The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How Giving is Growing Online: The Latest from the Digital Giving Index

Where is online giving going? How do you capture more digital dollars for your cause?

To make a smart plan for your digital giving spend and online fundraising strategy, you need to understand how donors are giving online. Since 2010, Network for Good has published the Digital Giving Index which looks at online giving trends across the Network for Good platform, including both branded and generic donation pages, social fundraising sites, portal giving, and employee giving.

The Network for Good’s Digital Giving Index data represents $233 million in giving for 2014 representing donations to 45,000 charities. While online donations still represent less than 10% of all charitable giving, the growth of online giving continues to outpace the rate of growth for overall giving. In 2014, the donations on Network for Good’s online giving platform increased 23% over 2013.

Digital Giving Index 2014

Here are a few key takeaways from our giving data:

The Channel Matters

Donors give differently depending on the online giving channel they use. While we see portal giving spike during times of disaster or at the end of the year, we still see the majority of online donations coming in through a nonprofit’s website via an online giving page.

Average gift size also fluctuates depending on the channel. The largest average donations come in through employee giving, as these donations are often influenced by corporate matching gifts.

Donation by Channel

The Experience Matters

Think all giving pages are the same? For online donors, the giving experience matters.

Generic vs. Branded

Year after year we find that nonprofits raise more on branded giving pages vs. generic giving experiences, e-commerce-style solutions, or charity giving portals. Donors are more likely to give, give larger amounts, and initiate more recurring gifts on branded giving pages that look and feel like a nonprofit’s website or fundraising campaign. This makes sense as these types of giving experience offer donors an easy and cohesive experience that keeps them in the moment of giving.

The Rise of Social Fundraising

Social fundraising itself isn’t new, but the power of social media combined with personal networks—along with the ease of online fundraising pages—have enabled this type of peer giving to really take off.

The impact of peer fundraising and socially-driven campaigns has increased dramatically as the tools and communication channels that make it easy for donors to advocate on organizations’ behalf have become mainstream. Social fundraising has seen explosive growth over the last few years, with donation volume growing 70% in 2014. Better still, the average donation amount for gifts through these campaigns has grown 52% just in the last year.

Growth by Channel

Want more insight on social fundraising and how you can use it to expand your reach? Download our free Secrets to Social Fundraising Success guide.

Big Giving on Big Days

It’s no surprise that giving fluctuates over time. We know that average online donation amounts shift with events, such as disasters or giving days, or seasonality. Donors give the largest gifts at the end of the year and during #GivingTuesday.

Average Gift by Date

Of course, December still drives a big share of annual giving. In 2014, 31% of all dollars came in during the month of December with 12% of annual giving happening on the last three days of the year.

Generous Procrastinators

To make the most of these big giving days, it’s crucial to have a solid online giving program in place with a donation experience that fully expresses your case for giving.

View and download the full infographic, and grab a copy of our new companion Online Fundraising Report for more insight on how donors are giving online and how you can make the most of your digital strategy.

Make It Easier for Donors to Say Yes

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About This Blog

Lisa Bonanno
Vice President of Digital Marketing

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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Want to raise more money and learn how to market your cause with bigger impact? You’re in the right place! The Nonprofit Marketing Blog is managed by our team of experts here at Network for Good. We’re here to bring you the best in nonprofit marketing trends, fundraising techniques, technology developments, and amazing nonprofit examples.

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