at least 2 percent. When looking at how giving was distributed across subsectors in 2020, health organizations received 9% of total contributions.¹ 

Significantly, healthcare has been slower to benefit from online giving than other subsectors, leaving healthcare foundations vulnerable during a pandemic that isolated individuals and prevented in-person relationship building. Healthcare organizations should not overlook revenue mix as a component of ongoing strategic planning. While different organizations may thrive through various combinations of revenue sources, organizations should avoid an over-reliance on certain sources. 

Blackbaud Healthcare Solutions studied the relationship between community wealth and healthcare donations, breaking down the results by health system staffed beds. It found that median donations didn’t vary that much from community to community or within bed size ranges. For example, health systems with the smallest number of staffed beds in the highest-wealth communities raised $28 per staffed bed compared to $36 in the lowest-wealth communities.² The dynamic is similar with the largest facilities, but much more mixed in the middle. Thus, although the wealth of your community is beyond your control, other factors are very much primed for new strategies.