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Income from online giving rose 97% over past 12 months


Online giving by UK donors has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, with an overall growth of 115% in donations volume, and an income increase of 97% over the past 12 months, according to WPNC’s second annual Online Donations Report.

The integrated agency analysed anonymised data gathered from gifts totalling more than £40m made through WPNC’s online donation platforms including goDonate to compare findings with its previous study, published in April 2020.

The findings show that total value is up 29% on 2019, with the report also covering trends in both one-off and regular giving, as well as donor behaviour across the board: covering geography, seasonality, day of the week, and time of day.

WPNC Donation Report

Key findings

Big uplift in online donations

Online giving has increased over the past year. When looking at the same donation funnels that were live in 2020, WPNC registered an overall growth of 115% in donations volume and a 97% income increase, across both one-off and regular gifts. This is far higher than the 26% increase in the volume of one-off donations, and a near-20% rise in overall value seen in 2019 compared with giving through the same channels in 2018.

One-off donations and regular donations are growing

With one-off gifts in 2020 given through donation funnels that were also live in 2019, there was an increase of 119% in donations volume and a 78% growth in value. For regular gifts in 2020 – going through donation funnels that were also live in 2019 – there has been an increase of 92% in donations volume and a 151% growth in value. Regular donations under £50, paid on a monthly basis, made up almost 98% of all regular donations made in 2020. Meanwhile, monthly average value increased by 6% in 2020, compared to the previous year.

Linking to a Covid-related cause helped raise funds

Due to 2020’s unique situation and the restrictions in place throughout the year, many charities with a mission not directly related to Covid-19 suffered a drop in income. Health-related charities and those focused on education experienced some of the highest growth, especially if they were able to relate their cause to the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

Digital wallets are growing in popularity

WPNC Donation Report

When looking at payment methods used for one-off donations across all charities, the volume of card payments decreased, while digital wallet payments rose in popularity. 7% of donations were made through ApplePay across all devices, including desktop. Usage on mobile-only devices was higher: for example, 46% of donations at one large charity in the analysis were made through ApplePay on mobile devices.

Other key findings

  • In 2020 26% of all year donations were collected during the first lockdown. While December remained the month with the highest number of donations, April and May saw higher volumes than previously
  • Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are the most popular days for giving, with almost 50% of donations made on these days
  • The highest spike in donations is before noon (between 11:00 and 12:00) with another spike between 16:00 and 17:00. A significant drop happens between 18:00 and 19:00, but overall 73% of donations are made between 10:00 and 21:00
  • Average donation size in 2020 was £24.87. Large charities kept a similar value YOY, seeing a small decrease, while medium and small charities grew compared to 2019, with an average value reaching almost the same amount as large charities
  • Gift Aid conversion rate increased in 2020. On average it is claimed on more than 70% of donations under £75. Compared to 2019 there was a 9% increase in donors selecting this option inside the donation funnel

Vicky Reeves, Managing Director Digital and Deputy CEO, WPNC, said:

“The trends we share in the report clearly show a significant rise in online donations for both one-off and regular giving.


“Covid-19 has also prompted a rise in giving to related charities, so linking your cause to topical national and global issues where possible is a key learning for organisations.


“It’s also important to factor into the donor experience an increasing preference for online giving, including aspects such as mobile wallets rather than traditional types of giving. Donors want a frictionless experience, and offering them convenient ways to give will increase chances of conversion.”

The report is freely available from WPNC.

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

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