Are you thinking about updating your online fundraising plan this year? Why not incorporate data from over 6,000 donors around the world into your decision-making process? Using giving trends to adjust your fundraising will help to standardize your plan and ensure you’re not missing out on gifts due to an outdated fundraising approach.

We’re using data found through Nonprofit Tech for Good’s 2018 Global Giving Trends Report, which is based on a survey completed by 6,057 donors from 119 countries between 4/23/18 and 6/30/18. Check out the whole report for more information on the data and how it was collected.

The report showed that 74% of donors were most inspired to give by digital communications, meaning social media, email and nonprofit websites. Let’s dive into key findings on digital fundraising in a variety of categories. We’ll be talking about:

Donation Process

The following stats from global giving trends indicate the importance of a standardized and trustworthy online giving process.

Donors worldwide prefer to give online with a credit or debit card.

54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online with a credit or debit card.

The time has come to let donors give directly on your website. More than half of donors prefer an online donation process. Are you missing out on more than half of all donors? If your website doesn’t support online gifts, it may be time for a change. Learn more about why donors are more likely to give online if you keep the entire giving process on your website.

Many donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program.

45% are enrolled in a monthly giving program.

Monthly giving programs enable you to create a pool of smaller, but recurring funds that you can count on every month. These gifts really add up! If your online donation form does not allow for monthly gifts, consider an update to your online fundraising plan this year.

Donors give tribute gifts to family and friends

33% of donors worldwide give tribute gifts to family and friends.

43% of those are memorial gifts and 25% were for birthdays. It may seem like a simple update, but allowing donors to give as a tribute to a friend or loved one can increase donations around the holidays, as well as allow donors to honor loved ones on birthdays or in memoriam. Are you missing out on gifts that friends of your supporters might give in tribute? Consider that simple addition to your donation process.

Donors not more likely to give if offered a free gift.

80% are NOT more likely to give if offered a free gift.

68% of those donors think free gifts are a waste of a nonprofit’s funds, and 36% don’t want or need whatever gift you plan to give them. If you still feel the need to offer an incentive for your donors, consider a gift tied to your mission instead of that cheap calendar this time around.

Donors prefer to be thanked for their donation via email.

69% of donors prefer to be thanked for their donation via email.

You don’t need to be using direct mail to thank your donors! An email thank you will do just fine, and most donors actually prefer it that way. If you can, automate the process through your email service provider so that the email is triggered to send once the donation is made on your website, leaving you more time to build donor relationships in other meaningful ways. And if you’re looking to step up your email communication with donors this year, consider a more detailed automated email workflow for new donors.

Social Media Fundraising

Social media fundraising became a huge trend with the rollout of Facebook Fundraising tools. Consider the following trends as you think through whether and how you’ll use these platforms to fundraise in the coming year.

Social Media Inspires Giving

29% say social media is the communication tool that most inspires giving.

If your nonprofit is not active on social media, or if you are but don’t use it to inspire gifts, you may want to shift that strategy this year. Sharing powerful stories and stats through your social media channels could remind and connect more supporters to the great work you’re doing — and maybe even inspire them to make a gift.

Facebook inspires the most giving.

56% say Facebook is the social media channel that most inspires giving.

This is not surprising seeing as Facebook remains the most popular social media channel for another year. However, the addition of their fundraising tools gives nonprofits a huge advantage on this platform. Have you added a donate button to your page yet?

Donors have given through Facebook Fundraising Tools

18% have given through Facebook Fundraising Tools.

And 88% of those people say they’re likely to give via Facebook in the future. Facebook Fundraising Tools, including donate buttons and fundraisers, make it easy for your nonprofit to raise money on the social media platform. You can run fundraisers through your page, as well as encourage supporters to run fundraisers on their personal pages targeting their friends. Check out our Facebook fundraising kit to get your supporters started.


Considering dabbling in peer-to-peer campaigns this year? Maybe you’ve avoided turning your supporters into fundraisers in the past, but introducing crowdfunding to your box of fundraising tools could be the boost you need.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

14% have created an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Do you have superstar supporters that would be willing to share your cause and impact, as well as their personal connection to it, with their friends and family? If the answer is an immediate yes, start looking for your organization’s ideal way to get started with peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. This could mean creating and managing individual fundraising pages on your website, getting started with Facebook Fundraising Tools, or working with another third party service.

People who support crowdfunding campaigns donate less

16% of people who support crowdfunding campaigns for individuals donate less money to nonprofits as a result.

This number has a lot of nonprofits worried, but there’s a way to use crowdfunding to your advantage. If you can actively mobilize your supporters through platforms like Facebook Fundraisers, you may be able to curb this drop-off for your organization.


Are your online forms, including donations, email addresses and contact us forms, secure from data breaches? Donors care about the effort you’re making to protect what they share and their online interactions with you.

Donors care about security

92% say it’s important to make an effort to protect contact and financial info.

When it comes to online donations, using a trusted payment processor, like Stripe or PayPal, to process the donations on your website takes the liability of handling credit card information off of your shoulders.

It’s also a good idea to conduct regular maintenance on your website to make sure you’re offering visitors a safe and stable experience. That might include things like updating software and plugins to the newest version, verifying any integrations are synced and performing the latest security updates.

Update Your Online Fundraising Plan

Need to update your online fundraising plan based on these trends? If the following items are not possible or happening through your current online fundraising plan, global giving trends say it could be time for an update.

  • There’s a way for donors to give directly on my nonprofit’s website, including options for both one-time and monthly gifts, as well as tribute gifts.
  • I’m not trying to incentivize donors with gifts that don’t tie back to our mission, because it’s not a good look.
  • I have an automated email (or sequence of emails) in place to thank donors after they give.
  • I aim to inspire donors by sharing powerful stories and stats through our social media channels.
  • And I used Facebook Fundraising Tools to add a donate button to our page and allow staff and supporters to run fundraisers through the platform.
  • I empower our superstar supporters with the tools they need to run peer-to-peer fundraisers on my nonprofit’s behalf.
  • I use a trusted payment processor to protect supporters’ credit card information.
  • I conduct regular maintenance on my nonprofit website to ensure a safe and secure experience for visitors.

Do any of these stats hit close to home? Were you able to say yes to all of those statements? While you don’t need to worry about being “trendy” when it comes to online fundraising, it is important to prioritize the preferences of your donors and supporters.

How is your nonprofit planning to adjust your online fundraising plan in the coming year? Let’s talk in the comments.


  1. I am on the fence on FB donate button. I think it may bring in more gifts, but because we don’t see the money right away, and don’t get donor info, I feel that’s a detriment. No personal TY from our organization, and no chance for repeat donations from them. Would love your thoughts on that.

    • Those are definitely valid concerns, Jim. While it’s great to allow donors to give in a variety of different places, they aren’t all created equal. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before jumping in. The donor data provided through Facebook’s Daily Transaction Report is likely not nearly as comprehensive as what you receive from donations through your website or other fundraising platforms, which makes follow-up tough. But if you’re taking advantage of Fundraisers and encouraging supporters to fundraise for your cause on Facebook, you’ll already be collecting donations and building awareness with new donors through the platform. At that point, collecting donate button donations through Facebook may not be so much of an inconvenience.

      If this is a big concern for your organization, you might consider linking the Donate button to the Donate page on your website. Check out this article on how to edit your button for more details. I hope that was helpful. Good luck!