It may come as a surprise to many that historically, over 80% of global donations to charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) come from individuals, and the remaining 20% comes from corporations and foundations.
In other words, the donating public, not big foundations or corporations, is responsible for the vast majority of donations to charitable organizations. For example, in 2017, the global philanthropic contribution totalled an estimated US$410 billion, a 5.2% increase from 2016. Individuals were responsible for over US$300 billion of those donations. Corporations donated only US$35.7 billion, while foundations contributed US$20.8 billion, according to statistics provided by Charity Navigator.
A 2020 report by Double The Donation reveals that over the past year, overall giving grew 4.1%, the sixth consecutive year of growth. Online giving grew by 12.1% over the past year. It also shows that 45% of worldwide donors contribute to monthly giving programmes. An estimated 41% of global donors give in response to natural disasters, while international affairs missions experienced a 19.2% increase in overall donations over the past 12 months.
About 31% of global donors give to charitable causes outside of their countries of residence. Sixty-seven percent of worldwide donors choose to volunteer locally in their communities, and 56% regularly attend fundraisers.
“Female donors are more likely to donate because of social media marketing, while male donors are more likely to give because of email messages,” the report adds. “Generational differences between donors can have considerable impact, as evidenced by the following findings.”
Over the past 12 months, overall online donations grew by 23%, up from 15% the year before. However, online monthly contributions grew by 40% as recurring donation alternatives become increasingly popular. Online donations to environmental and human rights causes experienced the most considerable growth as they increased by 34% and 37%, respectively.
The number of online transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%, while desktop computers’ contributions decreased by 10%, the report says. About 50% of website traffic on non-profits were from mobile and tablet users, while page visits from desktop computers declined by 9% from the previous 12 months.