Seattle Is The Most Generous City

June 20, 2014       Patrick Sullivan      

The people of Seattle gave more online per 1,000 residents in 2013 than residents of any other city, at a rate of $53,542 per 1,000 residents. Residents generated $33.2 million from 201,502 donations. Those are some results from the Most Generous Online Cities 2013 report, produced by Charleston, S.C. software firm Blackbaud.

In all, nonprofits in the study raised $822 million online last year, a 61 percent increase from 2012’s $509 million. Blackbaud processed 8.3 million online donations in 2013, compared to 6.4 million the year before.

The report tracked online donations coming into nonprofits using Blackbaud products in 2013, and ranked them on donations per 1,000 residents in each of 265 cities. The per-1,000 residents metric was chosen to take into consideration population differences.

Readers of the 2012 Most Generous Online Cities report will notice some familiar names: seven of the top 10 cities in 2012 also appeared on the 2013 list. Of the top 25 in 2013, the West had the most cities at eight, followed by seven in both the South and the Midwest. The Northeast had three. There was much more movement in 2013 than 2012, when nine out of the top 10 cities appeared on the previous year’s list.

The $33.3 million and 201,502 donations raised in Seattle were both the highest total amount and highest number of donations. Alexandria, Va., kept its number two spot from 2012; residents in that city donated a total of $6.8 million from 73,343, averaging $47,192 per 1,000 residents.

None of the other cities on both years’ lists kept their 2012 rankings. Washington, D.C., slipped from third to fourth place last year, superseded by newcomer Atlanta, Ga. Other cities not appearing in 2012’s top 10 were Cincinnati, Ohio and Bellevue, Wash., ranked eighth and ninth.

Since 2011, total online donations nearly doubled, from $432.65 million to $822 million last year. The number of donations grew from 5.5 million to 8.3 million.

The returning cities on the top 10 had saw big increases in donation amount per 1,000 residents from 2012 to 2013, most by at least $10,000. Seattle jumped from $38,297 to $53,542, and Alexandria went from $33,106 to $47,192. Number 5 Cambridge, Mass., had the biggest increase in that metric, going from $20,202 in 2012 to $36,105 in 2013, a gain of $15,903.

Other significant metrics from the top 25 include the $23.5 million raised in Washington, D.C. and $22.2 million raised from San Francisco, number 10 on the list. Washington, D.C. also had the next-highest total number of donations, at 177,214, followed by number 18 Austin, Texas, with 147,359 and Atlanta’s 140,175.