Year-End Giving Statistics Every Nonprofit Needs to Know

|7 min read Nonprofit Fundraising

Year-end giving refers to the last three months of the calendar year when charitable giving is most common. When the year is coming to a close, nonprofits have a unique opportunity to reach out to donors, engage with them, and bring in those last-minute donations. It’s important to take a look at the year-end giving statistics around charitable contributions so that you can understand how to leverage different fundraising methods to bring in more donations this giving season. 

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What motivates people to donate at the end of the year? 

During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in consumerism and buying material things. Giving Tuesday, the kickoff to the holiday giving season, promotes giving back instead. In fact, studies show that about 50% of donations to nonprofits are given in December according to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.

So, why are people donating primarily at the end of the year? Some think that people might be driven by the last minute tax benefits that come with donating to a nonprofit organization. However, the end of the year and the holidays are generally a time for people to show their compassion and kindness by supporting the causes they care about. Donating also makes people feel good about the impact they’re making, and about themselves.

As the nonprofit, it’s important for you to remember that people are looking to help, and it’s your job to educate them and provide them with the tools they need so they can easily give to your cause. Looking at these year-end giving statistics is one of the best steps you can take to ensure your nonprofit is prepared to bring in the most support before the year ends.

Why year-end giving statistics matter for your nonprofit

In 2018, Americans gave $427.71 billion to charity according to Giving USA. Americans are willing to give their time and money to causes that they care about, but it’s up to the organization to show them why their cause is one they should give to. 

Since we know that half of all nonprofits receive most of their funding in the last three months of the year, understanding the statistics behind giving will help you develop robust and strategic end-of-year marketing campaigns to ensure you achieve the most success. The statistics below will help ensure you have a general overview of what to expect and how your nonprofit can prepare the best strategies: 

Giving Tuesday statistics

The first major event and turning point of year-end giving is often Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The Giving Tuesday movement is a social event, fueled by the power of online fundraising and social media. As the official kickoff to the giving season, keep these numbers in mind when creating your nonprofit’s year-end appeal asking for donations. 

  • On average, nonprofits collectively raise over $300 million on Giving Tuesday.
  • Giving Tuesday’s 2018 Insight Report concluded that donations on this day have continually exceeded giving on all other days of the year, including the previously most charitable day of the year, December 31st. 
  • According to The Nonprofit Times, the Elephant Sanctuary raised almost $300,000 on Giving Tuesday thanks to corporate donation matching. 
  • The 2018 Insight Report also found that spikes in total donation amounts on Giving Tuesday were a result of large single corporate donations. 

Prepare early on and participate in Giving Tuesday

  • It’s crucial for your organization to participate in the most charitable day of the year. Start your marketing strategies early and get the word out about your nonprofit before the big day. If you’re planning on launching your fundraiser in November, don’t be afraid to start prepping promotional materials in September. 
  • Hold a staff brainstorming session to come up with plenty of charity event ideas. Make sure everyone at your organization is on board with your fundraising plan for Giving Tuesday.
  • Don’t forget to leverage the power of donation matching before Giving Tuesday starts. Send out emails to past donors, provide information on your website, and post on social media to get the word out about how gift matching works so your supporters are prepared.

Online fundraising statistics 

Throughout the year and on Giving Tuesday especially, it’s clear that online fundraising plays a huge role in helping nonprofits receive funding in the giving season. In our technologically driven world, starting an online fundraiser is one of the best ways your nonprofit can spread its message and ask for more donations before the year is over. 

Crowdfunding is another method that uses the power of social networking and the internet to spread the word about your cause. Asking your supporters to crowdfund on your nonprofit’s behalf is a major benefit proven to bring in more support in the giving season. Don’t miss out on the power of crowdfunding— ask your supporters to promote your cause within their own network of friends and family. Doing so will give your charity that extra push it needs to bring in as many donations as possible at the end of the year.

  • According to the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, NGO’s that are successful at online fundraising embrace a content strategy of regularly publishing news articles and blog posts. 
  • 40% of website traffic for nonprofits came from mobile users and online giving increased 23% in 2017, according to an M+R 2018 Benchmark Study
  • On average, nonprofits receive 7.6% of their total revenue online according to Nonprofit Tech for Good.

How to take advantage of online fundraising

  • Start an online fundraiser and get the word out by sharing it on multiple platforms online.
  • Leverage the power of crowdfunding by turning to your supporters to fundraise on your nonprofit’s behalf through peer-to-peer campaigns. 
  • Try encouraging supporters with fundraising incentives.
  • Make sure your content strategy includes continuously updating your donors via email and publishing blog posts.
  • Before your campaign is launched, ensure that your website or fundraiser is mobile-friendly and ready for mobile traffic. 
  • Choose a fundraising platform that provides these features for you and easy-to-use tools to make the most out of your online fundraising experience. 

Social media stats

In the age of the internet, using social media to spread awareness about your charity’s cause is a  guaranteed way to boost your year-end appeal. So, it’s even more important for you, the nonprofit, to get the word out and provide that information to your potential supporters. 

Spread the word on social media

  • Create a page for your organization on social media platforms if you haven’t already, and recruit supporters to join and to spread the word about your cause with their communities as well. 
  • Share your online fundraiser and Giving Tuesday landing page on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday along with your posts to gain the most attention and support on the big day.
  • Encourage your donors to use the peer-to-peer fundraising method and to share their fundraisers on social media to spread the word about your organization even further.

Make the most out of year-end giving

Your nonprofit’s ideal time to appeal to donors and bring in that last-minute support is when the year is coming to a close. Check out this guide on how to make the most of your charity’s year-end giving campaign and take the time to plan ahead. 

Sign up on GoFundMe Charity today with zero subscription fees to make your appeal seamless with easy-to-use tools and features like advanced data reporting, registration and ticketing features for events, and the ability to create customizable campaigns to accurately reflect your brand. Share your online fundraiser on social media, and make sure your supporters leverage the power of crowdfunding as well. Doing so will guarantee your charity success in the giving season. 

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About Olivia Lougée

Driven by insatiable curiosity and a sappy heart, my goal is to create content that encourages action through storytelling. Sharing narratives to bring you all the happy tears and faith in humanity is my jam.