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What Giving Tuesday has Done for Philanthropy

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The Impact of Giving Tuesday: a Celebration of Generosity

2022 Marks the 10th Anniversary of #GivingTuesday

It began as a simple idea …

In 2012, the 92nd Street Y, a community center in New York City, came up with the novel notion of funneling the generous spending already associated with the holiday shopping season toward charitable organizations.

First there was Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday. Why not #GivingTuesday a hashtag to encourage people to give back after two days of consumption!

 The concept spread like wildfire and gained even more momentum years later when it was adopted by a separate organization which kept the name and took up the mantle to organize and structure the day. Now just a decade after its inception, GivingTuesday has become the second-largest giving day of the year for nonprofits, surpassed only by December 31. And it continues to set annual donation records to help organizations like yours garner the financial support they need to impact the individuals and communities they serve.

According to the GivingTuesday 2021 Impact Report, last year GivingTuesday donations reached $2.7 billion – a 9% increase over 2020 and a 37% increase from pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales declined.

But GivingTuesday has become more than a day of increasingly generous financial support. It has morphed into a worldwide movement, inspiring people in more than 80 countries to help their fellow man and embrace the causes they care about.

“What GivingTuesday has essentially done for philanthropy is to popularize the culture of giving,” says Summit Marketing’s president, Michelle Noyes. “While giving has always been a satisfying experience and for many people a moral or spiritual obligation, it has now been infused with fun, excitement and a feeling of being part of a collaboration that spans the country and the globe.”

 

Let’s look at five important ways the GivingTuesday evolution is impacting nonprofits:

 

  • Attracting new donors  The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022 found that nonprofits acquire 10 times more donors on GivingTuesday and see double the conversion rate compared to an average day of the year. These donors are also more likely to give again in the following months. That makes GivingTuesday a powerful entry point for those considering joining the giving world, and they’re more likely to stay because it is such a rewarding experience.
  • Promoting multiple avenues of support  In addition to financial contributions, millions of people gave back in countless ways on GivingTuesday 2021, including volunteering, providing goods and services and simply giving voice to their favorite causes on social media. While people embrace these and other alternatives to get involved when they may feel financially insecure, many other participants do both. “The most common way of giving on GivingTuesday is giving money,” says Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “But the least common way is only giving money.”

“Remember to apply sound fundraising and relationship-building principles to those who initially choose to volunteer or provide gifts in kind as their form of participation on GivingTuesday. With proper recognition, love and care, these individuals may be converted into financial donors.”  –  Tammy Nigus, Senior Communications & Creative Director.

  • Building and enhancing campaigns  The spirit and momentum of GivingTuesday has been successfully harnessed to kick off annual holiday and year-end campaigns, expanding what is already the most lucrative giving season of the year. At Summit Marketing, we feature GivingTuesday prominently in our digital and email campaigns to engage donors to take advantage of this most lucrative giving opportunity.
  • Drawing young people to philanthropy  While the appeal of GivingTuesday spans all generations, it seems tailor-made for drawing young people into the giving fold and activating the next generation of philanthropic leaders. The movement’s reliance on social media allows them to utilize the tools they excel at to be a voice for the causes they’re passionate about. And opportunities to create their own social projects and acts of giving back allows them to feel their participation is transformational, not simply transactional.
  • Spawning collective action   The growing scope of GivingTuesday has compelled fundraisers, nonprofits and their supporters alike to think about bringing people together in a spirit of philanthropy on a community-wide and even global scale. The GivingTuesday report highlights efforts to create cause- and culture-based coalitions to spark civic engagement, organize care efforts, increase charitable capacity and coalesce support not only in the United States, but also countries including Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

 

A worldwide mindset of giving – if even for just one Tuesday – can only bring incredible results.

As GivingTuesday marks its 10th anniversary, no one could have foreseen the growth and impact of this simple concept. As we look to the future, nonprofits like yours are encouraged to place no limits on the potential of this amazing movement, and to seek new ways to use it to inspire and involve those who share your mission.

With 36 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, Summit Marketing can help your organization harness the power of GivingTuesday.