Blackbaud's 2020 Charitable Giving Report: Lessons for Australian and New Zealand Charities

March 31, 2021 Blackbaud Admin

From motivations to demographics and channels, charitable giving is changing. 

In this world of constant change, how do Australian and New Zealand charities know if they are on the right path?  

Blackbaud’s 2020 Charitable Giving Report offers a first-hand look at how charitable giving performed across the entire sector, and best practices used to boost fundraising performance.  

Let’s take a look at the specific insights that Australian and New Zealand charities need to be aware of from the report. 

Giving is down overall

Tracking nearly $550 million from more than 150 organisations in Australia and New Zealand, the Blackbaud Institute Index is updated each quarter and reports year-over-year per cent changes and giving to date for the last 12 months. 

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While year-on-year analysis showed charitable giving in our region only dropped by 4.2% in 2020, a comparison of giving in the final quarter of 2020 (April – June) was down over 10% from the same period in 2019.

As the overall distribution of giving by month shows (see below), this makes for a heavy blow given that EOFY is when most giving occurs in our region. 

But despite the dip in giving, there’s also some good news when it comes to opportunities for turning this trend around for local charities.

One of these opportunities, outlined in The Future of Fundraising: 10-Year Lessons & Predictions for 2030, is that donors are willing to give more than ever before – especially when they can see their support counteracting the damage of COVID-19.

Leading charities are maximising digital engagement

The 2020 Charitable Giving Report highlights the need for organisations to embrace innovation and engage differently across digital marketing channels.

Social media and digital platforms present an ideal way to stay connected with your organisation’s supporters.

If your doors are shut to the public or your services are limited due to coronavirus restrictions, consider how you might be able to deliver some of the same programmings through Facebook Live or other similar platforms.
Donors are more understanding and open to new platforms than ever before – don’t miss this chance to shake things up! You never know, you might just find some strategies worth keeping as restrictions relax.

Donor retention remains a high priority  

Donors give because they believe in your organisation’s mission, and that their gift can make a difference.   

Focus on communicating the continued importance of your mission throughout, and despite, the challenges of the current global environment. 

Don’t be afraid to be transparent about the hurdles your organisation may be facing – supporters want to know how the causes they care about are faring. 
Earnest communication about challenges allows donors to engage and give support where and when it’s needed most. 

Stay connected across your teams

In the current climate of near-constant changes that require an agile response, it’s never been more critical for all teams across your organisation to stay in sync.  

Your organisation’s capacity for embracing innovative solutions to new challenges will rely on your teams’ ability to stay connected.  
Now is the time for leaders to focus on transparency and communication. Continue to prioritise strong data management practices so that all teams can access the information they need, wherever and whenever they need it. 


Kevin Sher, Vice President and Managing Director, Blackbaud Asia Pacific:

“The Australian charity market continues to be robust, in line with a strong economy and improving consumer confidence… 

With increased online giving, diversified revenue streams, and improved donor retention, there is reason to be enthusiastic about the future.  

We can expect these trends to stay strong as organisations continue to leverage best practices and benchmarking to refine their strategies across all channels.”

View the full Charitable Giving Report here.


The Future of Fundraising

For more industry insights and analysis, and to prepare your organisation’s future, download our latest whitepaper, The Future of Fundraising: 10-Year Lessons & Predictions for 2030.

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