June 21, 2018
Online Donations Outpace Overall Giving to Nonprofits

February 24, 2017 — A newly released report on charitable giving shows that while overall giving last year barely increased over the previous year, online giving to nonprofits surged to a record high.

According to the Charitable Giving Report from Blackbaud, Inc., a provider of software and services to nonprofits, overall giving grew approximately 1.0% in 2016, compared to 2015, while online giving grew 7.9% in 2016 vs. the year before.

In 2016, online donations accounted for 7.2% of all fundraising, a record high.

Nearly 17% of online donations were made on a mobile device in 2016, a 21% year-over-year increase and represents a continuing shift by donors to consumer-oriented engagement channels.

The report was based on overall giving data from 6,845 nonprofit organizations representing $23 billion in total fundraising from 2016, and on online giving data from 5,210 nonprofits representing $2.6 billion in online fundraising from 2016.

"The U.S. nonprofit sector is entering a period where sustainable growth depends on embracing best practices in donor engagement, retention, and stewardship," according to the report. "This includes using data and analytics to drive informed decision making."

In 2016, overall giving to large organizations grew by 1.0%, medium organizations increased 1.7% and small nonprofits experienced flat growth while online giving to large organizations grew by 6.3%, medium organizations grew 11.4% and small nonprofits grew 8.1%, on a year-over-year basis.

According to the report, overall giving to K-12 education and arts and culture sectors grew the most in 2016, and the healthcare sector experienced the largest decrease in year-over-year fundraising with a 4.5% drop.

Arts and culture organizations experienced the highest growth in online giving with a 15.4% year-over-year increase.

For the third consecutive year, online giving to higher education institutions grew significantly with a 12.3% year-over-year increase. public and society benefit, environment/animal welfare, human services, and K-12 education organizations also all had double-digit online giving growth in 2016 compared to 2015.

Faith-based nonprofits and Healthcare organizations had single digit growth in online giving during 2016. Online giving to international affairs organizations had a decrease of 0.8% and medical research nonprofits dropped 3.8% on a year-over-year basis.

According to Blackbaud, 41% of nonprofits received at least one online donation of $1,000 or more in 2016.

Baby boomers (born 1946 – 1964) provided 41.6% of all giving to nonprofits in 2016, in line with their share of the U.S. population. However, Silent Generation donors (born 1928 – 1945), which comprise 28.1% of the population, accounted for 30.5% of all giving last year.

Gen X donors (born 1965 – 1980) made 15.7% of all donations to nonprofits last year, and Gen Y, also called Millennials, (born 1981 – 1997) made 5.4% of % of all donations to nonprofits in 2016.

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