How do online fundraising trends affect non-profit organisations?

05 March 18

Online fundraising is an increasingly powerful force in the giving world. Statistics vary but, while offline fundraising methods still raise more, there is every indication that we are beginning to move towards online as the donation method of choice. For non-profit organisations it’s important to note the trend towards online giving and, in particular, what this means when it comes to identifying the potential givers of the future.


The situation now


Around 95% of giving still happens offline from sources such as fundraising events, cheques, major donations and gifts that are sent by post. However, online giving has been growing by around 9% each year and smaller organisations, in particular, have seen some of the most substantial growth in donations arriving digitally. So, it’s worth looking at some of the most prominent current online giving trends to see what kind of insight they might offer for the future.


Key online giving trends


People always give more towards the end of the year. Online giving spikes in December and there could be any number of reasons for this. The feel good factor of Christmas, the fact that we’re feeling grateful and want to help others or the arrival of a bonus cheque – all could have an impact.

Combining online and offline generates better results. There is more opportunity to engage with supporters if you’re doing this across multiple channels. In fact, the statistics indicate that you can retain double the number of donors if you’re engaging with them both on and offline, as opposed to those from a single channel category.

World events have a big impact. Politics and headlines have a role to play in driving people towards certain causes online. The #metoo movement is a great example of this, as it has triggered a surge of donations towards organisations that provide support to women who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

Online giving is diversifying. For example, we’re seeing an increase in giving via social media and in 2015 14% of giving was being done via a mobile device.

Sporting and athletic events top many of the online giving trends. From marathons to fun runs these are the events that tend to create the most supporter engagement.


How online giving trends can be used by non-profits


  • Optimise for mobile. The use of mobile is increasing, not just for giving but for everything we do online. It’s essential to enable this as an option.
  • Millennials give more than you think. In fact, some studies show Millennials to be the most generous generation in terms of charitable giving. Bear this in mind when devising online fundraising strategies, as this is the generation you will find most often online.
  • Integrate online and offline. The two are more powerful together and can act as an extension of one another when it comes to improving your fundraising efforts.
  • Look at what works for you online. Bear trends in mind but don’t follow them slavishly. It’s more important to identify what channels and platforms will be best for your organisation to reach its audience.


The key to effective online fundraising is to begin with a great online fundraising platform like give.net.