Despite Pandemic Uncertainties, in 2020 Alone, Colleges and Universities Saw 10% Increase in Dollars Raised Online and Four-Year Public Institutions Received 16% More Online Donations
Boca Raton, Fla. — February 8, 2021 — Anthology, a leading provider of proven higher education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced the results of its annual online giving analysis and strategic considerations report. According to the report, online giving to higher education institutions grew by 10 percent in 2020, reflecting a 21 percent increase in dollars raised since 2018.
“It’s both incredible and heartening that colleges and universities largely experienced a boost in online giving in 2020, despite the many uncertainties about the level of support for higher education because of the pandemic,” said Jim Milton, CEO of Anthology. “Based on this latest data and understanding the importance of providing both personalized engagement and a variety of giving options, institutions have a real opportunity to continue refining and improving their online giving strategies.”
Average Gift Value Climbs
Examining aggregate data from its advancement customers to identify the latest industry trends and insights, Anthology analyzed online giving data for a group of 220 public and private four-year higher education institutions. In addition to overall dollars raised increasing year over year, findings showed the number of online gifts increased by nearly 6 percent in 2020 and the size of the average online gift grew to $428 – up from $412 in 2019.
Four-Year Public Institutions Saw Increased Support
Reinforcing the trend of four-year public institutions receiving more advancement support, this group experienced a 16 percent increase in the number of online donations compared to 2019, while the number of donations given to four-year private institutions remained flat. Public colleges and universities also outperformed private institutions in dollars raised by nearly 2 percent. However, private institutions generated a higher average gift at $464 – reflecting a 10 percent annual increase versus public institutions’ 4 percent increase.
Digital Wallet Giving Exploded
As digital wallet usage has increased substantially among consumers for online purchases, higher education also saw a big jump in digital wallet donation payments in 2020. In fact, Anthology’s customer institutions received more than 57,000 donations via digital wallets, amounting to $12.3 million last year. This number reflects a 54 percent increase in transactions and a 48 percent increase in dollars processed versus the year prior with a higher number of institutions adopting digital wallets as an additional way for donors to give.
Pandemic Online Giving Resulted in Overall Growth
Despite lower donation levels at the beginning of the pandemic across Anthology higher education customers, momentum picked back up the week of May 3 when GivingTuesday Now – a one-time concentrated global effort to generate support – was held and generated $2.5 million more than the same week in 2019. This momentum continued, as online donations were over $14.8 million higher between January 1 and August 30 versus the year prior – leading to more than $38 million more in donations in 2020 overall.
Now in its sixth year, Anthology’s annual analysis of online giving data is compiled based on data from Anthology’s customers using its alumni and advancement solutions. Data from 2020 was based on 220 higher education institutions.