Worldwide Philanthropic Giving Trends from Largest Online Survey of Individual Donors

Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good Release 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report

RESTON, Va., September 17, 2018Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain, and Nonprofit Tech for Good today revealed the results of the second annual “Global Trends in Giving Report.” The report analyzes global giving through cultural, technological and geographical filters to understand how and why donors worldwide are giving to and engaging with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits and charities.

The 2018 report reflects findings from a survey of more than 6,000 donors in 119 countries. It also includes sentiment from more than 1,000 non-donors on why they do not provide financial support to organizations around the world. New to the report this year is a breakdown of giving by monetary amount and what motivates the people within these donor level groups, including micro-donors (contributing $100 USD or less), small donors (donating up to $1,000 USD), mid-sized donors (giving up to $10,000 USD) and major donors (making contributions of more than $10,000 USD).

The following are key findings of the 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report.

Who is the global community of donors and what do they support?

  • The global donor community skews female (65 percent). Of these donors, 53 percent report holding a liberal ideology (53 percent) and 72 percent report religious affiliations
  • Donors around the world provide the most support for causes involving children and youth (15 percent), health and wellness (11 percent), and animals and wildlife (11 percent). Forty-one percent of donors worldwide give in response to natural disasters.
  • Thirty-one percent of donors worldwide give to organizations outside of their country of residence, supported by the ease of global connectivity through digital mediums and underscoring the worldwide preference toward online giving.
  • Ninety-two percent of donors around the world indicate that they recycle, and many are civic-minded through regular voting (91 percent) and signing online petitions (72 percent). Seventy-two percent have even included charitable giving in their last will and testament.
  • When global donors were asked about the 2017 #GivingTuesday campaign, 46 percent of donors had never heard of the initiative, signaling that there is further opportunity for the U.S.-based digital philanthropy initiative to gain traction and unite the worldwide donor community around a singular day of action.

How do people prefer to give?

  • Fifty-four percent of the global donor community prefers to give online via credit or debit cards.
  • Facebook remains the platform that most inspires global donors to give (56 percent), followed by Facebook-owned Instagram (20 percent) and Twitter (13 percent). What’s more, 18 percent of donors have given through Facebook Fundraising Tools and 88 percent indicate they’ll continue to do so in the future, despite recent platform issues and security concerns.
  • New to this year’s report are findings about crowdfunding campaigns. Forty-one percent of donors to charitable organizations also donate to online crowdfunding campaigns that support individuals.
  • In support of online donation preference, 68 percent of global donors trust websites and email addresses from the .org domain the most.
  • Ninety-two percent of donors believe organizations should prioritize data security and encryption technology to keep their contact and financial information safe.
  • Only 20 percent of donors indicated being more likely to give if offered a free gift, indicating they would likely donate regardless.

Why do people refrain from making financial donations to organizations around the world?

  • Forty-three percent of non-donors cite financial hardship for the reason they do not give money to non-governmental, non-profit or charitable-based organizations.
  • More than half of non-donors say they are unlikely to make a financial donation within the following 12 months.
  • Instead of giving money, 20 percent of non-donors volunteer their time and 17 percent donate goods and/or services.
  • Twelve percent claim a lack of trust in organizations to spend their financial donation “well.”

“Advancements in and increased availability of technology, especially in emerging regions around the world, are helping to fuel both the propensity for philanthropy and the preference to give through online channels,” said James LeFevre, senior director of marketing for Public Interest Registry. “We hope that the 2018 Giving Report continues to be a valuable resource for mission-based organizations around the world, underscoring the decisions on how and when to reach donors who are critical to their organization’s success.”

The following are regional findings of the 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report.

