Pandemic May Have Altered the Ways that Donors Give
July 12, 2021 — While philanthropic giving practices generally don’t shift in a single year, the events of 2020 had at least a short-term impact on the way donors are thinking about and approaching giving, with many placing greater emphasis on key social challenges and reliance on digital tools, according to a recently completed donor survey.
Surveys of 3,055 donors, first in March 2020 followed by another this year, conducted by Fidelity Charitable, a Boston-based nonprofit that is the nation’s largest grant maker, primarily via donor-advised funds, found that:
“Social good is becoming a key factor in how donors make financial choices. Nearly half of all donors have purchased products that provide a social benefit, and 20 percent have made investments in socially responsible businesses or investment funds,” Fidelity noted.
A quarter of donors last year gave to charity through a social media platform, and four-in-ten have made donations through an online giving platform like GoFundMe, Fidelity said.
While Millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000, control only 5% of wealth in the United States, they “are pushing philanthropy beyond its traditional boundaries,” Fidelity said:
“Because it enjoys higher levels of trust, the nonprofit ecosystem as a whole is uniquely positioned to lead the charge on many of the world’s largest issues. However, individual charities must adapt to donors’ changing expectations and preferences in order to remain relevant,” Fidelity said, noting that “nonprofits are seen as go-to experts on addressing basic care needs in local communities”