The #GivingTuesday backstory and what you can learn from its success

If you are one of the many charities that participated in Giving Tuesday on November 28, 2017, you surely recognize the growing impact of the movement on your community of donors and volunteers. Now in its 6th year, Giving Tuesday was launched in 2012 by the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact at New York’s 92nd Street Y, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The effort brought together a powerful team of influencers to shape the movement and spur a day dedicated to giving and volunteerism.

From its very inception, Giving Tuesday was designed to harness the power of social media, and the incredible growth trajectory of the movement clearly shows the power and success of this strategy. Giving Tuesday has now transformed into a global effort with thousands of organizations in over 98 countries taking part.

This year’s results highlight the incredible power that social networks have to effect change for good.
The 2017 American stats show:

  • $274 Million Raised on-line in 24 hours
  • 2.4 million total gifts
  • $110.98 mean gift size
  • 1,010,045 total social mentions
  • 21.7 billion total impressions

Likewise, the Canadian Giving Tuesday movement reports:

  • 468% Giving Tuesday donation lift in Canada since 2013 (first year of GT in Canada)
  • More than 6,000 Giving Tuesday partners
  • 43 Community Movements and coast to coast Mayoral proclamations
  • Charities that actively participate in GivingTuesday benefit the most, with a 2051% increase in dollars donated on GivingTuesday compared to the same day in 2012

So what can we learn from the incredible success of Giving Tuesday?

  1. Social media platforms are an important and effective way to reach donors. Don’t be afraid to ask your supporters to help spread your message to their networks via social media.
  2. With all efforts centred around one specific day, the power of Giving Tuesday lies in creating a focused and consistent message that is delivered across multiple platforms and through multiple organizations. This has a powerful communal effect. By taking advantage of Giving Tuesday as a marketing tool, even smaller organizations have the opportunity to reach their donors in a big way.
  3. Giving Tuesday shows that individuals and communities are looking for ways to give back and be involved with the causes they care about, but this doesn’t have to be the only day that galvanizes your community. There are likely other days on the calendar that align with your mission (International Women’s Day, Anti-Bullying Day, International Children’s Day etc.) and these can also inspire a day of action. Use these opportunities to focus your marketing efforts and challenge your donors to step up in support. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results!


Need help harnessing the power of social media or creating a day of giving for your organization? Giving Gateway can show you how.

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