Celebrating 10 Years
The Blackbaud Institute Index

Your Source for Charitable Giving Trends

Even in the current environment, generosity continues to remain strong so far this year. In the third quarter of 2022, organizations of all sizes saw increases in their fundraising when compared over the last 12 months. Whether responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, expressing passion through a social movement, or supporting a pandemic-related cause, constituents continued to give in the first nine months of 2022.  

Various factors, including the impact of recession, will continue to play out for some time. The third quarter of 2022 reflects this with a slight decrease in giving when compared to the third quarter of 2021. Despite these challenges, the year-to-year increase across the sector indicates that constituents are engaged and giving remains stable. Strong leaders focus on building cohesion and resilience, ensuring the organization can maintain the course while still positioning for future growth. The Blackbaud Institute Index offers data trends to help you understand the current situation.   

Tracking over $51 billion from over 8,500 organizations in US-based charitable giving, the Blackbaud Institute Index is updated each quarter and reports year-over-year percent changes as well as giving to date for the last 12 months. Featuring overall giving trends, the Index can be viewed by organization size and subsector. 

 For even more in-depth insights on how current and long-term trends can help you on the path ahead, read our 2021 Charitable Giving Report. There you will find further unique data, information on how to benchmark yourself, and insights for many subsectors. For a look at how giving has changed since the pandemic began, review the research from the Blackbaud Institute in Tipping Point: Aligning with Supporters in a Changing World. The recent report, Philanthropy Through Recession: How Savvy Organizations Weather Uncertain Times, illustrates the numerous possible impacts that recessions can have on the philanthropic sector. Informed by historic trends and research, we offer insights that you can leverage to inform your ongoing multi-pronged strategy. 

Giving trend data is an invaluable tool, but it is only a retrospective that shows us what has already happened. Remember that charitable giving data is one facet of the philanthropic prism. Always track trends across your full revenue portfolio and target a sustainable funding mix in your long-term plans. 

The Blackbaud Institute Index: Celebrating 10 Years of Social Good Data

Join us to celebrate a decade of fundraising stats and four key trends to know

The Index has turned 10 this year, and to celebrate, we invited industry experts to share exclusive insights on this decade's most influential charitable giving trends. Some of our most trusted advisors, industry experts, and friendly faces led virtual fireside chats, podcast episodes, and more! Catch up on the series, now on demand!

Numbers Overview

2022 Quarterly Overall Charitable Giving

Q3 2022 vs Q3 2021

-3.7%

Last 12-Months*

6.7%

A look at year-over-year changes shows an overall increase of 6.7% over the last 12 months. As various factors continue to impact different subsectors in unique ways, organizations should also monitor their specific subsector trends. Check out the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more insight.

Additionally, charitable giving experienced a 5.6% increase in online fundraising in the past 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

2022 Quarterly Overall Giving Trends by Organization Size

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-4.7%

Last 12 Months*

6.5%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased 8.9% compared to the previous year. Notably, small nonprofits continued to set the mark with 17.8% of total fundraising coming from online giving in 2021, the highest among all organization sizes. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, small nonprofits, with annual total fundraising less than $1 million, experienced a 6.5% increase in overall fundraising and a 1.2% decrease in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-4.3%

Last 12 Months*

7.7%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Additionally, medium organizations, with total annual fundraising between $1 million and $10 million, received 11.3% of their total fundraising from online giving in 2021. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, medium nonprofits experienced a 7.7% increase in overall fundraising and a 5.8% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-3.4%

Last 12 Months*

6.4%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Additionally, large organizations, with total annual fundraising of more than $10 million, received 11.1% of their total fundraising from online giving in 2021. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, large nonprofits experienced a 6.4% increase in overall fundraising and a 6.7% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

2022 Quarterly Overall Giving Trends by Subsector

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-2.5%

Last 12 Months*

9.3%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount for Animal Welfare organizations was $299; the average online donation was $92. Animal Welfare organizations received 11.7% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, animal welfare organizations experienced a 9.3% increase in overall fundraising and an 8.7% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-16.2%

