More than 50% of nonprofits switched their fundraising drives to virtual in 2020, but there is a wide range … [+] Uncertainty about how to proceed in 2021, according to a new study by QGiv.


More than 50% of nonprofits switched their fundraising campaigns to a virtual format in 2020. However, there is significantly less consensus on event plans for 2021, according to a new report from QGiv.

Data from 182 responding nonprofits found that more than 40% of planned fundraising events in 2020 were either canceled (32.4%) or postponed (8.8%), while only 8.2% of events stayed as planned.

As vaccines rollout in the U.S. continues, nonprofits have expressed general uncertainty about how to proceed in 2021. While only 3.5% stated that they wanted to make full use of personal events again, 28.3% stated that they would hold hybrid events.

Virtual events will also continue in 2021. 23.7% of the respondents stated that they only want to hold virtual events. A combination of virtual and in-person events is planned for 17.9% of respondents – and 26.6% of respondents said they just weren’t sure.

“The results found in Expecting the Unexpected show that nonprofits need to further diversify their donation channels and create contingency plans to draw attention to specific channels in the event one of them fails or no longer exists,” said Todd Baylis, CEO and Co-Founder of Qgiv, Inc. “What we saw in the report was that nonprofits with varied funding streams, more digital communications, and those with a pre-existing crisis communications plan survived the events of 2020 and raised more than they could in 2019. ”

The constant flow of breaking news about the pandemic led most nonprofits to increase the frequency of their communication – 39.6% said they communicated a little more with their donors and supporters, 22% said they communicated a lot more . Only 13.7% stated that they communicated less frequently in 2020.

Economic uncertainty correlated with a modest increase in nonprofits also asking for support: 41% said they would ask a little more, 14.5% said they would ask a lot more. Roughly every third non-profit association (32.3%) stated that the frequency of their inquiries was the same.

And while 23.6% of nonprofits said their total donor base has shrunk due to the pandemic, 45.1% of nonprofits said their total donor base has increased.

The average gift size across the QGiv platform across all fundraisers increased from $ 127.86 in 2019 to $ 133.31 in 2020, but the average peer-to-peer gift increased more sharply: from $ 87.46 in In 2019 to $ 108.62 in 2020.

The 80-page report also included a section that interviewed donors. Social media contributions were the main drivers of charitable giving at 36.1%. News took second place with 25.4%. Donors reported that email inquiries accounted for only 14.6% of their donations.

Donors also said, by a margin, that requests focused on the nonprofit’s mission – rather than the pandemic – were the most effective at 30%. asks that the mission was mentioned and the pandemic was just behind at 29.6%. However, only 13.8% recorded emergency inquiries that only related to pandemic responses.

And despite the economic turmoil, the report found that a larger percentage of donors donated on GivingTuesday 2020 (30.3%) than on GivingTuesday 2019 (28.3%). The largest cohort of respondents – 48.2% – reported to 2 or 3 non-profit organizations on GivingTuesday.