The following post written by Morgan Mudge was released in The Generosity Journal.
In 2020 online giving to charities increased by 21%, according to a newly released study entitled, “Using 2020 Data to Transform Your Strategy.” 1 I doubt this information is a surprise. Many of you reading this saw your online giving increase by an even greater percentage. Clearly, the sharp increase can be attributed to one thing, COVID-19. However, as you will see from their data, online giving has seen a 32% increase over the last three years.
Based upon our experience working with churches and data like this, we believe the state of online giving for the church is not simply the future; it is our present reality. To support that claim, here are a few other tidbits from the report that I found interesting,
Key Giving Trends
- U.S. charitable giving grew 2% year over year, representing an increase of more than 5% over the last three years.
- Online giving grew by nearly 21%, representing more than a 32% increase over the last three years.
- A record 13% of fundraising came from online donations in 2020, mirroring similar online retail sales trends.
- Nearly 30% of all online gifts were made from a mobile device.
- Growth in online and mobile giving represented a dramatic shift to digital in 2020.
- Donation amounts increased, with overall donations averaging $737 (a $120 increase year over year) and online donations averaging $177 (a $29 increase year over year).
- Though nonprofits of all sizes experienced a significant drop in charitable giving in April, May, and June, giving made a remarkable recovery in the second half of 2020.2
The above data corresponds to what we are finding, giving trends mirroring Americans’ spending habits. Here is a comment from the study that supports this view, “As a point of comparison, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that e-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 accounted for 14.3% of total sales. The data reveals once again that consumer behavior is also donor behavior.” These facts need to drive our planning and thinking.
What does this data mean for your church? We are not surprised at the findings of this study by the Blackbuad Institute. Here is my analysis of what this data means for you and your church.
Digital giving is here to stay. Here is an interesting quote, “During the sharpest lows of overall giving, the data shows that online giving was reaching the highest peaks. Online giving was up 36% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to 2019.” The trends have been moving in this direction for the last few years. COVID-19 sped up the use of online giving in churches, but we were heading for digital giving anyway. Our view is that there is no going back; digital is here to stay.
Donors like multiple options to give through. A few years ago, all churches needed was a site on their webpage to host online giving at. To give digitally, a donor had to actually log on to your website. As digital commerce has boomed, so have the options which Americans can use. You must have the most up-to-date options for your donors. You can count on the Gyve family to always provide you with the latest and most secure means of processing donations.
Think mobile! Here is another quote, “In 2020, an estimated 28% of online donations were made using mobile devices. This has grown steadily since 2014 when it was just 9% of online donations.” If you doubt this statistic spend time in your local Starbucks, if it’s open, and watch how commerce is handled in America. You will see very little cash. Most now don’t even use a credit card or debit card but their Starbucks app. This is particularly true of younger donors. Providing text giving or, better yet, app giving will help you increase giving and new givers. Check out our Round-Up app at https://gyve.com/gyve-round-up-donations/
“Listen to your data and let it guide you.” That is a direct quote from the study. We could not agree more. When you look at the breakdown of monthly online giving in 2020, you see that giving increased more in certain months than in others. For instance, nearly 40% of all online giving came in the last three months of the year. In December of 2020, online giving to Faith-Based organizations rose from around 7% to 20.8%. We would advise using your data to better devise specific strategies for giving. Our analytics provides you with the data you need to guide your strategies.
The offering is not dead; it is different! We have been saying that for the last year, and studies like this prove the point. Now more than ever, you must provide digital options to attract and keep donors. At Gyve, our commitment is to provide you with the best digital platform in the industry. Your church deserves nothing less than the best!
Morgan Mudge – Director of Operations