Christmas wreathe

The festive season is one of the most important on the calendar for charities, which is why it’s so important to get those campaigns right. The Christmas holidays are a time for appreciation and generosity for many, so charities will want to make sure they’re appealing to their supporters at what is traditionally a busy time for donations.

That’s why our Christmas Giving Insight 2022 report examines the best weeks, days and hours for giving over December, to inform Christmas fundraising activities. 

So what are the key findings that charities need to know?

Christmas giving: best days and weeks

Donations on Christmas Eve (5.5%) were 53% higher than an average day in December (3.2%). This makes it the top day for giving across the festive period at 5.5% of the month’s donations. This is up on the percentage of donations made in 2020, but down on pre-pandemic levels of 2019, when 7% of all December donations were made on the day. 

The next best day for donations in 2021 was the 21st December at 5.1%. The success of Christmas Eve also catapulted Friday to 2021’s best day for donations with an average of 3.8% of donations per day. However, it’s worth noting that charities should likely consider Thursday (3.7%) as the rightful winner, as Christmas Eve had a significant impact on the average. 

Tuesday and Wednesday are also healthy donation days, coming in at 3.5% and 3.6% respectively. The much lower donations rates on Saturday (2.4%), Sunday (2.5%) and Monday (2.8%) mean they are definitely days for charities to avoid with email campaigns and paid media. That said, Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday in 2022, which will either lead to a bumper Saturday or a strong showing for December 23rd. 

Figure 1: Donations by day of the week

When it comes to the best performing weeks, weeks three and four of December came out on top, with week four (3.8%) narrowly pipping 2020’s winner, week three (3.7%). Charities may want to use the first fortnight for building awareness of their Christmas fundraising campaigns ahead of when donors are at their most generous. Week five sees a significant drop off from week four, halving from 3.8% to 1.9%. This suggests there is little value in putting budget behind festive campaigns in the last week of the month.

Figure 2: Donations by week

Golden hour for donations

For the second year running, 10am – 1pm has come out as the best time slot for December donations. While there isn’t by far and away a best hour for charities to hone in on, 11am did come out as the best for festive donations in 2021. 11am had an average of 7.9% of daily donations and was sandwiched by 7% at both 10am and noon. In terms of times to avoid, before 8am and after 8pm do see diminishing returns for donations.

Figure 3: Donations by hour

“We’re seeing donation patterns emerge in the past couple of years that should help charities plan their Christmas fundraising campaigns with a good degree of certainty. Working patterns have settled since the outbreak of Covid and people’s giving habits have adapted. The challenge for charities will not necessarily be which time periods to prioritise but how they spread budget across those days and hours.”

“The cost of living crisis will of course impact Christmas giving in 2022 which is why maximising digital fundraising efforts will be so important. Ensuring your charity gets the right message, to the right people, at the right time will have a real impact on your festive fundraising.”

Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Founder & CEO, Enthuse

Giving Tuesday

Despite another successful year in the US, Giving Tuesday stagnated last year. In 2021, Giving Tuesday accumulated 3.9% of the Christmas giving period donations. This was actually a drop from 4.2% in 2020. Considering that Giving Tuesday fell on the last day of the month in 2021 and this would have been pay day for many, it’s perhaps surprising to not see a stronger performance. As the day falls around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the success of those two retail days may dictate how much disposable income people have for charitable giving in 2022.

Figure 4: Donations in the first week of December (incl. Giving Tuesday 30th Nov)

If you want to discover more, download your free copy of the Christmas Giving Insights report 2022.