Online Giving Up, But Overall Giving Declines

Fundraising can sometime be an enigma wrapped in a riddle and folded into a question, as any fundraiser might attest. Recent overall and online-giving trends illustrate that unpredictability as overall giving for the three months ending in August was down 0.8 percent as compared to the same three-month period of 2016, according to the latest Blackbaud Index. Online giving, conversely, went up by 9.8 percent when the two periods are compared.

Large organizations, defined as those with $10 million or more in revenue struggled the most overall, down 2.4 percent, but had the biggest gains online – 11.5 percent. Small organizations, those with $1 million or less in revenues, were on the opposite end of the spectrum and saw overall growth of 2.4 percent, but just 4.4 percent online. Medium-sized organizations saw increases of 0.4 percent and 9.3 percent overall and online, respectively.

Some of the same disparities are present at the subsector level. Arts organizations, which saw a 0.9 decrease in overall giving, also experienced the second highest online increase at 16.5 percent. Human service organizations, with a 0.6 percent overall decrease, had the third largest online increase at 14 percent. Healthcare organizations, with the third largest overall increase at 3.1 percent, had the third smallest increase online at 8.1 percent.

In terms of overall giving, the biggest gainers were public-society benefit organizations (5 percent), environmental and animal welfare groups (4.1 percent), and healthcare organizations (3.1 percent). International affairs (-8 percent), K-12 education (-5.7 percent), arts (-0.9 percent), and human services (-0.6 percent) all posted losses.

Public-society benefit organizations were also the biggest gainers online at 18.7 percent followed by arts organizations (16.5 percent), human services (14 percent), and environmental and animal welfare groups (13.6 percent). Medical research organizations posted the only loss online, at -2.3 percent. Faith-based organization (6.4 percent), healthcare (8.1 percent), higher-education (8.4 percent), and international affairs (9.5 percent) were the other groups to record below-average online gains.

The Blackbaud Index is released at the beginning of each month, tracking $20 billion in U.S. charitable giving month to month. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com/nonprofit-resources/blackbaud-index.