Charitable giving trends: what you need to know in 2022

Charitable Giving Trends 2022

The Blackbaud Institute recently released its 2021 Charitable Giving Report, which provides invaluable insight into fundraising trends in the United States. We encourage you to read this study, as comparing your nonprofit’s results with those of other organizations in the same sector will help you optimize your communications and overall strategies in 2022.  

Below, we have compiled a list of the most important information from the report.    

What You'll Learn

Overall Charitable Giving 

Overall charitable giving in 2021 grew 9% on a year-over-year basis. Fundraising across small, medium, and large nonprofits continued to have a positive three-year growth trend.

  • Small organizations (total annual fundraising less than $1 million): up 9.2% year-over-year. 
  • Medium organizations (total annual fundraising between $1 – $10 million): up 8.5% year-over-year. 
  • Large organizations (total annual fundraising $10 million+): up 9.0% year-over-year. 

A three-year view of fundraising from those same organizations revealed a 19.1% growth in overall giving. 

Donor Retention Rates 

Donor retention measures the percentage of donors who return to donate to your nonprofit from one time period to another. Calculate your nonprofit’s retention rates and see how they compare to industry benchmarks. Are your donors loyal? 

  • First Year/New Donors: 29% 
  • Multi-Year Donors: 60% 

Donation Amounts 

Asking for the right amount is key to get a positive response! Learn more about your supporters’ spending habits, and keep in mind the below statistics from the industry. 

  • Average donation amount: $813 
  • Average online donation amount: $204 
  • Median donation amount for gifts below $1,000: $20 
  • Median donation amount for gifts above $1,000: $2,500

Direct Mail Metrics 

We also wanted to share a few statistics to help you evaluate the health of your direct mail program: 

  • Check the Cost Per New Donor (CPND) to see if your acquisition program is healthy. A $150 CPND generally indicates that a nonprofit will recoup their investment in new donors within 24-36 months. 
  • Make sure you also carefully watch your Acquisition Response Rate. A response rate of 0.50% to an acquisition appeal is very good. A new acquisition program’s response rate may be lower than that, but 0.5% is a great goal. 
  • Look at the Cost to Raise a Dollar (CTRAD) to measure the performance of your house appeal program. The benchmark for CTRAD in the nonprofit industry is between $0.20 – $0.35. 

DonorAdvised Funds  

Lastly we wanted to share data from The Chronicle of Philanthropy on donor-advised funds. Donor-advised funds allow donors to contribute cash, stocks, and other assets into accounts and take an immediate tax deduction. The donors can then decide which working charities will get the money and when, sometimes many years later. 

  • Data compiled by the Chronicle shows that assets managed by the 10 biggest donor-advised fund sponsors have topped $100 billion, a total that is gaining rapidly on the combined assets held by the 10 largest foundations. 
  • Fidelity Charitable said the giving from its accounts in 2021 was made through 2.2 million grants that went to 187,000 nonprofits. The average grant size was $4,407. 
  • Vanguard Charitable said its grant making in 2021 was spread among 54,000 charities. The top recipients from Vanguard accounts were Doctors Without Borders USA, followed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Cru, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Looking at this industry benchmark, do you see any improvements to make to your fundraising strategy? If you feel stuck, we can help! Contact us anytime.  

About the author
Barbra Schulman
Vice-President of Integrated Marketing at Faircom NY

Barbra is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in multi-channel campaign strategy and management. She has a successful track record of increasing revenues through introduction of new program opportunities and improved data interpretation. Barbra spent 10 years at the March of Dimes, where she helped double revenue for the direct response department. Her other work experience includes time at companies in both the nonprofit and for profit sector including Citibank and MasterCard. She currently works with Human Rights Watch, TechnoServe, the National Urban League, and The Lustgarten Foundation, among others.

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