Charitable giving exceeded $971 million, partially fueled by the convenience of mobile commerce.
That’s according to data aggregated in PayPal’s interactive tracker, the company’s online “giving” platform. In addition to contributions made during the holidays, PayPal reported it processed $7.3 billion in contributions in 2016 — an 11% increase in charitable giving for the year.
Specifically, 8 million PayPal users in 181 countries contributed $971,213,604 to 282,053 charities, making 2016 the biggest year for end-of-year donations with PayPal ever, the company said.
Charitable organizations are not just raising funds through galas, auctions, written appeals and paper checks. Between the digitization of cash and the mass adoption of mobile technology, 21% of gifts were made via a mobile device this holiday season. This is a 12% increase compared to 2015, PayPal said.
Mobile platforms also enable consumers to contribute in real-time. For example, more donations were processed on Dec. 31, than any other day in 2016 as consumers contributed over $77 million to thousands of charities globally that day. While the last week of the year saw a tremendous spike in charitable contributions, #GivingTuesday ((Nov. 29) ranked as the third highest day for donations as the global movement continues to expand year over year, PayPal said.
Overall, the largest single gift of the season was more than $230,000 with the average contribution of $93, slightly above the yearlong average of $89. Though many consumers save larger gifts for end-of-year contributions, hundreds of thousands of $1 and $5 gifts resulted in millions of dollars for charitable organizations over the holiday season, PayPal said.
Looking to 2017, PayPal expects charitable giving to expand into new contexts “as technology and social media platforms power new and innovative ways for people to support the causes they’re most passionate about,” the company said. “Traditional donations will continue to result in billions of dollars for charitable organizations each year, but new means of philanthropy, such as crowdfunding platforms, will increase in popularity as donors are given more choice in how they give back.”