What Does Blackbaud’s 2017 Charitable Giving Report Show About Non-Profit Donation Trends?

Piggy Bank

2018 is definitely on a roll, but it can be fun to look back to 2017, especially after learning that last year was great for philanthropy! Blackbaud recently released their 2017 Charitable Giving Report, and the numbers don’t lie: non-profit donations increased in size and number! Overall, non-profit donations increased by over 4% compared to the previous year, but how do things break down in different categories?

Where did the donations go?

The report covers all non-profit giving, but it can also be valuable to compare the changes across the sector. International Affairs saw the largest upsurge in donations, with an increase of almost 20% compared to the previous year, while second place goes to Environment and Animal Welfare, at a nearly 8% increase!

Charitable Giving Planting

Is it seasonal?

The time of year that supporters donate depends on a variety of factors, including current events, politics, holidays, and more. The traditional holiday season continues to be the most popular month to donate by far with 18.2% of all contributions occurring in December. Second place goes to June, with just under 9%, which aligns with the end of the fiscal year for many organizations. 

What was the most popular way to donate?

When you give money, how do you do it? These days, it’s often easier to go to the organization’s website or app, rather than writing a check and putting it in the mail, but surprisingly, online giving represents less than 10% of total donations across the board. Although, at 7.6% in 2017, it hit a record high, showing that giving online is becoming an increasingly popular option! Small-nonprofits were the first group by size to cross the 10% milestone; in 2017, they received 13.8% of their donations online.

Mobile Giving

With the increasing use of digital tools, how do mobile donations compare? Of all of the online donations in 2017, about 21% of them occurred on mobile devices, a number that has grown swiftly since 2014. This trend highlights the importance of incorporating mobile-friendly giving options in your fundraising strategies!

What’s happening in other countries?

Blackbaud is now tracking trends in Canada and the U.K. as well, and the increase in charitable giving is not limited to the United States. Overall giving and online donations were up in those countries as well, by 1.5% and 2.9% respectively!

How did #GivingTuesday play out?

Giving Tuesday (which fell on November 28th in 2017) is one of the biggest days in non-profit fundraising. Online donations were up by 27% compared to 2016, and in that group, 26% came from mobile devices! Giving is continuing to swing towards medium- and small-sized non-profits, which in 2017 received a combined 43% of all Giving Tuesday donations. This is more than double the combined 20% they received in 2012!

Here’s to a charitable 2017 and a generous 2018!

No matter how you slice it, advocates stepped up in 2017. Let’s keep the trend going this year and continue to support organizations that are doing good in our communities, country, and around the world!

Click here to download Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report


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