News and analysis
December 09, 2015

On Giving Tuesday, 17% of Online Gifts Came Via Mobile Devices, Blackbaud Says

More donors than ever before gave via mobile devices on Giving Tuesday, according to new data released by Blackbaud, a processor of online donations.

Seventeen percent of people who made online donations on December 1 did so on a mobile device, up from 13 percent during Giving Tuesday in 2014. The rate of mobile giving began accelerating at about 3 p.m. U.S. Eastern time and peaked at 10 p.m., when 42 percent of all online donors were using their phones or tablets to support charities.

Giving Tuesday donors have been found to be more likely to give through mobile devices than donors do otherwise. The mobile giving rate for all of 2014 was 9.5 percent, according to Steve MacLaughlin, director of analytics at Blackbaud.

The findings, he says, indicate that charities with mobile-friendly websites and donation pages can attract more gifts. Organizations that have those elements in place, he says, saw a 34 percent higher conversion rate for their email appeals — meaning their emails were opened and donors gave — than those whose websites and donation pages were not mobile-friendly.

"Nonprofits need to think about the whole donor experience," says Mr. MacLaughlin. "Is it easy to make a donation on a phone?"

The data showing an increase in mobile giving beginning in late afternoon and into the evening presents "a second window of opportunity" for charities seeking to appeal to supporters via email during a time-limited campaign day like Giving Tuesday.

In addition to a morning email blast, he says, a fundraiser might benefit from making a push later in the day to catch the mobile giving wave. "If I’m sitting in my office, I’m going to have another communication, where I’m going to remove people who’ve already given and send to people in the evening who might be on their phones."

Mr. Laughlin says it’s too early for the data to reveal how this year’s holiday giving season will stack up against that of 2014. The last two days of the year, he notes, are always crucial. But Blackbaud’s Giving Tuesday figures showed a 52 percent spike from the 2014 giving day.

Send an email to Heather Joslyn.