New Report Shows Growth in Charitable Giving in the Midst of an Uncertain Philanthropic Landscape

Staff Report

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Based on the largest analysis of overall and online giving data, Blackbaud, Inc., the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced the availability of its annual Charitable Giving Report, featuring the earliest, most comprehensive look at how fundraising performed in 2017. As philanthropy navigates tumultuous times, this latest report from the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact™ analyzes trends from nearly $30 billion in fundraising revenue from 2017 and offers the data-backed findings to help organizations benchmark their performance and guide their fundraising strategies for the year and beyond.

"Trends in the 2017 Charitable Giving Report show very positive signs for the emergence of digital and mobile giving," said Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud's vice president of data and analytics and senior advisor to the Blackbaud Institute. "Organizations that commit to reaching their supporters through the right channels at the right time will find continued success in these rapidly evolving times."

Key findings from the Blackbaud Institute Charitable Giving Report:

  • Overall giving grew approximately 4.1% in 2017

  • Online giving grew 12.1% in 2017 compared to 2016

  • Online donations made up 7.6% of all fundraising in 2017

  • #GivingTuesday online donations were up 28% in 2017

  • 21% of online donations were made on a mobile device in 2017

The 4.1% increase in giving during 2017 was a substantial jump compared to relatively flat growth in 2016. A strong stock market, spikes in giving in response to political issues, and the continued shift to digital giving all influenced giving in 2017. This growth was also fueled by a 5.1% increase in giving during the final three months of 2017.

According to the report, international affairs organizations had the largest growth in overall fundraising and faith-based organizations experienced the largest growth in online giving in 2017 compared to 2016. Only arts and culture and K–12 education institutions experienced minimal year-over-year declines in overall fundraising, and all sectors had growth in their online giving programs in 2017. Online giving to small nonprofits grew 10.7%, medium organizations grew 14.9% and large organizations grew by 11.0%, while overall giving to small organizations grew by 4.2%, medium organizations increased 3.9% and large organizations experienced the most growth at 4.3% on a year-over-year basis.