Picture of a christmas themed whitepaper

The festive giving season is upon us! Well, the planning phase for Christmas campaigns is at least. That’s why our Christmas Giving Insights 2023 is now live, so charities can understand the latest trends in December donations

Based on four years of Enthuse data, the research examines the best days, weeks and hours for giving over the festive season. 

So without further ado, let’s look at some of the key findings.

Christmas Eve knocked off top spot 

December 21st was the best day for festive giving in 2022. Donations on that day accounted for nearly 5% of the month’s total giving, comfortably above the 3.2% daily average. The share of donations for the best performing day in 2022 (4.9%) is actually down from 2021 where Christmas Eve reigned supreme with 5.5%. Donations are spread more evenly post-Covid, given that 2019’s best performing day had 7% of the month’s donations.

While December 21st was the best day for volume of donations, December 20th was actually the highest donation revenue day. The second busiest day for donations in 2022 was December 6th (4.6%) with December 22nd (4.4%) coming in third. December 1st and 12th shared fourth spot at 4.3%. Christmas Eve on the other hand sat at 4%. This is likely due to the fact that Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday in 2022 and weekends are less popular for giving than weekdays. It’s worth charities noting that this year Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. 

Figure 1: Donations per day from 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022

In 2022 Wednesday (3.7%) was the best day for donations, narrowly beating Thursday (3.6%). This is a drop off for Friday (3.4%), having boasted top spot in 2021. Interestingly, Wednesday can also claim the best fundraising day, as December 21st was on a Wednesday. The middle of the week has always performed well for donations but this is the first time it has come out on top since this research series began. Tuesday (3.4%) and Monday (3.2%) were the next most popular days, meaning they’re still far more valuable than the weekend.

As was the case in 2019, 2020 and 2021, Saturday and Sunday were quieter days for donations and this is something charities should factor into their planning. Saturday fared slightly better at 2.7% with Sunday being the worst performing day of the week at 2.5%. 

When it comes to the best weeks for donations, there were some important changes from 2021 where weeks three and four were the best for donations. In 2022 week four improved its performance and solidified its place as the best week (4%) but week three (3.4%) actually dropped down the pecking order, with week one (3.5%) and two (3.5%) surpassing it. These changes may have been influenced by the timing of the World Cup. 

Figure 2: Average donations volume by day of the week

Golden Hour

While not a single hour, 10am – 12pm seems to be the golden slot for donations based on the 2022 data. 10am – 11am claimed the crown for the golden hour with an average of 7.25% of the day’s donations falling then. This was just narrowly ahead of 11am – 12pm at 7.24%. 

Encouragingly, 12pm – 2pm is still a fruitful period for charities, with people perhaps having time to donate while on their lunch break. The range here is between 6.4% and 6.8%. Something else for good causes to bear in mind is the fact that there is a second spike from 5pm – 8pm. Similarly, this range averages between 6.4% and 6.8%.

Figure 3: Average spread of donations in December by hour of the day

“Looking at the data over the past four years, it’s clear we’ve settled into a post-Covid giving pattern, where donations are spread more evenly across December. That’s not to say we don’t see a change year on year, with December 21st leapfrogging Christmas Eve to become the most popular day for donations.”

“We have a good idea of the best hours, days and weeks or charities to target for Christmas campaigns. The challenge for good causes at Christmas this year will, once again, be the cost of living crisis and how to maximise digital fundraising by using campaign budget wisely. The charities that perform best will be the ones that cut through the noise and find ways to resonate with people during this challenging economic period.”

Chester Mojay-Sinclare, CEO & Founder, Enthuse

Giving Tuesday

Despite another successful year in the US, Giving Tuesday stagnated in the UK last year, with just 3.5% of the festive season’s donations taking place on the day. This is a drop from 3.9% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2020. When looking at that first week of the festive fundraising season, Giving Tuesday actually lands right on the average for the week (3.5%). Meaning it’s not a standout candidate for starting Christmas campaigns on. December 1st stands clear as the best day in the opening week at 4.3%, which makes it the joint fourth highest fundraising day of the month. 

Figure 4: Giving Tuesday (29th Nov) performance compared to opening week

If you want to find out more about the festive fundraising season, you can download the Christmas Giving Insights report for free.