Online and mobile giving continues to change how donors engage with charities, suggest study

Charities saw a significant rise in online giving in 2018, despite a fall in overall giving over the same period, a new report has revealed.

The findings form part of the Blackbaud Institute’s new Charitable Giving Report 2018.

Publishing the figures this month, the cloud software company said its seventh annual report represents the “largest analysis” of overall and online giving in the not-for-profit sector across the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Across the UK, the study found that online giving in 2018 grew by 5.5 per cent in the UK – compared to 1.2 per cent across the rest of the world – indicating a sharp rise in the number of British charities adopting digital platforms to boost their fundraising.

Blackbaud said the use of mobile devices also continued to rise with one in four (24 per cent) online donations made this way in 2018 – up from nine per cent in 2014 and 21 per cent in 2017.

Individually, donations across certain types of organisations also increased over 2018. Arts and culture charities, for example, saw the biggest increase in online giving, up 5.8 per cent during 2018.

However, with online donations representing just 8.5 per cent of all fundraising in the UK in 2018, an overall drop of 4.4 per cent across all giving will raise concerns.

This is despite overall giving increasing by 1.2 per cent across the rest of the world.

Commenting on the figures, Steve MacLaughlin, vice president, product management at Blackbaud and senior advisor at the Blackbaud Institute, said: “The 2018 Charitable Giving Report shows the continuation of the longest sustained period of charitable giving growth since the last recession.

“Online giving is entering a new phase in which mobile and other digital channels continue to change how donors engage with non-profit organisations, while donor-advised funds continue to grow in response to supporter preferences and changes in incentives.”