GiveBIG Demonstrates the Benefits of Shifting to Online Giving and Virtual Events

Guest Blog by Nancy Long (Executive Director, 501 Commons)

Online giving advances equity and diversity

In Washington, GiveBIG now reaches donors across the state, with nearly a third of the donors and 25% of the participating nonprofits outside King County.  This year GiveBIG raised $17.6 million in online donations, DAF/IRA donations, nonprofits’ matching funds, sponsorships, in-kind media contributions, and employer matching gifts. Nearly 72,000 donations were made to 1,644 nonprofits in Washington. 

The jump to virtual events and online giving during COVID will yield long-term fundraising benefits. Online giving promotes equitable access to funding and reaches more diverse donors. 

Online giving and peer-to-peer fundraising are a boon to rural and community-based nonprofits without large donor lists. With additional support, that success can grow. Organizations serving immigrant communities that participated in 501 Common’s Campaign Support Program doubled what they raised. Those participating for two years saw greater growth. 

Donors like online giving options and virtual events

From the donor’s perspective, online giving is a hit. Once they adjusted to the technology, many people reported preferring virtual events. Virtual events can be more accessible, more affordable, and allow you to reach a broader geographic audience.

Donors enjoy the buzz of Giving Tuesday and GiveBIG – one of the largest giving days in the US. People are introduced to philanthropy and new nonprofits, often by their friends and family members, during these events.

Online giving trends

Blackbaud reported that online giving grew by more than 20% in 2020. For most nonprofits, it’s especially good news that donations below $250 increased by 15%. Online giving can reverse the decline in Americans donating to charity, down from 83% in 2018 to 73% in 2020. 

Finding a role for online giving and events in the year ahead?  The Washington Gives platform and its features (including peer FUNdraising pages and event promotion) are available year-round.