Tracy Teale, CPA, Audit Partner and San Francisco Office Head.
Tracy TealeCPA / CFO / A&A Department Head / San Francisco Office Headview bio

A Review of Not For Profits in 2021


2021 Fundraising up 9%

Nonprofit organizations are the lifeblood of communities. They provide essential services for individuals, families, and neighborhoods. They are a voice for the vulnerable, addressing complex issues with passion and professionalism. They provide a large portion of the country’s health care, higher education, conservation, human services, and other essential services.

According to the Blackbaud Institute’s Charitable Giving Report, in 2021, charitable giving to nonprofits grew by 9% exceeding nearly everyone’s expectations because 2020 was a record year with charitable giving in the United States reaching $471 billion. A summary of overall giving by subsector is listed below:

Chart on 2021 Overall Giving Trends by SubsectorIn 2021, online giving also grew by 9% compared to 2020, however, the percentage of total fundraising from online giving in 2021 saw a slight decline from 13% to 12%. Small, medium, and large nonprofits in the United States now raise more than 10% of their fundraising through online giving.

Chart on percentage of online transactions made annually using a mobile device since 2014In 2021, an estimated 28% of online donations were made using mobile devices which was the exact same total from 2020; however, this has grown steadily since 2014, when it was just 9% of online donations.  So, mobile-friendly websites, email, and donation forms must work together smoothly.

In 2021, not only did both overall giving and online giving grow, but the average donor was more generous than ever with an average donation amount of $813.

Chart on average overall donation amount by subsector

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress gave charities a boost in 2020 by offering Americans a tax incentive for cash gifts. Lawmakers extended the write-off for 2021.

Single filers can claim a deduction for cash donations up to $300 and married couples filing together may get up to $600 in 2021. The cash gift, including payments by check, credit card or debit card, must go to a qualified charity . Transfers to a donor-advised fund or private foundation don’t count.

Organizations of all sizes continued to grow despite ongoing challenges and increased needs. According to the Charitable Giving Report, here are the 2021 growth rates by organization size:

  • Large organizations (total annual fundraising $10 million+) were up 9%
  • Medium (between $1 million and $10 million) had an increase of 8.5%
  • Small (less than $1 million) experienced a 9.2% increase in fundraising results

The positive fundraising trends from the 2021 Blackbaud Institute’s Charitable Giving Report have shown that nonprofits have had a remarkable ability to adjust to the changes brought on by the pandemic and to respond to the increased demands and needs of the public.

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