Classy Hits $1 Billion in Donations, Commits to Doubling Recurring Donor Base
Donations double on the Classy platform in the last year alone, reflecting digital fundraising revolution
Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif., Oct. 30, 2018 // Classy, a social enterprise that provides world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, announced today that nonprofits on the platform have collectively raised $1 billion toward social impact. Through more than 10 million donations from over 190 countries, nonprofits of all types and sizes have leveraged the Classy platform to modernize the giving experience and raise more money online for their missions.
“Since we launched in 2011, nonprofits on Classy have addressed some of the most pressing issues of our time—from major events like disease outbreaks, disasters, mass shootings, and social movements, to mainstay world challenges like environmental issues, child trafficking, human rights, and animal rights,” said Scot Chisholm, Classy CEO and Co-Founder. “We’re humbled to play a small role in our customers’ tireless efforts to make the world a better place, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them to raise the next $10 billion and beyond.”
Donor retention has dropped to an all-time low among American nonprofits, with almost 82 percent of first-time donors churning. But at the same time, the subscription economy continues to transform entertainment, health, transportation, food, and more, positioning the nonprofit sector to benefit from this growing trend in consumer behavior—if nonprofits can encourage donors to “subscribe” through recurring donations.
The undeniable value of recurring donors (worth over five times more than one-time donors) coupled with mainstream comfort around subscription-based services reveal an enormous opportunity for nonprofits to expand their impact through dedicated recurring efforts. Classy’s data also shows that recurring donors have a lower median household income than one-time donors, signifying the promising role recurring giving can play in the continued democratization of charitable giving.
However, though it’s widely known that recurring donors give more to an organization over time, resource-strapped nonprofits often face technology barriers in cultivating these donors. A 2018 report from NextAfter found that only 14 percent of organizations prompt one-time donors to upgrade to a recurring donation, and 47 percent of organizations make no attempt to retain a recurring donor after a credit card expires.
“Recurring donors are over five times more valuable than one-time donors, and yet we found that only five percent of donors in Classy’s first billion dollars were recurring,” said Chisholm. “Even further, fewer than five percent of our nonprofit customers had dedicated recurring programs in place.
“This contrast has inspired us to make a commitment to double the number of recurring donors on the Classy platform by the next billion dollars, which we expect to hit in the next 18 to 24 months based on our growth.”
To forge ahead in pursuit of the goal to double recurring donors, Classy will continue to focus on recurring product innovation, data-sharing and transparency, and specialized customer education regarding how to best use the Classy platform to help customers increase their recurring giving efforts.
How Online Giving Has Evolved
Since Classy launched in 2011, technology has continued to transform how people give to nonprofits.
“As one of Classy’s longest-standing customers, it’s been amazing to see the evolution of online fundraising through their lens and through the hundreds of campaigns we’ve deployed over the years,” said Jake Wood, Co-Founder and CEO at veteran-led disaster response organization, Team Rubicon. “Since we joined in 2012, we’ve launched more than 280 disaster response operations around the world—including our recent Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael efforts—and Classy has been critical in helping us quickly mobilize our supporters so that we can move swiftly and effectively to help people on their worst day.”
By closely analyzing data from the last seven years, Classy has identified a number of key insights into the behaviors of online donors and fundraisers since 2011:
Mobile traffic and gifts are way up:
When Classy launched in 2011, only 11 percent of traffic to all campaigns came from mobile devices; today, it’s over 50 percent, and mobile gifts now make up one-third of all donations across the platform.
The online fundraising gap is closing:
Women and men:
When peer-to-peer fundraising went mainstream, women were more likely to become fundraisers than men. In 2011, the majority (71 percent) of peer-to-peer fundraisers on Classy were female.
This gap has slowly closed year over year, with fundraisers in 2018 currently made up of 54 percent women and 46 percent men.
While millennials dominated online fundraising in early years (76 percent of peer-to-peer fundraisers on the platform in 2011), other groups, particularly Gen X, have been increasing over time, growing from 19 to 33 percent of all fundraisers on Classy—a 74 percent growth.
But while millennials may be in the game longer, the median raised per fundraising page increases with age throughout Classy’s first $1 billion—$207 for millennials, $250 for Gen X, $278 for baby boomers, and $325 for the Silent Generation—showing the tremendous opportunity to tap into the older generations’ networks of friends and family.
Health is top of mind:
Since 2011, millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers have prioritized health, with all three generations most likely to fundraise on behalf of a health-related organization—except for the oldest, the Silent Generation, which has prioritized human services slightly over health.
Location, location, location:
California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Washington-based donors typically gave the most amount of money per donation (median $40 per donation across Classy’s first billion dollars), while Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Utah-based donors typically gave the least amount of money per donation (median $25 per donation across Classy’s first billion dollars).
Of the recurring donors from Classy’s first billion dollars, California, Texas, and New York had the most recurring donors (respectively), and Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota had the fewest recurring donors.
Classy is a social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, modernizing the giving experience to accelerate social impact around the world. Since 2011, thousands of nonprofits have collectively raising over a billion dollars on the Classy platform. Based in San Diego, CA, Classy is trusted by organizations of all sizes, from the fastest-growing nonprofits like Team Rubicon and The Trevor Project, to some of the world’s largest social organizations, such as Acumen, Robin Hood Foundation, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter @Classy.
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