#GivingTuesday Can Be More Than An Ask

Lots of nonprofits ask for donations on #GivingTuesday but there are plenty that also use the annual day of giving as an opportunity to thank donors. Some of them even have found that to be a great fundraising opportunity.

Last year, Indianapolis, Ind.-based Second Helpings aimed to thank 1,500 donors on #GivingTuesday. In the process of thank you calls, the hunger relief agency received nine gifts totaling more than $1,000.

Only giving money is actually the minority behavior on #GivingTuesday, according to Woodrow Rosenbaum, data and insights lead for GivingTuesday.org. Saying thank you is a beautiful way to celebrate generosity on the day and that’s what #GivingTuesday is about, he said during an appearance on the latest episode of Fresh Research, a podcast by The NonProfit Times.

“Certainly don’t limit your engagement to just asking for money,” Rosenbaum said. Volunteering in the U.S. on #GivingTuesday is almost as popular as giving money, despite the fact that most of the campaigns are asks. “It’s not fundraising Tuesday, it’s #GivingTuesday,” he said.

Donations on #GivingTuesday continued a trend of growing year-over-year since its inception in 2012. Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday this year will fall on Dec. 3.

There were 3.6 million gifts given on #GivingTuesday in 2018, totaling about $400 million, and some 14.2 billion social media mentions, according to GivingTuesday.org. The average gift was estimated to be $105.

#GivingTuesday “looks a lot like a natural disaster with respect to donation behavior,” Rosenbaum said. “People give more and that lift has been increasing year-over-year and it’s sustained,” he said. “So this does generate a net lift on donations, without cannibalizing the rest of the year,” he said.

“There’s a big, big advantage to starting your campaign on #GivingTuesday,” Rosenbaum said. “Organizations that participate don’t just do better on the day, they do better on the entire month of December, and by large amounts,” he said.

#GivingTuesday extends the giving season and a longer giving season works great for charities, according to Rosenbaum. “What’s good is that in addition to that, those organizations are going to do better, they’re not just moving money around, it’s a net positive for organizations that participate and the sector in aggregate,” he said.