Global charitable giving: what we know and what’s next

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

With all of the changes that the past year has brought, it’s likely not surprising that collectively, our spending habits have changed. From reprioritizing what makes up an “essential purchase” to the massive shift towards online shopping, there are some trends that will likely be with us for some time – or even forever.

Trends around charitable giving are no exception.

In the first half of 2020, over $11.9 billion was donated globally to Covid-19 related causes with different countries seeing different year-over-year trends. In Canada, charitable giving declined whereas the US saw a 2% increase in donations.

While we may see different trends in overall donations, one thing is certain: the manner in which people donate – and the way charities call on people to donate – has changed.

A change in methods of giving

Online donations saw an increase of 12.1% over the past year. With many people being homebound for the better part of the year, this giving option was oftentimes the only way to donate to a particular charity. Acquiring new online donors became a necessity for many charities in order to survive.

That said, what can we expect when lockdowns are lifted and the world gets back to some semblance of “normal”? 

Pre-COVID, according to the 2018 Global Trends in Giving report, 18% of micro-donors (those who donate less than $100 USD) preferred donating with cash. The same report found that 56% of charitable donors regularly attended fundraising events – events that often encourage people to donate on-site, in the moment of inspiration.

What can we glean from these stats?

There is a sizable chunk of micro-donors and fundraiser event attendees that are familiar with offline donations. There is a renewed opportunity to inspire these individuals and capture in-person incremental donations as we shift into a post-COVID charitable landscape.

Touch less, collect more

While people have been talking about dwindling cash usage for years, this conversation has become even more common during the pandemic as people have shied away from “dirty money”. As we consider how to boost offline donations in our post-pandemic world, this shift away from cash needs to be considered.

And what is the most viable solution for capturing these offline donations?

According to Charity Digital, touchless giving™ is one of a handful of fundraising techniques that has been underutilized, despite being one of the most accessible options to charities of all sizes. 

The same report mentions that, “A small number of very large charities already have more than 90% of the income and, with their large and highly-effective digital capabilities, have the potential to secure an even larger share of the now very limited funding.”

This leads us to one conclusion: accessible fundraising solutions are extremely important in maintaining equity amongst charities. 

Perhaps this is yet another reason why touchless donations could be critical in boosting collections for our smaller charities. While the digital giving landscape can require more expertise (and budget) to be effective, touchless giving™ is as accessible and user-friendly to charities as it is to donors.

View more about the tiptap touchless giving™ solution for charities at