SAN DIEGO, Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Classy, creator of world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, today unveiled its third annual report, entitled Why America Gives 2020: How the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Movement Have Changed Giving. In the midst of a year that includes a global pandemic, the prevalence of the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most active hurricane and wildfire seasons on record, and a presidential election, the report provides new insights into how these events have shaped American giving and donor sentiments. Based on a nationwide survey conducted in September, the report highlights details around donor motivations and how they've given this year, the issues that drew the most support, and Americans' plans to give in the future.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that nearly 13 million people are still unemployed, almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said the pandemic has caused them to give more this year in comparison to last year. The report also brought to light that essential workers, who are already giving so much of themselves to support societal needs, are giving even more through donations to causes they care about. Respondents who identified as essential workers (33%) were more likely than nonessential workers (22%) to say that they plan to give more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were also more likely than nonessential workers to donate to social justice causes (57% vs. 41%).
"When COVID-19 hit, the world had to come together very quickly to meet the critical needs emerging from the pandemic," said Scot Chisholm, CEO and Co-Founder of Classy. "Our 2020 report is a testament to American generosity. When our society was most vulnerable, we were also the most generous. What was even more inspiring was the financial generosity of essential workers and the broad and overwhelming support for social justice efforts."
Additional key findings from the report include:
- COVID-19 is fueling charitable giving: Two in five Americans (39%) say that they definitely or probably will give more to nonprofits in 2020 than they did in 2019.
- Health causes ranked ahead of disaster relief and education for the first time: Health causes rose to the top this year, ahead of disaster relief, which was the number one cause that Americans supported in 2018 and 2019.
- The fight against social justice is introducing new donors to racial equality causes: Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they had donated or planned to donate to social justice causes in 2020, with a majority of respondents noting that they are giving for the first time. Over half (58%) said that 2020 was the first year they had ever donated to this type of cause.
- Politics plays a role in giving: After the 2016 election, nonprofits in certain cause categories witnessed an increase in charitable donations, often referred to as the "Trump Bump." Similar to four years ago, this year more than one-third (37%) of Americans stated that they would donate to organizations that support their political beliefs if their preferred candidate lost.
- With cancelled in-person events, virtual fundraising events became an effective means of generating attention and donations: This year's survey data shows that nearly one-third of Americans (30%) said they have supported or participated in a virtual charity event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those, the majority (60%) said they actually donated and/or raised more in the virtual environment than they have for past in-person events.
- Giving Tuesday is gaining traction among Americans: Fifty-four percent of Americans are familiar with or have at least heard of Giving Tuesday, the highest level of consumer awareness since Classy began conducting this report in 2018.
"Our goal with this report has always been to help nonprofits better understand their prospective donors heading into the year-end giving season, and this year has presented both unique challenges and opportunities for nonprofits of all sizes to drive greater impact," said Soraya Alexander, SVP of Marketing and Customer Growth at Classy. "Based on the findings, we feel optimistic that Americans will continue to give in this environment because, more than ever, they recognize the enormous societal need and the profound impact of their giving."
Last year, nonprofits on the Classy fundraising platform raised $19 million on Giving Tuesday. For this giving season, Classy is launching an interactive map to help donors identify nonprofits to support in their local communities. The website will also feature a live tracker for donations on Giving Tuesday.
To download the full Why America Gives 2020 report, click here.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted in September 2020, among 1,000 individuals 18 years and older in the US. The survey was fielded using the Qualtrics Insights Platform, and the panel was sourced from Lucid.
Classy is a social enterprise that helps nonprofit organizations maximize their impact through a suite of world-class, online fundraising tools to accelerate social impact around the world. Based in San Diego, CA and trusted by organizations of all sizes, from the fastest-growing nonprofits like Team Rubicon and The Trevor Project, to some of the world's largest social organizations, such as The Salvation Army, Robin Hood Foundation, and Shriners Hospitals for Children, nonprofits use Classy's platform to raise money, engage their communities, and advance their missions. Since 2011, Classy has powered tens of millions of donations from over 190 countries and raised over $2.5 billion for social good. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter @Classy.
CONTACT: Krista Lamp, (858) 344-2203, [email protected]