In 2020 people of all backgrounds and beliefs stepped up to help each other in response to an unprecedented crisis with a renewed spirit of community, solidarity, and generosity. Last year's volatility also resulted in a highly anomalous year in charitable giving. We had the opportunity to dive deep into the data to learn from this experience. Our latest report, Giving in Unprecedented Times, helps us better understand the fluctuations in, and drivers of, charitable giving during a year of crisis to pinpoint risks and opportunities for organizations moving forward.
When we took a closer look at U.S. charitable giving data for all of 2020, we uncovered unique shifts in giving by cause area, time of year, and donation size and frequency that help tell the story of a tumultuous year.
We also recognized that because of the way the unusual events of 2020 affected how nonprofit organizations responded as well as the ways donors gave, we needed new methodology to account for extreme variance from norm. The analysis gives a representation of the sector as a whole and "typical" organizations, providing visibility to the volatility in 2020 that underlies the average results for the sector. This approach also allows us to contextualize results by both organization size and cause, and these changes will make ongoing reporting more resilient to market volatility in the future.