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#GivingTuesday 2020: A Record-Breaking Day

The world's largest evaluator of nonprofits saw an astonishing 34% increase in dollars raised for 3,675+ nonprofits

December 7, 2020



An astonishing $2.47 billion was donated to U.S. nonprofits by a reported 34.8 million people on GivingTuesday, December 1, 2020, according to Giving Tuesday, Inc., the nonprofit behind the movement and eponymous hashtag -- #GivingTuesday. That amount, described as a “massive swell of generosity”, reflected a 29% increase in donations compared to 2019.

Similarly, Charity Navigator reported a record-breaking day within a record-breaking year of contributions through its Giving Basket, which allows donors to support multiple nonprofits in one convenient checkout. The world’s largest evaluator of nonprofits saw an astonishing 34% increase in dollars raised for 3,675+ nonprofits, with over $1.4 million going to charity in 2020 compared to just over a million dollars in 2019. Donors leveraged the use of Charity Navigator’s free resources, such as its search and discovery functionality and ready-to-access curated lists of highly rated nonprofits, including its Hot Topics and Top Ten lists.

Key Findings

Giving Behavior

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, a consequential economic recession, and over 23 million Americans unemployed at the start of the lockdown to now over 11 million people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, donors continued their wave of generosity in spite of those odds.

To highlight the extraordinary success of this year’s GivingTuesday would be only one piece of a large puzzle that began earlier this year.  We can attest to donors using the Charity Navigator website to research nonprofits and to donate through our Giving Basket.  July to December, saw a 44% increase in dollars raised compared to the same time period in 2019.  That increase alone accounts for an additional $2.4 million more in charitable giving.

But there’s more.  Here are a few, important highlights and noteworthy comparisons for donation activity through Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket:

  • As stated earlier, GivingTuesday 2020 (December 1) saw an increase in total dollars raised -- up 34% from $1,040,436 in 2019 to $1,403,520 this year

  • There were 49% more donors on December 1, 2020 vs. December 3, 2019 (GivingTuesday 2019) -- 2,600+ vs. 1,700+, respectively

  • Charity Navigator also experienced an increase in the number of donations on GivingTuesday 2020 -- up 43% from just over 9,000 in 2019 to over 13,000 in 2020

  • The number of charities supported increased by 25% from more than 2,900 charities in 2019 to over 3,600 this year

  • From July to December 2020, more donors used Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket to facilitate their giving -- 42% more compared to the same time period in 2019; from almost 18,000 last year to more than 25,000 this year

  • The number of donations increased by 46% from July to December 2020

  • And, the number of charities receiving donations from July to December also increased -- up 42% from just over 7,400 in 2019 to more than 10,000 in 2020

Charity Navigator’s Programs

With the launch of the Encompass Rating System in July 2020, Charity Navigator increased the number of rated nonprofits by 1822%. Donors visiting Charity Navigator were afforded more choice than ever before. As a result, the previously unrated pages experienced a 75% increase in pageviews on GivingTuesday 2020 when compared to GivingTuesday 2019.

Donors visiting Charity Navigator on GivingTuesday 2020, were also presented with additional performance data when compared to the same time period in 2019. 20% more nonprofits featured impact data, with over 1,100 receiving organizations receiving Impact & Results scores. There was also a 356% increase in the number of nonprofits detailing in their ratings profiles on how they are listening to their constituents, donors have greater access to more data to make more informed decisions about their philanthropic giving.

Website Statistics

An increase in the number of visitors to the Charity Navigator website, including those who ultimately donated through the Giving Basket, was also reflected on GivingTuesday this year. Compared to GivingTuesday 2019, in 2020 -- the number of visitors to CharityNavigator.org was up 27%, sessions increased 27%, and pageviews also increased 26%.

A partial driver for the increase in site traffic was media coverage on GivingTuesday 2020. Charity Navigator was invited to share giving strategies and giving trends for media outlets such as Forbes Advisor, MarketWatch, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, and more. This led to a 101% increase in reach for Charity Navigator compared to GivingTuesday 2019.


The entire team at Charity Navigator is heartened by the outpouring of support and the increased use of Charity Navigator on GivingTuesday 2020 - this signals that, now more than ever, donors want to ensure their giving is informed and impactful.

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