“Give,” urged Mother Teresa at one point in her brilliant life. “But give until it hurts.”
Lots of us are hurting, it seems, if numbers coming out of a new report from Blackbaud Inc. are any indication. Giving is growing, says the nonprofit software and services provider’s account, and that’s especially so online.
Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report, an annual tally of Americans’ propensity for dollar-sprung largesse, has found that overall giving climbed by 4.9 percent in 2013 — the biggest boost in giving since the recession first wrapped its gnarled talons around our economy.
Further, it found that online giving, specifically, grew by a remarkable 13.5 percent last year.
Online giving accounted for 6.4 percent of all charitable giving in 2013. Of that, small organizations posted the greatest increase in online giving (though large organizations had the greatest increase in overall charitable that year). Though nonprofits of all sizes grew their online giving in 2013, small nonprofits grew their online fundraising by 18.4 percent (medium nonprofits had a year-over-year increase of 11.3 percent; large organizations grew by 12.7 percent).
Online giving to faith-based organizations grew the most in 2013, with healthcare, education, environmental and animal welfare organizations, arts operations, and medical research nonprofits also experiencing injections to their 2013 coffers thanks to a boost in online giving to these channels in that year.
The numbers derive in part from the Blackbaud Index, which tracks the charitable giving from 4,000-plus US organizations in pursuit of a snapshot of overall and charitable giving trends in the nonprofit sector. All told, the Index tracks $12.5 billion in charitable generosity in the United States.
The report also sought to understand the motivation behind the do-goodery spike. Here, it identified a recovering economy and a focus on fundraising fundamentals that includes, critically, making more effective use of technology.
No doubt crowdfunding platforms like FundRazr’s have greased the wheels for folks who might otherwise have found it too cumbersome to open their wallet and physically deliver some of its contents to needy recipients. Today’s easy-peasy crowdfunding landscape makes charitable giving as easy as pushing a button.
Mother Teresa is surely smiling on the scene.