COVID-19 and Philanthropy –
Who is giving?
- Data from 117 CRMs of arts organizations show that the impact on giving from COVID-19
appears to be worsening.
- Despite strong performance at the start of the pandemic, funds raised from individual giving
in the first nine months of 2020 have declined by 14% in North America and 42% in the U.K.
- The number of gifts given has risen in North America, but the average value of gifts has
fallen. In the U.K. both the volume and average value of gifts has fallen.
- In both the U.K. and North America the most loyal customers of organizations continue to be
the most important segment for giving revenues.
- In the first nine months of 2020 the number of gifts received rose by 15% but the average
value of those gifts fell by 24%.
- The number of gifts given per month was higher than 2019 in every month until July. In July,
August and September both gift numbers and gift revenue were lower than in 2019.
- The largest growth in the number of gifts has come from the most loyal ‘Super Active’
patrons, but the average size of gifts from these patrons has fallen by 38%.
- North American organizations continue to be heavily reliant on gifts from individuals with
no previous box office or philanthropic history, but the average size of gifts from these
patrons has fallen 28% in the first nine months of 2020.
- In the first nine months of 2020 the number of gifts received fell by 35% and the average
value of those gifts fell by 11%.
- There was a spike in the value of gifts of less than £1 million in April at the time when
many organizations in both the U.K and North America were encouraging ticket holders to make
donations rather than request a refund for cancelled performances.
- 74% of all gift revenue received in the first nine months of 2020 came from the most loyal
‘Super Active’ patrons.
This report digs deeper into trends in philanthropy since the start of the pandemic. Across our
cohorts, the overall revenue generated through individual giving has declined. Is this decline
universal across all audience types, or has the drop been more significant in certain types? Has
there been an impact on average gift size?
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TRG Arts is continually studying the impact of COVID-19 on the resiliency of the arts and
Over 400 performing arts organizations across the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland have
signed up to participate in the COVID-19 Sector Benchmark. This new, free resource
international arts data
specialists TRG Arts and Purple Seven provides almost real-time data to arts
organizations on their performance compared to their peers in these unprecedented times.
Participation is Free: Register Today
This project is supported in part by the National
Endowment for the Arts through our partnership with SMU DataArts.