Fundraising Statistics: Charitable Donations
Key Fundraising Statistics:
- Overall giving grew 4.1% over the past year, the 6th consecutive year of growth.
- Online giving grew by 12.1% over the past year.
- 45% of worldwide donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program.
- 41% of worldwide donors give in response to natural disasters.
- Missions related to international affairs experienced a 19.2% increase in overall donations over the past year. Environmental issues and medical research were the next most popular causes with donors.
- 31% of offline-only first-time donors are retained for over a year, versus 25% of online-only first-time donors.
- 30% of annual giving happens in December, with about 10% of all annual donations coming in the last three days of the year.
Demographic Fundraising Statistics:
- The average donor in the United States is 64 years old and makes 2 charitable gifts a year.
- 31% of worldwide donors give to organizations located outside of their country of residence.
- Female donors are more likely to make a donation because of social media marketing, while male donors are more likely to give because of email messages.
- Generational differences between donors can have considerable impacts, as well, as evidenced in the findings to the right.
- 67% of worldwide donors also choose to volunteer locally in their communities, and 56% regularly attend fundraising events.
[Source: 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report]
Donation revenue and interest in philanthropy continues to grow across the board, but it’s still essential that nonprofits prepare to adapt their strategies to shifting demographic preferences. Pursuing diverse engagement methods that include events and volunteer opportunities continues to be a smart move. Boosting donor retention across both online and traditional donation methods should always be a priority.
Our Resources for Charitable Donation Statistics:
Fundraising Statistics: Online and Mobile Donations
Online Fundraising Statistics:
- Overall online revenue increased by 23% over the past year, up from 15%.
- Online donations to environmental and human rights-related missions grew the most, 34% and 37% respectively.
- 38% of online donors who made a gift in 2016 made another gift to that nonprofit the next year.
- Revenue from individual online gifts grew by 19% over the past year.
- Online monthly giving revenue grew by 40% as recurring donation options become increasingly popular with online donors.
[Source: M+R 2018 Benchmark Report]
Mobile Fundraising Statistics:
- Online donation pages had an average conversion rate of 8% on mobile devices last year, but the number of transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.
- The number of donations completed through desktop browsers decreased by 10%.
- Half of all nonprofit website traffic last year came from mobile and tablet users. The share of desktop-based traffic decreased by 9% over the previous year.
- The average gift by mobile users is $79, while tablet users give $96, and desktop users give $118.
Online fundraising is increasingly important to nonprofits across the board. Online donor retention has become slightly easier to maintain as donors warm to monthly recurring donation options. Mobile fundraising and mobile-optimized donation pages are more important than ever, but securing mobile donations is generally more difficult than on traditional desktop browsers. Nonprofits should devote energy specifically to developing mobile fundraising strategies.
Our Resource for Online and Mobile Fundraising Statistics:
Fundraising Statistics: Corporate Philanthropy and Matching Gifts
Corporate Philanthropy Statistics:
- Between 2013 and 2017, giving increased by more than 15% for 6 out of 10 companies.
- Corporations gave over $20 billion to nonprofit organizations last year.
- The top 10 most generous corporations donate over $2 billion annually to nonprofits, much of it through employee matching gift programs.
- 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs.
- 65% of companies surveyed provided employees with paid-release time volunteer programs in 2017.
- There’s been a dramatic increase in the percentage of companies with unrestricted matching gift programs versus those with more restricted programs (e.g. only matching donations to higher education.)
- In the last three years, the percentage of Russell 1000 companies offering unrestricted programs grew by 48%, whereas those with restricted programs decreased by 33% to 13.6%.
- Microsoft is the largest contributor of corporate philanthropy funds, with a 65% employee participation rate for annual giving campaigns.
Matching Gift Fundraising Statistics:
- Roughly $2 – $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually.
- However, an estimated $6 – $10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year.
- More than 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.
- Over the last three years, the percentage of Russell 1000 companies reporting that they offer employee matching gifts grew by 11.8% to 51% total (with more companies offering the programs but not yet publicly disclosing them).
