Money & Business

“A Frenzy of Giving”: #GivingTuesday Donations Approach $50 Million

By / Dec 9, 2014

In its third year, the #GivingTuesday movement continued to see huge gains across several categories. While donation totals are still being calculated, several estimates put the number close to $50 million.

For all the spending consumers did from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, they dug even deeper into their pockets last week for #GivingTuesday. Donations are still being calculated, but several sources estimate that the total will come close to, and possibly surpass, $50 million.

It feels like it’s this wonderful match to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which inspires this frenzy of buying. It’s a really nice match in that it inspires a frenzy of giving.

The Nonprofit Times estimates about $47 million in contributions last Tuesday, up from $32 million in 2013. That estimate, based on a survey of five companies that process online donations—Blackbaud, DonorPerfect, Network for Good, Razoo, and Click & Pledge—does not include figures from PayPal, which processed close to $4 million in #GivingTuesday donations in 2013. The average online donation this year was $128.30, down slightly from last year.

Other findings from the Times’ research:

  • Blackbaud processed $26.1 million in online donations on #GivingTuesday, up 36 percent from $19.2 million in 2013. In its own statement, Blackbaud reported a 15 percent increase in the number of nonprofit organizations that processed a donation (to more than 4,300) and a 50 percent increase in the volume of online transactions. And mobile made a difference:  17 percent of donation-form views came from mobile devices, up from zero in the first year.
  • Network for Good had the largest percentage jump in total donations, from $1.78 million in 2013 to $4.58 million (257 percent).
  • DonorPerfect reported 857 organizations processed 9,302 online transactions, for a total of $1.44 million—an average gift of almost $155. The firm also processed 27,326 offline transactions from 1,690 organizations that totaled $10.7 million—an average gift of $391.57.
  • Crowdfunding platforms participated in #GivingTuesday for the first time this year. Indiegogo, for one, reported $7.5 million raised across 419 campaigns.

Organizations that were ready for the growth in mobile giving saw the effort pay off: Groups with a responsively designed website and donation form had a 34 percent higher conversion rate, according to Blackbaud data.

“The modern donor is becoming a mobile donor,” Steve MacLaughlin, director of product management at Blackbaud, told the Times. “As usual, it will be donors who will force nonprofits to embrace mobile. For nonprofits, that should be the alarm bell of, ‘Wow, we should make sure our websites are mobile.’”

A Case Foundation analysis of donations from #GivingTuesday estimated that $45.68 million was raised, with the total number of donations growing by nearly 63 percent. The group said more than 15,000 nonprofits from 68 countries participated, and social media impressions more than tripled. Twitter impressions hit 32.7 million (up from 10 million last year), and users tweeted 700,000 hashtag mentions.

“It feels like it’s here to stay,” Sheila Herrling, senior vice president for social innovation at the Case Foundation, said in an interview with the Associated Press last week. “It feels like it’s this wonderful match to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which inspires this frenzy of buying. It’s a really nice match in that it inspires a frenzy of giving.”

Founded in 2012 by New York City-based nonprofit 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the #GivingTuesday movement has seen exponential growth each year. Since the inaugural event, overall online giving is up 159 percent.

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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