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Blackbaud Institute Releases 2018 Charitable Giving Report

Earliest and largest annual analysis of overall and online giving in the nonprofit sector shows continued year-over-year growth and record high for online giving.

Charleston, S.C. (February 20, 2019)Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced the release of the 2018 Charitable Giving Report by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact™. The seventh annual report, which represents the earliest and largest analysis of overall and online giving in the U.S. nonprofit sector in 2018, shows continued year-over-year growth and another record high for online giving.

“The 2018 Charitable Giving Report shows the continuation of the longest sustained period of charitable giving growth since the last recession,” said Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud’s vice president of Data & Analytics and senior advisor to the Blackbaud Institute. “Online giving is entering a new phase in which mobile and other digital channels continue to change how donors engage with nonprofit organizations, while Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) continue to grow in response to supporter preferences and changes in incentives. As charitable giving in the United States sees a return to previous trends after two years of significant growth, it’s imperative to look at overall giving increases since 2016.”

Key Highlights from the Blackbaud Institute 2018 Charitable Giving Report:
  • Overall charitable giving in the United States increased 1.5% on a year-over-year basis, with large organizations growing by 2.3%, medium-sized organizations growing by 2.0%, and small nonprofits experiencing a decrease of 2.3%. Since 2016, overall giving has grown 9%.
  • Online giving grew 1.2% in 2018, with large organizations decreasing 0.5%, medium-sized organizations growing 3.7%, and small nonprofits growing 0.7%. Since 2016, online giving has grown 17% and average online gift amounts have continued to increase. The average online donation in 2018 was $147.
  • Approximately 8.5% of overall fundraising revenue, excluding grants, was raised online in 2018—another record high.
  • In 2018, 24% of online transactions were made using a mobile device.
  • December remains the largest giving month of the year with 17% of overall giving and 17.3% of online giving for the year.
  • For the first time in 2018, the Charitable Giving Report has split giving to Environment and Animal Welfare organizations into two separate sectors.
  • According to the report, Arts & Culture organizations had the largest year-over-growth in both overall giving (5.5%) and online giving (5.8%) in 2018. Animal Welfare, International Affairs, Higher Education, and Public & Society Benefit organizations also experienced substantial growth in overall giving compared to 2017. Public & Society Benefit, Healthcare, and Faith-based nonprofits also had positive growth rates in online giving in 2018.

    The 2018 Charitable Giving Report includes overall giving data from 9,029 nonprofit organizations representing $31.9 billion in total fundraising from 2018, as well as online giving data from 5,537 nonprofits representing more than $2.7 billion in online fundraising from 2018, providing data-back findings to help organizations benchmark their performance and guide their fundraising strategies.

    To view more charitable giving trends, including statistics on retention, donor characteristics and average donation amounts, download the 2018 Charitable Giving Report at In addition to the year-in-review report, the Blackbaud Index is updated monthly, showcasing the latest charitable giving trends. Visit for additional insights or to chart your organization’s performance against the index.

    Click to Tweet: 2018 Charitable Giving Report, the #nonprofit sector’s largest analysis of overall + online giving, is now available from the @Blackbaud Institute!

    About the Blackbaud Institute

    The Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact drives research and insight to accelerate the impact of the social good community. It convenes expert partners from across the philanthropic sector to foster diverse perspectives, collective thinking, and collaborative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Using the most comprehensive dataset in the social good community, the Blackbaud Institute and its partners conduct research, uncover strategic insight, and share results broadly, all in order to drive effective philanthropy at every stage, from fundraising to outcomes. Knowledge is powering the future of social good, and the Blackbaud Institute is an engine of that progress. Learn more, sign up for our newsletter, and check out our latest resources at

    About Blackbaud

    Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, companies, education institutions, healthcare organizations and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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