[New Report] Online Giving Increased by 7.9% in 2016 | npENGAGE

[New Report] Online Giving Increased by 7.9% in 2016

By on Feb 24, 2017


2016 Online Giving Trends

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 from the 2016 Charitable Giving Report

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.

What the data tells us about the future of charitable 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.


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.

Comments (2)

  • Jack says:

    As a fundraiser for a local non-profit with limited resources, I am always seeking for practical guidance on how to attract and engage donors. It’s easy to say there should be “a renewed commitment to engage the right supporters using the right channels” – but who are the right supporters and what are the right channels? It’s an easy thing to say, and I’m sure most fundraisers know this is what they have to do. The question is how do they actually do it.

    • Carol says:

      Yours is a very practical question. Questions for you? Are you capitalizing on #givingtuesday? Is your donate button all over your website? Are you sharing stories of your impact and asking online donors for feedback on your communications?
      Just a few of many ways to think about a “renewed commitment to engage…”

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