Thu, November 29 2012

Did people give on #GivingTuesday?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Since I work at Network for Good, I have access to all kinds of nifty data on giving.  We process donations for tens of thousands of nonprofits via their websites and partners like Crowdrise and YourCause.  So I was interested to see if the big push to encourage giving earlier this week - the first ever GivingTuesday “national day of giving” - yielded results.

The early answer seems to be yes, it prompted giving.

When we compared overall giving on GivingTuesday this year to giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving last year, we found donations more than doubled.  Since Network for Good has been growing all year, we also looked at giving this past Monday compared to Tuesday to get a sense of what growth was attributable to GivingTuesday.  We found donations on Tuesday were 55% higher than Monday.

Blackbaud is showing a bump as well - 53% on GivingTuesday this year vs. the same Tuesday last year.

To me, this just underlines the power of several things in fundraising:

1. A sense of urgency: Naming a day after giving and urging action that particular day seems to have worked for many charities.  Nonprofits that added matching donations into the mix did even better.

2. Social norms: Creating an impression that many other people are taking action is effective.

3. Seasonality: November and December are the easiest times to get people to donate.  People are in spending and giving mode.  I don’t think the day would have been as effective were it in January.

Did your organization invite donations on Tuesday?  What were your results?

  • Comment: (9)   


This is good news indeed though I’m much more interested in seeing the spike in donations measured against the longer term: both in terms of its effect on overall giving for this “giving season” (does it generate an overall boost in giving or did it just spark earlier giving?) and measured against historical trends (that is, considering where we are in the overall economy and recovery, is any increase in giving more likely a result of general giving trends or can we see an actual, measurable, substantial boost in donations that we could ascribe to #GivingTuesday).

Posted by Mark Lilleleht  on  11/29  at  09:15 AM

A friend and I were discussing Giving Tuesday’s results yesterday.  We both had the same thought.  Were the donations made on Tuesday new donations/additional donations, or was it the normal gift people give at the end of the year and they just gave it on Tuesday due to the publicity around the day.  I realize it will be several weeks until anyone can answer this question, but it would be interesting to know the answer.  (Thank you for the great information!)

Posted by Renee' Carey  on  11/29  at  09:19 AM

It didn’t seem that anyone knew of this in my city (including our local United Way Agency) more than a couple of days before it happened.  We were definitely not in the loop. I suspect that it is now on the radar, though, and we may try to align with the date in 2013.

However, we are doing a 24 hour day of giving called ROCtheDay on 12/12/12 this year.  The idea of giving people a sense of urgency works, though, as we had a successful giving day last year around the same timeframe.  This method is being used in cities across the country to galvanize the community supporters to effect positive change in their communities.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  09:47 AM

Mark and Renee, Good questions.  We will have to see what happens next in year-end giving.  Network for Good is working with some researchers to do a deep dive on our data.  I will post again when we have answers to some of your questions!

Posted by Katya Andresen  on  11/29  at  09:48 AM

Milwaukee perspective:  Milwaukee’s “Morning Blend” tv show discussed #GivingTuesday on our suggestion in their opening segment, we received $100 donation through Crowdrise, and for our part, we tweeted a bunch, Facebooked it, LinkedIn’d it, shared the YouTube vid, Pinned it, G+’d it.  It was everywhere. 

The most disappointing thing?  Seeing the message get twisted into individual nonprofit requests for giving rather than a general thematic day with a suggestion to give to any nonprofit (and we’d be happy to be your choice) type of message.  Working for a nonprofit and sharing the message of #GivingTuesday was our approach but it felt commercialized with NPOs that were doing direct asks for themselves on social platforms using the hashtag.  I also saw at least 2 nonprofit eNewsletters doing direct asks for themselves using #GivingTuesday.  Wondering how that worked for them or if they annoyed followers.  Regardless, that’s my insight.  I got sick of seeing that approach on Twitter and Facebook but maybe that just speaks to the appropriate use of social media and the spirit of sharing, RT’ng and giving that is oft misunderstood in nonprofits. 

Btw I was glad to see coverage on NPR!

Posted by CarolV  on  11/29  at  12:44 PM

Yes, our organization invited donations for Giving Tuesday, through a focused social media strategy, and received nearly $30,000 in that single day!

Posted by Andy O'Shea  on  11/30  at  09:56 AM

#Giving Tuesday was very powerful for us. We had 38 donors in the space of 10 hours. The matching money from Case was a HUGE incentive. I won’t hesitate to participate again, through our Crowdrise account. We are grateful for the donations this one day generated: it will help keep our vocational training program going for an additional 7 months. I fundraise alone, so you can imagine what a great day this was for our charity.

Posted by Jane Kingc  on  12/03  at  05:07 PM

I’d say that 25% of the donations we received were new donors. I’ve thought about this a lot. I advocate for our charity all the time on Facebook and it doesn’t generate donations. The fact that contributions would be matchedwas an incentive for our donors to participate. I asked for $10 donations and we got those from first time donors. Another powerful aspect of #Giving Tuesday was that some pretty high profile organizations were supporting it. When I fundraise for our tiny, grassroots nonprofit, it doesn’t make as strong an impression as when I can say, “Look: we’re part of something that’s BIGGER than we are. We’re legit in these organizations’ eyes. Help us out.” I am already planning strategy for next year.

Posted by Jane King  on  12/04  at  05:14 PM

What’s wrong with direct asks? I don’t take a salary for running my charity. If I go under, then lots of kids in the orphanage in Bogota lose the opportunity to learn how to make a living off the streets. #Giving Tuesday made it clear that this was an open forum for discussion about giving. I offered our charity up as a good place to give. I have problems with charities that hire phone banks. 1-
00% of what we raise goes into the vocational training program. I’ve had a few of our long time donors tell me that they give to us because they know where the money is going. We’re small, personal and our mission is on the table for anyone to see. Direct asks. How else do you raise money? We weren’t holding donors at gunpoint…everyone had choices.

Posted by Jane King  on  12/04  at  05:19 PM

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