Online Giving Trends Upward in 2017

It’s probably no surprise that online giving trends are on the rise.

In the Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2017, Giving USA examined online giving trends in detail, providing insights into fundraising results from email campaigns, direct online giving and social media engagement.

Email Fundraising

Overall, email fundraising increased in 2017 compared to 2016. Representing 28% of all online fundraising revenue in 2017, email fundraising still plays a significant role in the nonprofit fundraising toolbox. In 2017, nonprofit email lists grew by 11%, compared to an increase of 10% in 2016. Although click-through rates declined 6% in 2017, overall fundraising through email increased 24% over the previous year.

Social Media

Nonprofits continued to attract followers on social media in 2017. Across all nonprofits, Instagram lists grew 44%, Twitter lists grew 15% and Facebook lists grew 13%. For each of these platforms, a different nonprofit sub-sector emerged with the highest growth. For Facebook, it was public media organizations with a 27% increase in followers. On Twitter, hunger/poverty organizations saw the most growth at 42%. Instagram saw rights organizations emerge as the leader with 56% growth.

The overall Facebook engagement rate for 2017 was 0.44%. This is the number of people who click or comment on a post as a percentage of total page fans that day. Of all the sub-sectors, hunger/poverty organizations saw the greatest engagement rate at 0.92%.

Online Fundraising

Continuing to show significant growth in 2017, online giving increased 23%, compared with 15% in 2016. Monthly renewal giving increased 40% and one-time gifts increased by 19%. The overall number of online gifts increased by 28% in 2017. In addition, donor retention averaged 38% across all sub-sectors. These are the donors who made an online donation in 2016 and again in 2017.

What is Your Experience?

Is your organization seeing an increase in online giving? How are your email campaigns performing this year compared to last year? Has there been any impact on your organization’s online fundraising efforts from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect on May 25, 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

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