Last 12 Months*

4.9%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Arts and Culture organizations was $519; the average online donation was $98. Arts and Culture organizations received 7.7% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, arts and culture organizations experienced a 4.9% increase in overall fundraising and a 9.1% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

For further insights, read our recently published Subsector Spotlights in The Explorer. There you can browse through topics that are unique to the trends that are occurring in the arts and culture subsector.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-5.6%

Last 12 Months*

18.5%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount for the Environment subsector was $807; the average online donation was $257. The Environment subsector received 5.1% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, environment organizations experienced an 18.5% increase in overall fundraising and a 4.2% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-4.4%

Last 12 Months*

7.7%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Faith Communities was $348; the average online donation was $243. Faith Communities received 16.8% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, faith organizations experienced a 7.7% increase in overall fundraising and a 3.8% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

For further insights, read our recently published Subsector Spotlights in The Explorer. There you can browse through topics that are unique to the trends that are occurring in faith communities.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-2.2%

Last 12 Months*

6.2%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, foundations experienced a 6.2% increase in overall fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

0.1%

Last 12 Months*

9.2%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to the Healthcare subsector was $608; the average online donation was $439. The Healthcare subsector received 3.3% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, healthcare organizations experienced a 9.2% increase in overall fundraising and a 9.6% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

For further insights, read our recently published Subsector Spotlights in The Explorer. There you can browse through topics that are unique to the trends that are occurring in the healthcare subsector.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-4.8%

Last 12 Months*

7%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Higher Education institutions was $1,631; the average online donation was $421. Higher Education institutions received 2.7% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, higher education institutions experienced a 7% increase in overall fundraising and an 11% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

For further insights, read our recently published Subsector Spotlights in The Explorer. There you can browse through topics that are unique to the trends that are occurring in the higher education subsector.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

0.2%

Last 12 Months*

1.2%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Human Services organizations was $692; the average online donation was $190. Human Services organizations received 9.1% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, human services organizations experienced a 1.2% increase in overall fundraising and a 5.2% decrease in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-8.2%

Last 12 Months*

2.4%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to the International Affairs subsector was $552; the average online donation was $100. The International Affairs subsector received 5.9% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, international affairs organizations experienced a 2.4% increase in overall fundraising and a 16.4% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-7.9%

Last 12 Months*

5.7%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to K–12 institutions was $1,494; the average online donation was $1,640. K–12 institutions received 6.4% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, K–12 schools experienced a 5.7% increase in overall fundraising and a 12.7% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

For further insights, read our recently published Subsector Spotlights in The Explorer. There you can browse through topics that are unique to the trends that are occurring in K–12 schools.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-5.9%

Last 12 Months*

5.1%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Medical Research organizations was $1,113; the average online donation was $122. Medical research organizations received 5.8% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, medical research organizations experienced a 5.1% increase in overall fundraising and a 13% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021

-5.4%

Last 12 Months*

10.4%

In 2021, overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. The average donation amount to Public Society and Benefit organizations was $668; the average online donation was $291. Public Society and Benefit organizations received 6.8% of their total fundraising from online giving. See the 2021 Charitable Giving Report for more.

In the past 12 months ending in September 2022, public and society benefit organizations experienced a 10.4% increase in overall fundraising and a 20.6% increase in online fundraising compared to the previous 12 months ending September 2021.

*Last 12 months ending in September 2022 compared to the previous 12 months ending in September 2021

Navigating the Current Landscape

  • Remember that donor retention remains one of the most critical factors in fundraising success. We’ve seen an increase in new donors over the last two years, which is a departure from a decade-long trend of fewer charitable-giving households. Stay focused on communicating the continued value of your mission and stewarding your supporters.
  • Sharpen your focus on building a better world aligned to goals shared by global changemakers. Whether you’re a grant-maker or grant-seeker, use the SDG Connector to find your match to the UN’s Sustainable Developments Goals using your NTEE, NAIC, or ICNPO code. Use your SDG’s targets and indicators to help you maximize your impact, tell your story, and align funding opportunities. Access the new guide to leveraging the SDGs in your organization to get started.

