Facebook Reports Decline In #GivingTuesday Total

Facebook estimated $120 million was raised yesterday via Facebook Fundraisers along with $20 million raised in the week leading up to #GivingTuesday. About 1.1 million people started or donated to a Facebook Fundraiser on #GivingTuesday and about 97,000 nonprofits benefited.

Last year, $125 million was raised via Facebook, the highest single platform amid $380 million in preliminary estimates. In 2017, $45 million was raised via Facebook. This is the first year estimates were provided on how many nonprofits and donors participated via Facebook. The platform reported a “substantial increase” this year in #GivingTuesday-related fundraisers leading up to the day. Next year, it aims to provide estimates on fundraising via Instagram, which it also owns.

Matching gifts from Facebook totaling $7 million were “met within a matter of seconds” after it kicked off at 8 a.m. ET. A single nonprofit was limited to $100,000 in matching gifts, down from $250,000 last year, to get more organizations and donations matched. There also was a $20,000 per donor cap.

#GivingTuesday is expected to release preliminary estimates on yesterday’s online fundraising totals in the United States at some point today.

Whole Whale, a digital data and technology firm to nonprofits, predicted that giving would surpassed $500 million on #GivingTuesday this year. Founder and CEO George Weiner is sticking with that prediction but moving the total giving number still relies on the super-wealthy for now, citing Facebook’s $7 million match and a $1.1-million gift to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research from a donor-advised fund of a client of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

The awareness of #GivingTuesday has not broken through. There’s a “steady din of interest,” according to Google Trends, he said, but it will probably never see a sudden “hockey stick” moment the way Cyber Monday did because the volume of ad dollars will never be invested in the day. “Instead, it will grow steadily, sustainably, and over time like a redwood tree that will stand the test of time,” he said.

#GivingTuesday is becoming a week of giving and not just one day, in the same way that the holiday shopping season is starting earlier in the calendar.

“We’re seeing more and more people and nonprofits starting to fundraise earlier and earlier, sending emails, asking people to make donations, before we get to #GivingTuesday,” said Mike Liddell, general manager of digital at EveryAction. “Then there’s a huge focus on #GivingTuesday but we also see a long tail. We’re still seeing donations come in” the next day, he said, and emails asking for more donations, extending matching gifts, and other innovative techniques to take it from one day to a larger opportunity.

EveryAction also is seeing more giving on the Monday before #Giving Tuesday and already seeing higher levels of giving today, according to Liddell.

This year, EveryAction has been tracking giving the week around #GivingTuesday. In 2018, the amount giving on #GivingTuesday more than doubled the amount collectively given over the previous five days.

While the greatest amount of money was raised on #GivingTuesday last year, the day after saw the highest average gift size, of $135. Two days out from this year’s #GivingTuesday, EveryAction reported that average gift was down significantly compared to 2018, from $48.71 to $36.30. This year, 38,502 donations were made on the platform on Sunday.