Research | Giving Trends in North America

publication date: May 16, 2019
author/source: Public Interest Registry Nonprofit Tech for Good with Al Qasimi Foundation, Arab Foundations Forum, Blackbaud Institute, CIVICUS, CONCORD Europe, Estudio de Impacto, Greater Public, Infoxchange,, Museu da Pessoa, Nigeria Network if NGOs, Philanthropy Circuit, Tech Trust and TechSoup

The third annual Global NGO Technology Report report analyzes how non-governmental organisations (NGOs) worldwide use web, email and mobile technology, online fundraising tools and social media, as well as manage data and security. The report details the key findings from a survey of 5,352 NGO respondents from 164 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America and South America. The report provides insight on the online and mobile communication tools NGOs around the world use to promote general awareness, communicate with core audiences and raise funds from donors, as well as an analysis of those online tools and comparisons of regional usage. New findings this year also uncover how NGOs implement data management and security software.

North American findings include

60% of donors in North America prefer to give online (credit/debit card), 17% by direct mail/post, 8% via PayPal, 6% in cash, and 5% by bank/wire transfer.

46% are enrolled in a monthly giving program.

68% prefer to be thanked for their donations by email, 20% by print letter, 5% by print postcard, 3% by social media message, and 3% via text message.

22% donated on #GivingTuesday 2017, 52% did not. 26% have never heard of #GivingTuesday. Of those who gave on #GivingTuesday 2017, 56% gave to one organization, 36% to two or three, 5% gave to four to six, 2% to seven to nine, and 1% to ten or more.

43% of donors in North America give tribute gifts. The top five occasions are memorials (56%), birthdays (10%), religious holidays (10%), weddings (2%), and a new baby (1%). 36% donate to crowdfunding campaigns that benefit individuals. The top five causes are medical expenses (25%), family emergency expenses (23%), start-up costs for a social enterprise (14%), disaster relief (13%), and education costs (10%). Of those that give to crowdfunding campaigns, 10% say that they give less to organizations due to their financial support of crowdfunding campaigns.

15% are more likely to donate if they are offered a free gift in exchange for their donation.

16% create online peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to benefit organizations.


31% give to organizations located outside of their country of residence.

50% donate in response to natural disasters.

20% have charitable giving in their last will and testament.

73% of donors in North America are more likely to trust organizations that use the .org domain extension for website and email communications.

56% say they are most likely to give repeatedly to an organization if they receive regular communication about the work the organization is doing and the impact that their donation is making.

31% are most inspired to give by email, social media (25%), and by an organization’s website (17%). Of those inspired by social media, Facebook (51%) has the largest impact, then Instagram (15%) and Twitter (15%). Messaging apps (0.4%), text messages (1%), and phone calls (2%) are the least inspiring.

28% have donated directly to an organization using Facebook Fundraising Tools. Of those, 87% said they are likely to donate through Facebook again.

83% do not want organizations to share their contact information with other organizations. 93% want organizations to make a concerted effort to protect their contact and financial information from data breaches.

76% of donors in North America volunteer. 66% attend fundraising events. 25% attend marches or protests. 95% regularly vote. 69% sign online petitions. 

"The annual Global NGO Technology Report not only shows how the internet can help organisations communicate and collaborate with stakeholders, but how it can serve as a powerful force for change when coupled with various technology tools,” said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. “This is an important research initiative, bringing together partners from various industries to ultimately support organisations around the world as they seek to better understand and take advantage of technology that can help them actualizing their important social missions.”

Get a full copy of the research here.

Public Interest Registry is the nonprofit operator of the .org domain and released this study jointly with Nonprofit Tech for Good. The Global NGO Technology Report is supported by various global partners that encourage the participation of NGOs in the survey – particularly those located in emerging nations – to ensure a diverse, balanced understanding of how NGOs worldwide use technology. Partners include Al Qasimi Foundation, Arab Foundations Forum, Blackbaud Institute, CIVICUS, CONCORD Europe, Estudio de Impacto, Greater Public, Infoxchange,, Museu da Pessoa, Nigeria Network if NGOs, Philanthropy Circuit, Tech Trust and TechSoup. For more information on the survey's findings, methodology and to download the full report, please visit:

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