The Blackbaud Institute Index provides nonprofit organizations the timely and precise information they need to help make better decisions. The Index provides both a broad-based view of what is happening across the nonprofit sector and in-depth analysis for different types of organizations. We are leveraging data intelligence to help the entire social good sector better understand key trends and insights.

While the numbers shown are updated quarterly, we must look at this data from a multi-year perspective to understand the full scope of giving trends. Since 2017, overall giving has grown by 5% and online giving increased nearly 10% in the United States.

As for online giving, it continues to be a growth engine for fundraising in the nonprofit sector and there is likely a symbiotic relationship between online and offline. In 2019, online giving grew 6.8% year-over-year and 8.7% of total fundraising came from online giving. This is on track with larger online trends, including e-commerce sales. Donor behavior is keeping pace with consumer behavior. To this point, with the proliferation of mobile phones, mobile is now the new normal. In 2019, an estimated 26% of online transactions were made using mobile devices1. With that said, the focus should be on delivering multichannel giving experiences for donors instead of online and offline working in silos.

How We Create the Blackbaud Institute Index

Each quarter, we draw actual giving statistics from the databases of thousands of U.S.-based participating organizations using various fundraising systems to determine how much revenue was raised. We include giving from all sources of fundraising activities: direct mail, telemarketing, face-to-face fundraising, email, online, mobile giving, small- and large-scale events, and major and deferred giving. 

We do not include the unfulfilled portion of pledge gifts, but we do include the donated value of in-kind and stock gifts. We include giving from individuals, corporations, and foundations but do not include giving by individuals or corporations to private and community foundations or other intermediaries. To include these gifts would double count the revenue when those organizations subsequently make grants to other nonprofits. We do not exclude the value of goods and services provided in exchange for gifts (e.g., the cost of premiums). And lastly, we do include adjustments made to gifts (e.g., bounced checks and refunds) to provide a more accurate accounting of real revenues. As a result, you may find that indices values change slightly as we obtain newly adjusted data from each organization. 

Each organization in the Blackbaud Institute Index is categorized by 1 of 11 subsectors using its National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities—or NTEE code—as reported on its 990-tax return. These subsectors are Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Environment, Faith-Based, Healthcare, Higher Education, Human Services, International Affairs, K–12 Education, Medical Research, and Public and Society Benefit. The Index also includes giving to Foundations, but this data is currently not used to calculate giving trends to avoid the potential of double-counting revenue.

We report the Index as a three-month moving median of year-over-year percent changes in giving. We add up all giving for the prior three months and compare this total to the same three months one year earlier to calculate the annual percent change for each organization in our Index. We do this because an Index based on a moving median is less sensitive to campaign and event timing issues and will serve as a more practical decision-making tool. However, one downside of a moving median is that it can dampen large fluctuations caused, for example, by disaster relief giving. 

Economic conditions, natural disasters, and market fluctuations have made it extremely difficult for nonprofits to make fundraising decisions informed by the latest donor behavior. That is why we created The Blackbaud Institute Index—to provide insight into what happened in the prior quarter and valuable analysis by leaders in the sector into what fundraisers can learn from it.

Chuck Longfield, Founder of Blackbaud Institute Index and Blackbaud Institute Advisory Board Member

We adjust the indices to be representative of the nonprofit industry, by size of organization and by industry sector. There are nearly 2 million nonprofits in the United States, and we did not want the indices to be skewed by organizations or sectors where Blackbaud had greater representation. Using 990 data, we determined the relative representation of giving by size and sector and adjusted our results accordingly. As such, the resulting indices will be more representative of both specific sectors and the industry.

For More Information

Quarterly updates: To receive quarterly updates on the Index straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Source newsletter.

Questions: Contact us at info@blackbaudinstitute.com.
Press: For press and media inquiries, contact: media@blackbaud.com

Benchmarking: The Insight Track to Success

Listen to your data to transform your organization’s strategy. The Blackbaud Institute Index and Charitable Giving Report keep you aware of the trends. Now, this guide offers practical strategies for using these resources to introduce benchmarking across your organization.  Download the free guide or watch the video.