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COVID-19 Sector Benchmark: Insight Report October 2020

November 12, 2020
TRG Arts and Purple Seven by David Brownlee and Eric Nelson for TRG Arts and Purple Seven

COVID-19 and Philanthropy –
Who is giving?



Executive Summary

Key Findings

  • 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.

North America

  • 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.

U.K.

  • 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.

Introduction

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?



Download the UK Press Release Download the North American Press Release


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TRG Arts is continually studying the impact of COVID-19 on the resiliency of the arts and cultural sector.

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 from 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.

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