Giving Season Trends
December 08, 2020

Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple instances of racial injustice, 51 percent more people donated through corporate purpose programs in 2020, with 41 percent more dollars per donation

 

CALGARY, AB – December 8, 2020 – Benevity, Inc., the leading provider of global corporate purpose software, today announced that 51 percent more people donated through its platform from January though October 2020, giving 41 percent more dollars per donation, and culminating in an average of $64 per donation compared to $46 the year prior. In the first ten months of 2020, employees and customers of Benevity’s corporate clients donated $500 million of their own funds through Benevity — a 76 percent increase over last year — indicating an increasing desire from more people to take personal action to support critical societal issues.

Corporate matching campaigns in support of the COVID-19 pandemic and protests against racial injustice drove spikes in donations, with average total donation amounts rising by 150 percent in April and 215 percent in June. Benevity expects a record year for giving in 2020 as the last two months of the year (sometimes known as ‘giving season’) typically account for a large percentage of annual donations with both nonprofits and companies running seasonal giving campaigns for the holidays.

Diving deeper into a year-over-year data comparison from January 1 though October 31, Benevity found:

  • Overall participation in employee giving, volunteering and positive actions, as well as customer engagement initiatives increased by 23 percent. A year highlighted by systemic challenges inspired companies to expand their corporate purpose programs to include new types of opportunities and rewards that encouraged employees, customers and the public to take action. Over 235,000 more people engaged in giving, volunteering and/or positive actions in the first 10 months of the year through companies.
  • Total donations in 2020 surpassed 2019 totals. As of October 31, 2020, more than $1.6 billion had been donated through the Benevity platform, $200 million more than all of 2019. The biggest increases in giving came from individual contributions and corporate matching funds, each of which saw a 76 percent year-over-year increase. Corporate rewards, such as “dollars for doers” where employees earn charitable funds for tracking their volunteer time, increased by 25 percent. The average donation amount is nearly $140, including the donor contribution, corporate matching and corporate rewards – a 49 percent increase over last year.
  • Volunteerism dropped by 30 percent due to physical distancing requirements. Employees logged 4.5 million volunteer hours through the Benevity platform compared to 6.4 million in the same period the year prior. April and May saw the most drastic reductions to volunteerism at -46 percent and -42 percent respectively. Mainly attributed to lockdowns, physical distancing and the cancellation of large corporate volunteer events, people had far fewer organized opportunities to give their time and skills. However, the year-over-year gap is beginning to close with only a 4 percent decrease in hours logged in the first week of November, due in part to an increase in the number of virtual volunteering opportunities available, as well as the expansion of corporate volunteer programs to include non-traditional forms of volunteering, such as random acts of goodness.
  • An astounding 250 percent increase in positive actions tracked by employees, mainly in response to COVID-19. Compared to the same period in 2019, 3.5x the number of individuals participated in activities through Benevity’s Missions module, which engages people in pro-social action. Most notably, people were tracking activities that helped them stay connected while apart, manage physical and mental stress, and support local business. Additionally, people engaged in educational activities to raise awareness of racial prejudice, systemic racism, unconscious bias and privilege. Nearly 2.6x the total number of positive actions were completed.
  • The number of unique nonprofits supported increased by 20 percent. 168,346 causes received donations or volunteer time — a 20 percent year-over-year increase. The same percentage growth pattern is reflected internationally with 14,979 nonprofit organizations based outside of North America receiving either time or financial support, as global challenges affect individuals and communities everywhere.

While big, global issues dominated the first part of 2020, the end of the year is when people spend more time in their communities supporting local causes like shelters, food banks, religious organizations and other critical human services. This year, many companies are foregoing holiday parties and gifts, and instead providing employees, vendors, customers and suppliers with charitable gift cards or donation matching dollars that they can give to any cause they feel passionate about, or are making grants with the savings from in-person events.

Our hope is that while people continue to create positive change around some of the global and systemic societal issues, they will also remember that their local communities need more help than ever, especially as COVID has exacerbated many existing needs, such as for food security, education, employment, and both physical and mental health.

— Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO

“If helping strengthen your community isn’t enough, neuroscience suggests that you should be giving back what you can at this time of year for your own good. 2020 has put a strain on virtually everyone and the fact is that kindness releases hormones like oxytocin and serotonin that improve our mood, sense of connectedness and overall wellbeing," said Bryan de Lottinville, Benevity Founder and CEO. "We could all use more of that this year.”

“The holiday season is a particularly tough time, in a number of ways, for those who are less fortunate,” said LaNelia Ramette, Touched by Suicide North Texas board President. “Often times, we engage with individuals during our monthly support groups who have reached a point of desperation. By offering these people help, love, hope and support, we are making a real difference that has potential to save lives.”

Our small nonprofit has been able to richly enhance these programs thanks to donations provided through Benevity. We’re deeply grateful to those who continue to provide their support. They are having a positive and profound impact on people they will never meet or know.

— LaNelia Ramette, Touched by Suicide North Texas President

To keep the momentum going into the holiday season, Benevity is launching the “Dear 2020 Challenge” on December 1, #GivingTuesday. This campaign encourages corporations, employees, consumers and nonprofits to complete and share acts of goodness that they have undertaken this year as a celebration of collective strength, creativity and resilience in the face of an extraordinarily challenging time.

About Benevity

Benevity, a certified B Corporation, is the leader in global corporate purpose software, providing the only integrated suite of community investment and employee, customer and nonprofit engagement solutions. A finalist in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards, many iconic brands rely on Benevity’s cloud solutions to power their purpose in ways that better attract, retain and engage today’s diverse workforce, embed social action into their customer experiences and positively impact their communities. With software that is available in 20 languages, Benevity has processed more than 6 billion dollars in donations and 34 million hours of volunteering time, 275,000 positive actions and awarded over one million grants to 300,000 nonprofits worldwide.

Media Contact: Amanda Orr│Kickstart for Benevity│1.323.601.5734│press@benevity.com