Nonprofits have worked tirelessly to pivot their strategies and rally their supporters to address the effects of the global pandemic, fight systemic racism, and advance their causes this year, and donors demonstrated their unwavering commitment to these missions. More than 9.2 million individual donations were made on the platform from over 4.3 million donors in 2020. The generosity of donors and the resilience of Classy’s nonprofit community were also reflected in this year’s record-breaking Giving Tuesday results, citing $37.9 million raised in donations, the highest amount processed on a single day on Classy’s platform ever.

Earlier this year, it was estimated that one-third of nonprofits could be forced to close or merge due to the pandemic, but according to Classy’s annual Why America Gives report, Americans were eager to rise to the challenge. A quarter of respondents in the nationwide survey (24%) indicated that they would give more than last year, which is clearly demonstrated by the significant uptick in donations overall in 2020.

“In the most challenging of times, Americans are answering the call to help each other and our society. We are humbled and inspired by the way our nonprofit community has exemplified this in 2020,” said Scot Chisholm, Classy CEO and Co-Founder. “We’ve seen incredible resilience from our nonprofit customers who are finding new ways to fundraise in an online world to continue to serve their communities.”

Key highlights from Classy’s 2020 fundraising totals include:

  • Top Causes Driving Support: While many areas of society required immediate assistance this year, the top causes that inspired Americans to give back included Human Services, Health, Public and Societal Benefit, International and Foreign Affairs, and Education.
  • Rise in Recurring Giving: Classy saw over 265,000 new recurring donations activated this year, demonstrating donor investment and long-term commitment to addressing societal need.
  • Success in Peer-to-Peer Strategies: Classy also saw an uptick in donations generated from peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns in 2020 as organizations mobilized their supporters to drive greater impact.  The top five peer-to-peer campaigns this year included:
    • Camp Kesem’s Kesem 2021 campaign
    • Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Fundraise for BCRF campaign
    • Bethany International’s Fund A Student Missionary campaign
    • Second Harvest of Silicon Valley’s 2020 Holiday campaign
    • World Central Kitchen’s Fundraise for World Central Kitchen campaign
  • Rise in Virtual Events: The Why America Gives 2020 report found that a third of Americans (30%) have supported or participated in a virtual charity event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two virtual events even broke into the top five events that drew in the most fundraising dollars this year:
    • Special Olympics New Jersey’s 2020 Plunge at Seaside
    • Cleveland Clinic’s VeloSano 7 virtual event 
    • Navy SEAL Foundation’s 2020 NYC Benefit Dinner
    • City of Hope’s Miles for Hope 2020 virtual event
    • Special Olympics Maryland’s 2020 Maryland Plunge

To read more about Classy’s Year in Review, you can view the blog post here. Classy has also released a Virtual Event Tookit to help nonprofits jumpstart their 2021 fiscal years in a virtual environment, which provides best practices, creative ideas, and more.

*The data was pulled from the Classy platform on 12/21/20.

About Classy
Classy is a Certified B Corporation and social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising software for nonprofits, modernizing the giving experience to accelerate social impact around the world. Based in San Diego, CA, Classy is trusted by organizations of all sizes, from the fastest-growing nonprofits to some of the world’s largest social organizations. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. For more information, visit or follow Classy on Twitter @Classy.

CONTACT: [email protected]


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