In the United States, charitable giving grew 10.6 per cent in 2020 driven by the increased need during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, in 2020 charities received gifts of all sizes from people across a broad array of income levels; however, small donors increased their giving than those giving larger amounts. Gifts of less than $250 grew by over 15 per cent in 2020. In comparison, gifts of $250 to $999 increased eight per cent, and gifts of $1,000 or more increased by ten per cent.
One reason for the rise in small gifts could be a decision made a year ago by the U.S. government to let everyone take charitable deductions, not just people who itemise, Jon Biedermann, chair of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, said in a statement.
‘It’s striking that on December 31, there was a 28 per cent increase of $300 gifts, which is exactly the maximum amount a donor can take using the universal charitable deduction.’
The data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project also found that the overall number of donors grew by seven per cent over 2019. However, donor retention, or the percentage of donors who gave to a charity in both 2019 and 2020, dropped last year by four per cent – a statistic that could pose challenges for nonprofits going forward. Even with the strong showing of new small donors in 2020, fundraisers will have to work hard to keep generous supporters to meet pressing needs.
The Fundraising Effectiveness project is managed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in collaboration with GivingTuesday and analyses donation data from the Growth in Giving Database.