Data for Good

How to Navigate the Charitable Giving Landscape

A webinar helps non-profits better understand individual charitable giving trends and use data to improve their fundraising efforts.

How to Navigate the Charitable Giving Landscape

July 27, 2017

Nonprofit organizations are continually faced with the challenge of increasing donations but often do not have the access or tools which enable them to better understand individual giving trends. In an effort to bridge this information gap, the Center partnered with TechSoup on July 13 to actively engage the nonprofit community with a webinar event. Melinda Rolfs and Yuriy Loukachev from our data philanthropy team discussed findings from our Donation Insights report and demonstrated how organizations can apply these findings to their development efforts.

Donation Insights uses anonymized and aggregated transaction data to provide an analysis of current and historical donation trends. An open-source dataset consists of monthly data for total donations with a breakout for nine categories, such as education, environmental, health and human services, to name a few.

Key insights from 2016 included:

  • Individual donations via electronic payments have increased by 5.9%
  • Individual donations made via the Internet increased by 8.6%
  • Individuals in the U.S. have been donating more to environmental and animal-related causes and less to health-related causes since 2011
  • Recurring payments have risen from 3.5% in 2009 to 6.1% in 2016

Melinda and Yuriy noted several ways non-profits can use the report and the data set to compare their fundraising performance to peer organizations, plan timing of their campaigns and better understand how to capitalize on trends in recurring donations.

The webinar also provided valuable feedback and a more comprehensive understanding of the fundraising and data needs facing nonprofit organizations. When polled during the event, only 37.8 percent of the organizations in attendance reported using external datasets and/or insights to help with fundraising efforts. We look forward to continuing dialogue and ask users of Donation Insights to share their feedback with us at

Want to get started? Download Donation Insights today!

Featured Photo Credit: Getty Images