North America – Donor Insights:

  • North American donors are predominately female (70 percent), represent the highest rate of Baby Boomer donors (41 percent) in the world, and skew toward small (45 percent) and mid-size donations (35 percent).
  • Fifty percent of donors are likely to make donations following natural disasters.
  • Thirty-one percent of donors in the region are most inspired to give by email, followed by social media (25 percent), and have the highest likelihood to trust websites and email addresses from the .org domain (73 percent).
  • North American donors prefer to give online with a credit or debit card (60 percent), which is the highest regional rate around the world; only 6 percent of North Americans prefer to give cash, which is the lowest rate of any region.
  • Twenty percent of donors in this region have charitable giving in their last will and testament (20 percent).

Africa – Donor Insights:

  • The majority of donors in Africa are female (63 percent) and Millennials (58 percent). 70 percent of donors in the region identify as Christian and prefer to support children and youth-related causes (22 percent).
  • Thirty-two percent of donors in Africa prefer to give cash, which is the highest of any region and may explain why 61 percent self-identify as micro-donors.
  • With crowdfunding services gaining traction in the region, African donors have the highest rate of donating to personal crowdfunding campaigns (50 percent).

Asia – Donor Insights:

  • The gender split of Asian donors is about even, with 51 percent female and 49 percent male. Thirty-five percent are Gen Xers and 34 percent are Millennials.
  • Forty-two percent of Asian donors identify as small donors.
  • Digital tools are driving donor behavior in Asia, with 51 percent of donors preferring to give online, 41 percent enrolling in a reoccurring monthly giving program, and only slight differences in email (29 percent), social media (26 percent) and organizational websites (21 percent) serving as the most inspiring channels for donors to give through.

Australia & Oceania – Donor Insights:

  • Donors throughout Australia and Oceania skew female (76 percent) and identify as small donors (60 percent). Thirty-seven percent are Millennials and 48 percent say they do not have a religious affiliation.
  • Donors in this region are the least likely to give through Facebook or its tools, yet attend fundraising events at a higher rate than donors in any other region (75 percent).
  • Causes that support children and youth are the top preference for donors in Australia and Oceania.

Europe – Donor Insights:

  • Europe has more Gen X donors than any other region; 61 percent of donors are female, 47 percent are non-religious and 51 percent identify as small donors.
  • Tied with Asian donors, 44 percent of European donors are most likely of global donors to give to organizations located outside their country of residence. Donors in Europe are also most likely to volunteer internationally.
  • Thirty-two percent of donors are inspired to give via social media, followed by email (25 percent).

South America – Donor Insights:

  • South American donors are predominantly female (71 percent), Christian (63 percent) and micro-donors (59 percent).
  • Donors give most to causes pertaining to children and youth, and globally, South American donors give the most to support the cause of animals and wildlife (17 percent).
  • Unique to South American region, donors indicate they are more likely to be inspired to give by Instagram (30 percent) – all other surveyed regions rank Instagram parent company Facebook higher.

“No matter the region in question, data from the 2018 Global Trends in Giving report make clear that online giving is the future of philanthropy,” said Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good. “We’re also seeing Millennials driving the next generation of giving all over the world, as in most emerging regions the first to come online are younger generations who aspire to connect with and make a difference in the world around them.”

The 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report surveyed 6,057 donor respondents from 119 countries and 1,049 non-donors from 83 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America and South America between April 23 and June 30, 2018. The report also features analysis of donor responses broken out by gender, age, ideology, religion and donation size.

The Global Trends in Giving Report is supported by various global partners that encourage the participation of donors from around the world – particularly those located in emerging nations – to ensure a diverse, balanced understanding of preferred donor needs. Partners include #GivingTuesday, BackaBuddy, Blackbaud Institute, CanadaHelps, Doare, Donadora, East Africa Philanthropy Network, everydayhero, Fundación Goteo, GIVE.asia, Givergy, Giving.sg, HelpArgentina, iDonate, IsraelGives, M-Changa, memboGo, Philanthropy Circuit, Vakinha, and YoDono. For more information on the findings and survey methodology, and to download the full report and graphics, please visit: https://www.givingreport.ngo. The report is also available in the following languages:

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