Online Giving Up in 2009

We have the first stats from Blackbaud, a major U.S. based software provider, on online giving for 2009.

The information comes from approximately 2,300 nonprofit organizations using a combination of Blackbaud online fundraising, email marketing and integrated CRM tools. The analysis represents the largest study of online giving trends in the nonprofit sector:

  • Online revenue grew 46% in 2009 compared to 2008. The first three months of 2009 had a 60% year-over-year growth rate in online revenue. December and May were the two largest months for online giving.
  • 46% of online revenue was processed in the final three months of 2009. December accounted for 30% of revenue and 18% of transaction volume in 2009.
  • The average online gift in 2009 was $144.72. This represents a 5% decline from 2008, but remains significantly higher than other fundraising channels.

We are also hearing:

Interviews with fund raisers nationwide conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy suggest that many charities are doing better in obtaining large gifts from some of their wealthiest donors and in persuading more people of modest means to give.

The Chronicle also reports “End-of-year giving is lagging behind at all causes except religion. More than 61 percent of religious charities said they were doing better so far this year, while 7.7 percent said they were doing the same and 30.8 percent reported doing worse.

More than 50 percent of advocacy groups, arts organizations, international charities, and social-service groups told The Chronicle that their giving was down this November and December compared with the same period in 2008.”

Informal, unscientific, discussions with fundraisers in the Jewish world indicate that for those whose donors generally give cash gifts (as opposed to pledges) during December, giving is even or slightly ahead of December, 2008. One exception appears to be from estate giving, where lower interest rates have caused declines.

Gifts of stock appear to be up significantly compared to 2008.