Key Findings

One-time online giving skyrocketed.

One-time giving increased by 15.6% from 2019 to 2020 (compared with it decreasing 1% from 2018 to 2019), led by giving to Food Banks which surged by 453%. This increase was largely fueled by emergency giving related to the pandemic and the disruption of other fundraising channels.

Group 6

Sustainer giving grew consistently each month.

While one-time giving spiked and plummeted throughout the year (with the highest increases in May/June and November/December), sustainer, or monthly recurring giving, grew by 14-20% every month.

Transaction trend reverses.

Until 2020, the number of online transactions and first-time donors has steadily declined. However COVID-19 enticed new online donors, increasing the one-time online transaction numbers by nearly 16% year over year. The average dollar amount of every type of transaction also increased more than previous years.

Online revenue composition shifted.

The increase in one-time emergency giving likely changed online revenue composition for organizations, forcing the median share of sustainer giving to decline from 11% in 2019 to 9% in 2020.

Fundraising email results soared.

As emergency giving and channel disruption drove email donations, email fundraising increased 42.4% and the email conversion rate increased by 17.9%.

Rise in email engagement.

Finally! Nonprofits are evolving their practices and rebounding after years of declining email performance. Total email clickthroughs (29%) increased twice as much as total emails sent (13.9%) year over year. Just in time as email tracking could undergo huge changes.

Sustainer giving growth continues to outpace one-time giving growth.

One-time revenue notched a significant increase in 2020 but sustainer, or monthly recurring, giving still grew by more–at 17.9% year over year. It’s the 9th consecutive Luminate Online Benchmark Report that monthly giving revenue growth has grown faster than one-time giving.

Which of these trends will continue?

Blackbaud experts identify the 2020 trends likely to continue into 2022 and suggest ideas and tactics to make the most of online fundraising.