Spreedly Vantage: Charitable Transactions Rise Throughout the COVID Crisis

Key Takeaways:

  • Charitable transactions rose by 17% over the course of 2020
  • A sharp peak occurred in the spring of 2020 in the US before retreating in the summer
  • A steady increase in donations then occurred over the course of the second half of 2020

2020 saw people around the world facing an unprecedented challenge. But as people struggled against a global pandemic, we also saw individuals and organizations stepping up with increased support for their embattled communities. That includes organizations dedicated to raising funds for individuals in crisis or helping to support them directly. 

These “giving” industries have payments at their core. After all, many are seeking to raise money to support their constituents or to fuel their missions. As a result, it’s imperative that these organizations are able to accept payments from contributors in their target markets. And it’s vital that the payments experience is a positive one, so donors are happy and ready to donate again.

Industry surveys indicate that people continue to donate at significant levels. Fidelity Charitable found that more than half plan to keep their donations constant, a quarter plan to increase their donations. For those that plan to reduce their donations, there is often an economic impact to them as a result of the crisis. As a whole, nearly a third of Americans donate with cash to charitable causes. 

The Spreedly Vantage

Spreedly is in a unique position in the market. Because of our position as the leading Payments Orchestration vendor, we can aggregate payments data across any payments services and platforms. The aggregated data allows us to see how charitable donations have changed over this period. 

Our data shows that since last March, charitable donations have risen by 17%. The data also has been largely consistent, rising over the course of the past year without obvious peaks or valleys. This highlights the giving nature of people -- even in times of crisis. 

However, there is an exception to that insight. As the pandemic rose in prominence in the US during the Spring, we saw a sharp increase in charitable giving before retreating in the summer. Between March and May 2020, there was a 20% boost in giving, before declining by 20% into the summer. This may indicate that people gave most when the crisis was most intense and novel to those in the US.

The Net Net

During times of economic and social tumult, it’s incredibly powerful to know that people continue to invest in each other and in supporting one another. That’s been the major takeaway from the data. As payments professionals, we can help to improve the payments experience for donors so that they are able to successfully transact and direct their donations to organizations they trust. Payments Orchestration supports a frictionless payments experience by helping ensure that donors can successfully transact in targeted markets. And that means more money going to the causes donors choose.