Charitable Giving Continued to Grow in 2016

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Overall charitable giving increased 1% in 2016 and online giving was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. This is based on the latest findings of the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact in the 2016 Charitable Giving Report.

The 2016 Charitable Giving Report includes overall giving data from 6,845 nonprofit organizations representing $23 billion in total fundraising from 2016. The report also includes online giving data from 5,210 nonprofits representing $2.6 billion in online fundraising from 2016.

Key Findings

The report also contains insights on giving trends by sector, giving trends by month, significant online gifts, and numerous other trends. Some of the key findings include:

1. Overall giving grew approximately 1.0% in 2016

2. Online giving grew 7.9% in 2016 compared to 2015

3. Online donations were 7.2% of all fundraising in 2016

4. #GivingTuesday online donations were up 20% in 2016

5. 17% of online donations were made on a mobile device in 2016

This year’s Charitable Giving Report leverages this data to provide answers to some of the most common questions asked by fundraising and nonprofit professionals. Through its data science and data assets, Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud, is in the unique position to provide several key insights in the U.S. nonprofit sector. For example, in 2016, the average age of a donor in the United States was 62 years-old and on average they made 1.4 gifts to nonprofit organizations they supported.

The Big Picture on Giving

The new normal in fundraising may become low single-digital growth rates unless a broader spectrum of nonprofit organizations embrace the importance of donor engagement, retention, and stewardship. The larger growth rates following the end of the recession have slowed and the warning signs are real.

Nonprofit organizations of all sizes and missions must make a renewed commitment to engaging the right supporters using the right channels at the right time. Both newly acquired and existing donors need a thoughtfully planned and executed retention program. Stewarding and building relationships with an emphasis on donor loyalty is no longer optional.

The vision and strategy needed to drive improved results will go beyond simple tips and tricks. Moving the needle on giving will require leadership at all levels of an organization to support a more data driven approach over anecdotal opinions. Creating sustainable fundraising growth will take patience, practice, and building the right habits. The future of the nonprofit sector depends on the progress we make together in the coming years.

The complete 2016 Charitable Giving Report can be downloaded at:

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