By Michele Egan Sterne, Vice President, For Momentum
Early results from #GivingTuesday 2016 show another record-breaking year for the annual movement. Bolstered by an uptick in charitable donations that started around the time of the U.S. presidential election and surging into the year-end giving season, Giving Tuesday was positioned perfectly for growth.
Given that it’s only been seven days since the 2016 global day of giving, the numbers are still coming in. Still, we can offer some headlines from this year’s Giving Tuesday based on early data reporting and visualizations gathered in the last week.
#GivingTuesday 2016 Raised More Than $168 Million
According to the Giving Tuesday Data Project, a coalition of 28 different fundraising platforms, this year’s #GivingTuesday raised more than $168 million. Broken down by the 1.56 million total gifts, that gives us a mean gift size of $107.69. This same infographic, courtesy of one of the founding organizations, the 92nd Street Y, shows the power of social media with 2.4 million posts with the #GivingTuesday hashtag.
Blackbaud, one of the largest fundraising platforms participating in the Data Project, reports a 20 percent increase in online donations in the United States on #GivingTuesday 2016, compared to 2015. Blackbaud’s data shows that #GivingTuesday online giving has grown by 317 percent since the movement’s creation in 2012.
Classy, another online fundraising platform and Data Project participant, created this clever Home Alone infographic to tell its Giving Tuesday story. The infographic shows that 32 percent of the more than 6,400 donations made on Giving Tuesday via Classy donation pages were made via mobile devices. That’s up from 23 percent in 2015.
And in another section of the infographic, you can see the peak times for donations (in Pacific Standard Time). This data visualization notes that #GivingTuesday giving started in the morning and decreased at the end of the business day. This is important to note when timing your email and social media posts. I know our inboxes here at For Momentum (in Eastern Standard Time) were flooded with Giving Tuesday emails from various organizations. As the last few trickled in at the end of the work day, I felt like we’d already hit our saturation point. Lesson learned: get those emails and asks out there as early as possible!
Causes Continue to Build on the Collective Impact of #GivingTuesday
Last year, PayPal broke a Guinness World Record® for the most money raised online for charity in 24 hours. This Giving Tuesday, they beat their previous record! Approximately 550,000 PayPal users donated more than $48 million globally on #GivingTuesday 2016.
CrowdRise, a crowdfunding platform that uses crowdsourcing to raise charitable donations, used a virtual reality app to illustrate the collective impact of donations made on their site on #GivingTuesday. Each donation added a brick to the Giving Tower, which now rises 6,583 feet into a virtual sky. That’s taller than the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.
One thing we witnessed in real time on Giving Tuesday was the local affiliates of larger causes and nonprofit organizations activating around #GivingTuesday. One prime example of this was the partnership between Facebook and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Gates Foundation pledged to contribute up to $1 million to fundraisers on the largest social media site. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation promised $500,000 in matching funds, up to $1,000 per Facebook fundraiser, and Facebook waived up to $500,000 of fees on all donations.
All users had to do to take advantage of the matching funds and waived fees was create a fundraiser on Facebook on Giving Tuesday and ask friends and family to contribute. By visiting the Facebook Fundraisers page, you could see that some global causes like Movember had mobilized their army of local supporters to create fundraising pages in the hopes of securing some of the matching funds. Facebook reports that it processed $6.79 million in U.S. charitable donations on Giving Tuesday. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reached their initial match within hours on Giving Tuesday, so they increased their pledge to $900,000 in matching donations, supporting 9,800 charities. Talk about collective impact!
More Companies Are Participating in #GivingTuesday
And since we’re in the business of partnering the right causes with the right businesses, we’re happy to share this bit of good news for last. According to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), a coalition of corporate executive officers united to use their business powers for good, Giving Tuesday experienced record levels of corporate support. The CECP reports that 82 of the world’s largest companies—including brands like AOL, Cisco, Macy’s, Newman’s Own, Disney and more—took part in #GivingTuesday 2016. That’s the highest participation level to date.
This trend means that Giving Tuesday isn’t just for engaging individuals. The movement has demonstrated in just five short years that companies along with their customers and employees can collectively have an even bigger impact by rallying around this one day of raising funds and volunteering. Having some of the world’s biggest causes, foundations, platforms and brands on board can only mean continued growth for future Giving Tuesdays. The countdown has already begun for next year’s #GivingTuesday 2017—356 more days until November 28th.