Online Giving Increased 12.1 Percent in 2017, Report Finds

Online Giving Increased 12.1 Percent in 2017, Report Finds

Online giving in the United States increased 12.1 percent in 2017, while overall giving was up 4.1 percent, a new report from Blackbaud finds.

Based on overall giving data from 8,453 nonprofit organizations and online giving data from 5,709 nonprofits, the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact's Charitable Giving Report: How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2017 found that online donations accounted for 7.6 percent of total fundraising revenue, up from 7.2 percent in 2016, and that 21 percent of online donations were made on a mobile device, up from 17 percent.

According to the report, midsize organizations (annual fundraising revenue between $1 million and $10 million) saw a more modest year-over-year increase (3.9 percent) in donated revenue than small (4.2 percent) and large (4.3 percent) organizations did, but saw a larger increase in online giving (14.9 percent) than small (10.7 percent) and large (11 percent) nonprofits did. The study also found that online donations as a share of total fundraising revenue grew 13.9 percent for small nonprofits, 7.7 percent for midsize nonprofits, and 5.6 percent for large nonprofits.

In addition, overall giving during the last three months of the year increased 5.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, with online donations made on #GivingTuesday up some 28 percent.

In terms of issue areas, giving for K-12 education and arts and culture — which saw the largest increases in 2016 — fell 1 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, while international affairs saw the largest increase, up 19.2 percent, after declining 0.8 percent in 2016. It was followed by the environment and animal welfare (up 7.9 percent), medical research (4.9 percent), and faith-based organizations (4.7 percent). In terms of online giving, faith-based groups saw the largest increase (18.1 percent), followed by environmental and animal welfare groups (17.6 percent) and arts and culture organizations (17.2 percent).

"Trends in the 2017 Charitable Giving Report show very positive signs for the emergence of digital and mobile giving," said Steve MacLaughlin, vice president of data and analytics at Blackbaud and senior advisor to the Blackbaud Institute. "Organizations that commit to reaching their supporters through the right channels at the right time will find continued success in these rapidly evolving times."