The Charitable Season: December the most popular month to donate (& other interesting facts!)

Change Heroes - The Charitable Season

Charitable giving is no new concept in our world, but the way in which we give has greatly shifted in more ways than one. First off, many people have become skeptical about legitimacy of charities, thus organizations such as Charity Navigator have flourished allowing donators peace of mind; and online giving is at an all-time high as we become more connected and reliant on the digital world.

In the past five years, charities and NGOs have suffered from the nearly worldwide economic downturn and many have struggled to retain supporters and stay out of the red. Excitingly, recent reports have suggested that ‘giving’ is once again on the rise, up 10% from last year.

What many people don’t know, however, is the way in which most North American individuals and businesses give – our behaviour and patterns are more predictable than you would think. When are we most generous? How do we choose which causes to support? What helps ease the skepticism in charity legitimacy? We wanted to share some of these answers with you both because they are quite interesting, but also because some answers may help you maximize your own fundraising – through Change Heroes or elsewhere.

*NOTE: all data below was provided by Network for Good and refers to online donations only. In 2010 they examined $381 million in online giving through Network for Good’s service, including 3.6 million gifts to 66,470 different nonprofits from 2003-2009.

Noteworthy statistics:

  • Online giving happens largely between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. People give during work hours. There’s even a drop in giving during the noon hour.
  • Giving on social networks is significant, but donor loyalty is highest on charity websites that build strong connections with donors.
  • Online giving spikes during the month of December and large-scale disasters. During disasters, donors are more likely to consider new giving options, while in December, they’re more likely to give based on relationships with the charities.
  • A third of all online giving occurs in December, and 22% of annual giving happens in the last two days of the year.
  • Online giving (by dollars) on December 31 is concentrated between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in each time zone.
  • Charity Websites with branded donation pages achieved 7x more donation dollars, on average, than sites with generic donation pages.
  • The most gifted causes include: health and medical (60 per cent), anti-poverty (45 per cent), animal welfare (30 per cent) and education (19 per cent)

With December and the holiday season approaching quickly, we think these statistics should not be ignored. What can YOU do to maximize this charitable season? Perhaps it’s time to forego the ugly sweater from Grandma and the weird artwork from Auntie Suzy… have a Change Heroes Christmas instead! What better gift could there be than building a school or library with the people you love?

- The Change Heroes Team 

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” - Ben Sweetland


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