- Only 12% of total corporate cash donations to nonprofits are made through matching gift programs.
- 1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger gift if they knew it would be matched and doubled.
- Only 1.31% of individual contributions made to the average nonprofit are matched.
- 96% of employees have a strong preference for their company to match donations made directly to a nonprofit rather than only matching donations through a workplace giving software platform.
Corporate philanthropy, and specifically matching gift programs, represents a major missed opportunity for most nonprofit organizations. It’s clear that donors are more than willing to increase their support when they know it can be matched by their employers, and companies are happy to offer their employees these options in order to streamline philanthropic outreach. The potential impact of matching gifts is significant, but low awareness seems to be the largest hurdle. Nonprofits should prioritize promoting these programs to their donors to see the biggest results.
Our Resources for Charitable Donation Statistics:
Fundraising Statistics: Nonprofit Marketing and Email
Nonprofit Marketing Statistics:
- On average, nonprofits post to Facebook and Twitter once a day and to Instagram twice a week.
- Nonprofits send an average of 2 print newsletters and 3 print donation appeals per year.
- Self-reported “effective” marketing strategies created roughly 9.4 short-form blog articles, 2.1 mid-form articles, an 1 long-form article per month; nonprofits dissatisfied with their own marketing results typically produced fewer pieces of digital content overall.
- For every 1,000 email addresses, the average organization has 474 Facebook fans, 186 Twitter followers, and 41 Instagram followers.
- Instagram was the fastest-growing social media platform for nonprofits in 2017, with a 44% increase in followers.
[Source: M+R 2018 Benchmark Report]
Email Fundraising Statistics:
- Email-based marketing and promotional campaigns generated 28% of all online nonprofit revenue in 2017.
- Nonprofits send an average of 3 email newsletters and 2 donation appeals monthly.
- For every 1,000 fundraising emails sent to subscribers, nonprofits raised an average of $42, with small organizations (fewer than 100,000 subscribers) receiving the most donation revenue per email. However, large nonprofits have seen an increase in revenue per message since 2016.
- Fundraising email response rates have seen a 9% decline, and click-through rates fell to .42% in 2017.
- Cultural missions have seen a decline in donation revenue from email marketing, while international-focused organizations have seen the largest increase. The graph below illustrates the trends for other categories of nonprofits.
Digital marketing for nonprofits has its high points and challenges. Content marketing, mainly through blogging and social media posts, represents an important opportunity for organizations to engage with their communities and grow their online visibility. Email, while still an effective and central digital marketing medium, requires more and more strategy to yield fundraising results. Carefully track your email campaigns to determine the most effective techniques that interest your donors, and avoid techniques that generate high bounce rates or no engagement at all.
Our Resources for Nonprofit Marketing and Email Fundraising Statistics:
Fundraising Statistics: Extra Resources
Here are the various resources we consulted to compile these statistics, plus a few extras:
- Double the Donation: Corporate Giving and Matching Gift Statistics
- M+R Benchmark Report
- Nonprofit Communications Trends Report
- Fundly’s Crowdfunding Statistics
- CECP Giving in Numbers Report
- CECP Giving in Numbers Brief
- Giving USA Report on Philanthropy
- Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report
- DonorSearch Prospect Research and Wealth Screening Statistics
- Global Trends in Giving Report
Staying on top of fundraising statistics and trends is an essential part of maintaining effective nonprofit strategies year over year. Fundraising is at the heart of what you do, so make sure to keep your finger on the pulse!
For more information and ideas, continue your research with some additional resources:
A number of generous companies really lead the pack when it comes to corporate philanthropy. Microsoft and GE, for instance, are among the most generous corporations in the world.
Review the top matching gift companies and see if any of your top supporters might be eligible to double the impact of their donations.
We specialize in helping nonprofits navigate the world of corporate philanthropy, one of the richest (but largely untapped) sources of support for organizations of all sizes.
Get started with our comprehensive guide to corporate philanthropy to learn how your team can begin tapping into this support.