Leaders Talk Turkey About #GivingTuesday

There’s no doubt that 2020 is a year unlike any other in no small part due to the pandemic but Thanksgiving will still be on a Thursday in November. And that means that #GivingTuesday will still be the following Tuesday.

Don’t think that donors aren’t willing to be generous despite the difficulties that have come down the pike this year. As Woodrow Rosenbaum describes it: “This might be the hottest generosity market we have ever seen.”

Rosenbaum, the chief data officer for Giving Tuesday, presented a compelling case during a recent webinar about what to expect from #GivingTuesday in 2020 and that donor fatigue could just be in your head. “Don’t retreat. Don’t worry about asking. You’re there to provide opportunity for people to have agency over their lives,” he said.

“People are worried that because there is so much giving going on right now that year end is going to be weak. At no time have we seen that higher giving is an indicator of lower giving. We’ve only ever seen the opposite. We’ve seen the same concerns when there’ve been unprecedented levels of disaster response prior to year-end,” he said.

The Giving Tuesday Data Collaborative estimated that $511 million was raised online during the 2019 iteration of #GivingTuesday, with offline and online giving combined of $1.97 billion, to say nothing of the countless acts of generosity. Since its inception in 2012, more than $1.5 billion has been raised during #GivingTuesday. It also engaged an estimated 27 million participants and 7.6 million volunteers last year.

The New York-based digital B-corporation, Whole Whale, predicts that #GivingTuesday will raise $605 million this year, which would be an 18-percent increase compared to 2019.

GivingTuesdayNow, a May event in response to the pandemic, raised nearly as much online, $503 million, as last year’s #GivingTuesday. That event could be why Internet searches for “GivingTuesday” were up 80 percent year-over-year for August and September, according to Whole Whale. The absence of in-person events because of the pandemic might mean that nonprofits are ready to activate their audiences online. This year is also the first year that cryptocurrency will be in play, with #BitcoinTuesday.

The Giving Tuesday blog offers a variety of suggestions and how-tos to get involved in the day, from practical tips promoting your nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday campaign on social media to ways that nonprofits can participate without asking for money. To receive ideas for making a difference in your community, text “Giving Tuesday” to 33777

“People are primed to give and this is one of the outlets people have to express that generosity. You guys need to be there in order to afford that opportunity,” Rosenbaum said.

Time and again, the majority of givers respond that #GivingTuesday inspired them to be more generous, Rosenbaum said. “After their first #GivingTuesday experience, those givers tend to give and give more often. We’re actually changing their behavior, not just their attitudes.”