PayPal saw nearly $1 billion in charitable donations over the holidays

Paypal HQ

PayPal has tallied up all the charitable donations it processed during the recent holiday season. The online payment processing company announced that 8 million PayPal users from 181 countries donated $971.21 million to 282,053 organizations at the end of 2016. Of course, that’s merely a fraction of the more than $7 billion in charitable giving PayPal said went through its service in the past 12 months.

The holiday giving season may have officially started on Giving Tuesday in November, but PayPal didn’t limit itself to a few weeks of the year. Sure, it sought to accelerate year-end donations with a GoFundMe partnership, matching all donations made through its Give Cheer site by 1 percent, but it also allowed anyone to create their own charitable campaigns.

PayPal said more donations were processed on New Year’s Eve than on any other day of the year, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone, as it’s an opportunity to get last-minute tax deductions on the books. The company said $77 million was contributed on December 31 to “thousands” of charities worldwide.

The largest amount given was more than $230,000, and the average amount was $93 – above the yearlong average of $89. But there were also “hundreds of thousands” of people who gave $1 or $5.

Mobile donations played an important part in the past year’s holiday season, with 21 percent of all contributions coming via a smartphone or tablet. This is a 12 percentage point increase from 2015.

Factoring that into the entire year, PayPal said it processed a total of $7.3 billion in charitable giving in 2016, an 11 percent uptick compared to 2015.

“We are thankful for the generosity that our PayPal users showed this past holiday season,” said PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman in a statement. “We look forward to another year of innovation around new services and capabilities so that all of us can continue to make a positive impact in every community around the world that PayPal helps to serve.”


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