2009 Online Giving Trends – Q3 | npENGAGE

2009 Online Giving Trends – Q3

By on Oct 1, 2009


Online Fundraising Growth TrendsThe year is rapidly coming to a close and we have more information about online giving trends for the third quarter of 2009 from Blackbaud clients. This is part of a series of published insights from all of 2008, Q1 2009, and Q2 2009. This information comes from approximately 2,200 nonprofit organizations using Blackbaud's Internet solutions and represents the largest sample size studied in the nonprofit sector.

Online Fundraising Growth Trends
An analysis of nearly three years of online fundraising data reveals a giving pattern for Blackbaud clients. Online revenue in the third quarter of 2009 was up 41% compared to the same time period in 2008. The trend data also illustrates how online fundraising is entering its traditional peak period during the final quarter of the year. Data from across 33 months shows that the largest amount of online giving takes place in Q4 followed by Q2, Q3, and Q1.

Online Major Giving Trends
Last quarter we published some findings around trends among donors making significant online gifts in excess of $1,000. These gift amounts mark a threshold for many nonprofits between annual support, transitional gifts, and major gifts to the organization. Blackbaud's research identified 1,429 nonprofit organizations in the analysis with least one online gift of $1,000 or more in 2009. 41% of those organizations had their largest online donation within a gift range of $1,001 to $4,999. That was the largest segment in the breakdown followed by 21% of the nonprofits having their largest single online gift at the $1,000 level. The highest gift range in the analysis was $10,001 to $50,000 and 7% of the nonprofits had their largest single online gift in this group. Blackbaud also did a year-over-year comparison from 2008 to 2009 and found that the median gift amount for online donations of at least $1,000 has held steady at $2,500. Blackbaud’s research continues to show measurable evidence of donors making significant gifts online as part of their giving behaviors.

Economic Impact on Online Giving
There are a variety of perspectives on how the global and domestic economy is impacting fundraising. The latest Target Analytics Index of National Fundraising Performance continues to show a decline in revenue and donors across the sector. Our research suggests that the majority of nonprofit organizations are still in a growth phase for online giving, compared to well established offline channels, and the impact of the recession is largely masked. Online transactions are still growing at 56% year-over-year and this volume growth overcomes any declines in gift amounts. The emerging trend in the data is that a nonprofit's online fundraising mix might influence their year-over-year results. More research and analysis on the impact of fundraising mix is certainly required.

Notes: All data is calculated directly from online transactions processed by Blackbaud. Online recurring gifts and pledges are not included in the entire data analysis. The single largest online gift ($75,000) and single smallest online gift ($1) during the analysis period were removed.


Steve MacLaughlin is the Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), Institute of Fundraising National Convention (United Kingdom), Civil Society Conference (Netherlands), International Fundraising Congress (Netherlands), Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School (Ireland), and a keynote speaker at several conferences across the social good sector.

Steve previously served on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, became a bestseller in 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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