How We Give: Data & Insights From PayPal

How We Give: Data & Insights From PayPal

Oktay Dogramaci, Global Head of Cause-Related Solutions, PayPal

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Did you know that donations made on mobile via @PayPal grew by 24% in 2018? Whether you’re on the go or at home, you can #donate with PayPal to support a cause you love from wherever you are.
Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 1:45pm


This past June, Giving USA released its annual report examining how Americans donated to charity in 2018, and changes from years past. While giving has steadily been on the rise since the 2008 economic recession, the report indicates that gifts to charity dropped 1.7 percent year-over-year. The decline was just the 13th drop in overall giving it has charted in the past four decades. Nonprofits in the U.S. and around the world have always focused on how to reach more donors and increase fundraising, and now more than ever it’s important to understand the data and insights around donation behaviors to address these new trends.
PayPal works with more than 665,000 charitable organizations globally to support their donation processing. In 2018, 55.1 million people from over 200 markets contributed $9.6 billion via PayPal (Source: Global Impact Report), a 13% increase year-over-year despite the overall dip in giving last year. During the 2018 holiday season, 10.71 million people in 182 countries donated $1.2+ billion through PayPal – a 6% increase in dollar contributions year-over-year.
We set out to understand where, why, and how PayPal donors are giving online.
While Giving USA reported a drop in overall giving, donations made through PayPal are increasing in frequency. We’re learning that when individuals have the tools and technology to give, they are giving more often. While U.S. residents are donating less money each time they give (down 7% year-over-year), they are donating more frequently (up 8% year-over year). And overall mobile donations volume increased 24%, compared to a 4% increase in desktop volume. This presents a great opportunity for the philanthropy world.
We also learned that women and men in the U.S. give differently. While men give $88 and women give $64 on average, women donate more frequently than men: 3.18 times per year for women vs. 2.84 times per year for men. And women age 50+ donate to charity at a higher frequency than any other age group across both genders at 3.58 times per year.
Here are a few more of our most telling insights, reaffirming our commitment to democratizing financial services – and giving – and building the right tools to make giving a part of everyday life. As nonprofits begin to gear up for the holiday giving season, and donors start thinking about the charities they’ll support, we hope these findings will aid in that planning process, and in setting up for a successful 2020.


We’re committed to harnessing the power of our technology and scale to help charities raise mission-critical funds and provide new ways for people to connect and give to the causes they care about – anytime, anywhere, and in any amount.You can support a cause you love by making a donation, and thanks to PayPal’s support, 100% of donations made here will go to charities.

To learn more about PayPal’s social impact agenda, head to our social innovation hub.