Giving Is Down in 2021
but We Can Still Turn It Around

Last year was a banner year for charitable giving. This year? Individuals gave 19% less from April to October 2021 than they did during the same period in 2020, according to donation data collected from Benevity’s platform. Yet the need for all of us to support our local and global communities is greater than ever. The economic and emotional impacts of the pandemic will reverberate for years, and the issues we rallied for last year are just as significant today. GivingTuesday — the global day of generosity on Nov. 30 — is our chance to reverse the downward direction in giving.

2021 Giving Trends

Even though the world feels fractured right now, there’s some good news. Despite the drop in donations, we’re still witnessing a trend of people coming together in support of today’s most pressing issues — both locally and globally. To date in 2021, donation data from Benevity’s platform shows a marked increase in donations related to mental health, vaccine equity and refugee relief — all issues coinciding directly or indirectly with fallout from the pandemic.

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In October alone, mental health-related causes saw a 73% year-over-year increase in donations. Causes dedicated to vaccine equity saw a 10x spike month-over-month in April and a 3.5x increase in May. Global initiatives like Go Give One contributed to strong support from June to October. And, since August, donations related to Afghanistan refugee relief have seen a 142% increase over the first seven months of the year.

In 2021, it’s heartening to see that we clearly haven’t lost sight of the need to address pressing social issues. The world’s CSR leaders will be looking to GivingTuesday as the perfect opportunity to inspire their people to unite for the greater good.

Sona Khosla, Chief Impact Officer, Benevity

 

Come Together for Good on GivingTuesday

The antidote to Black Friday’s mass consumerism, GivingTuesday is an opportunity to unleash the power of radical generosity around the world. No Act of Goodness is too small. All it takes is One Good Thing. Whether you drop off a meal for an elderly neighbor or make a donation to your favorite cause, it all counts.

Radical Generosity Definition (Twitter)

People are drawn to collective action — 52% of people who participated in GivingTuesday 2020 said they did it because they wanted to be part of something bigger and it allowed them to be part of a larger group of people doing good.1 And all it takes is one person doing One Good Thing to start a generosity movement.

But GivingTuesday isn’t just for individuals — it’s an opportunity for companies to take the lead too. People are increasingly expecting the companies they work for, and buy from, to step up. In fact, 79% of employees expect their employer to take action on social issues,2 and 41% of consumers want brands to support social causes.3

Healthcare company Anthem is heeding the call, engaging its 70,000 associates in its annual campaign for Giving Season. This year, they’re making some big changes to encourage even more impact. “Not only have we broadened our definition of volunteerism to include virtual acts of goodness but we’re offering double rewards for every volunteer hour our associates log, which can be directed to the nonprofit of their choice,” says Emily Sochacki, Foundation Program Manager. “Also, for the first time ever, we’re offering a 3:1 match of all donations to our signature charities on GivingTuesday.”

Not only have we broadened our definition of volunteerism to include virtual acts of goodness but we’re offering double rewards for every volunteer hour our associates log, which can be directed to the nonprofit of their choice. Also, for the first time ever, we’re offering a 3:1 match of all donations to our signature charities on GivingTuesday.

Emily Sochacki, Foundation Program Manager, Anthem

 

So What Are You Waiting For?

Here are five easy — and fast — ways companies can rally their people to do good on Nov. 30:

  1. Connect with your local GivingTuesday movement and be sure to let your employees know of your plans to participate.

  2. Inspire employee giving with a corporate donation to a local or global cause. Use Benevity’s Community Impact Portal to select from nearly 2 million vetted nonprofits around the world.

  3. Offer a company match for every donation your people make on GivingTuesday.

  4. Give employees time off to volunteer with their favorite cause.

  5. Join hundreds of companies and millions of people in Benevity’s One Good Thing Challenge and help us reach our collective goal of 12 million Acts of Goodness by the end of the year.

Let’s close out 2021 with massive collection action — and use GivingTuesday as the kickstart to inspire a movement.

GS+OGT-8


1. Horizon Media Study, 2019
2. Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: A World in Trauma, 2021
3. GWI Zeitgeist, 2020