PayPal reported 11 percent growth in charitable giving in 2016, processing $7.3 billion in contributions over the year, including more than $971 million raised during the holiday season alone.
Proving that spirits really were brighter this holiday, the company announced today that 8 million PayPal users in 181 countries contributed $971,213,604 to 282,053 charities, making 2016 the biggest year for end-of-year donations with PayPal ever.
“PayPal’s mission is all about democratizing financial services for citizens across the world. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the power of our global payments platform to create a worldwide network that allows people to support their communities and the causes they’re most passionate about,” said Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal. “We are thankful for the generosity that our PayPal users showed this past holiday season. We look forward to another year of innovation around new services and capabilities so that all of us can continue to make a positive impact in every community around the world that PayPal helps to serve.”
Throughout the holidays, PayPal monitored giving behavior on an interactive tracker which uncovered giving trends on a global scale.
Donations large and small made near and far: the largest single gift of the season was more than $230,000 with the average contribution of $93, slightly above the yearlong average of $89. Though many consumers save larger gifts for end-of-year contributions, hundreds of thousands of $1 and $5 gifts resulted in millions of dollars for charitable organizations over the holiday season, showing that no donation is too small to make an impact. Furthermore, using digital platforms like PayPal for smaller contributions can also be more cost-effective for the benefitting charities to accept. According to a recent study, digital donations in smaller amounts like $50 are 14 percent cheaper than paper checks for a charity to process.
Mobile giving continues to climb: charitable organizations are not just raising funds through galas, auctions, written appeals and paper checks anymore. With two massive changes underway in the world - the digitization of cash and the mass adoption of mobile technology -21 percent of gifts were made via a mobile device this holiday season, with 12 percent more gifts coming from a mobile device when compared to 2015.
Giving peaks last minute: more donations were processed on December 31st than any other day in 2016 as consumers contributed over $77 million to thousands of charities globally on that day. While the last week of the year saw a tremendous spike in charitable contributions, #GivingTuesday (November 29th) ranked as the third highest day for donations as the global movement continues to expand year over year.
Looking to 2017, PayPal expects charitable giving to expand into new contexts as technology and social media platforms power new and innovative ways for people to support the causes for which they’re most passionate. Traditional donations will continue to result in billions of dollars for charitable organizations each year, but new means of philanthropy, such as fundraising on behalf of a charity through crowdfunding platforms, will increase in popularity as donors are given more choice in how they give back.