Data for Good

New Insights for Navigating the Charitable Landscape

The third edition of Donation Insights offers additional insight on when people give and trends underpinning the growth in giving to Environmental and Animal-Related causes.

New Insights for Navigating the Charitable Landscape

October 25, 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 has released the third edition of Donation Insights and added new insights such as top giving days and channel preference, by day of week for each category. This latest edition also offers new insights on the Environmental and Animal-Related category, which has outperformed total donation growth since 2011.

Donation Insights uses anonymized and aggregated Mastercard 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 include:

Growth in giving moderated: Total donation growth was 4.3 percent year-to-date through June compared to 5.9 percent in 2016. The strongest categories were Housing, Public Safety and Disaster Relief and Environmental and Animal-Related.

Strong support for Environmental and Animal-Related causes: Donations grew 6.6 percent year-to-date through June, with significant strength in recurring and online donations, as people shift how they donate.

Top giving days: Giving Tuesday was in the top ten days for donation volume each year from 2013 through 2016. The majority of high volume days are in December.

Donations vary by day of week: Giving is concentrated on the weekends more so for Environmental and Animal-Related causes than any other category.

Based on anonymized and aggregated Mastercard transaction data.

Please join our effort to close the information gap by reviewing our report, analyzing our downloadable dataset and compare your fundraising performance to peer organizations, plan timing of campaigns and better understand how to capitalize on trends. Share your learnings and questions with us at

Click to download Donation Insights.

Featured Photo Credit: Getty Images