Online giving leads donation growth

Online giving grew substantially in 2013, especially in the areas of faith-based donations, health care and education.

Donations made online continue to grow faster than other types of giving. Gifts were up 13.5 percent last year from the year before, which had posted a 14 percent increase from the previous year.

Giving overall, as reported by 4,129 nonprofit organizations, was up 4.9 percent to $12.5 billion, the largest year-over-year increase in overall charitable giving since 2009, according to the Charitable Giving Report of the Blackbaud Index.

Today, more than 6 percent of all fundraising revenue, excluding grants, is raised online. Online faith-based contributions increased 18.1 percent in 2013, followed by healthcare (14.5 percent) and education (14.4 percent).

Medical research accounted for two-fifths of the money contributed, doubling the second highest amount given to international aid.

Small organizations saw their online contributions grow most (18.4 percent) compared to large groups (12.7 percent) and medium-sized organizations (11.3 percent). Many groups encourage their online donors to give monthly.

Overall giving in 2013 was dominated by such international emergencies as Typhoon Haiyan, the earthquake in Pakistan, and flooding in Europe, Pakistan and India. The previous year, Hurricane Sandy dominated gifts, so it’s not surprising that giving in the international sector jumped 13.2 percent last year.

Environmental and animal welfare organizations were next, with an 8.6 percent growth rate, followed by educational institutions at 6.5 percent.

Large organizations grew by 5.7 percent overall, medium organizations grew 3.8 percent, and small nonprofits grew 3.6 percent compared to the same time period in 2013.

Not surprisingly, more was donated in December than any other month (17.5 percent), and one-third of all contributions for the year came in October, November and December.

Online giving on Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that was inaugurated in 2012 as charities’ response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was up 90 percent over the inaugural year.