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When COVID-19 hit this year, we saw many companies giving back to their employees and their communities—through shopping local, supporting mental health, providing free access to content, and many other ways. 

We were curious if these charitable trends continued throughout the year or if giving was limited to the start of the pandemic.

How charitable were small businesses in 2020?

Using transaction data from the Divvy Platform, we filtered for credit card transactions with merchant category code 8398 (for “Charitable Organizations”) in order to see donations made by our SMB customers. 

While the number of donations made to charitable organizations by businesses did fall in March and April, there has been a steady growth of charitable support since.

In 2020, the organization that was donated to most often by businesses was the American Red Cross, followed by the charities like Feeding America and the Nurses Association.

How has charitable giving changed in 2020?

When we compared 2020 charitable giving to last year’s numbers, we also found these heartwarming results: 

The average dollar amount donated by businesses in 2020 never fell below 2019 numbers. In fact, the average amount donated was at its highest in April of this year—with the exception of the month of December. 

(While December data is not yet complete, the average amount donated by small businesses in this month is already close to $1400 dollars—much higher even than April’s numbers).

DATA: 2019 vs 2020 Average charitable donation amount by SMBs

2019 vs 2020 Average charitable donation amount by SMBs

2019 2020
January $388 $501
February $245 $476
March $242 $433
April $241 $687
May $259 $387
June $407 $624
July $311 $386
August $252 $416
September $253 $492
October $360 $528
November $401 $477
December $392 $1388*

As seen in Divvy spend data

SMBs are giving back

This analysis of charitable giving came specifically from Divvy customer spend data, made up of many small to mid-sized business owners. It’s heartening to see that even the SMBs who have been hit hardest by this recession are doing more to give back to those in need. 

If your business is among those who have increased their philanthropic efforts this year, you’re in good company. Even at Divvy, our team recently rallied together and raised over $10,000 in employee donations to the Utah Food Bank and Humane Society of Utah

If you can donate this year, we encourage you to do so, because there are many who can’t.

Consider donating to the American Red Cross or Feeding America, like many of the small businesses we studied. Or use Divvy virtual cards to send funds to your employees so they can donate to a charity of their choice.

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