#GivingTuesday continued double-digit growth with preliminary estimates topping $380 million for yesterday’s event and overall giving eclipsing $1 billion since it started in 2012.
The $380 million preliminary estimate, released late Wednesday, includes only online donations in the United States and is some $80 million more, about 27 percent, than last year’s $300 million. Among the more than 3.6 million donations, the average gift size was $105.55. That compares with an average gift in 2017 of $120.40, a difference of 12 percent, but a 45-percent jump from the more than 2.5 million donations in 2017.
— Asha Curran (@RadioFreeAsha) November 29, 2018
“When we first conceived of #GivingTuesday, we imagined a way to use people’s collective power to overcome what divides us, and unite behind our shared values,” Henry Timms, executive director of 92Y and co-founder of #GivingTuesday, said via a press release announcing the estimates. “To now surpass a billion dollars in giving and volunteering is a testament to a global spirit of generosity that may not always make it into the headlines but is evident in every corner of America and around the world,” he said.
#GivingTuesday has become a global event, with activities in dozens of countries. The seventh annual global day of giving, held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has become the kick-off to the annual holiday giving season.
Among the campaigns noted by 92Y, the #PanhandleGives campaign in Amarillo, Texas, exceeded its goal of $500,000, raising $750,000 to benefit more than 100 organizations. #GiveBigDFW, the #GivingTuesday community campaign in North Texas led by three United Way affiliates, raised $31 million from more than 33,000 donors, with 167 nonprofits participating.
“We would all benefit from moving away from counting the money to measuring the impact of #GivingTuesday,” said Steve MacLaughlin, vice president of data & analytics at Blackbaud, a Charleston, S.C.-based fundraising technology firm and founding partner of #GivingTuesday.
Volunteers in Venezuela distributed 530 food donations on the streets of Caracas and volunteer doctors gave free exams to pediatric patients. In Ukraine, #GivingTuesday kicked off a new curriculum in more than 200 schools that will teach a lesson on charity each month, emphasizing non-financial giving, with students participating in giving projects.
Although fundraising asks seemed to be the most popular way for charities to participate in #GivingTuesday, there were some that made it a day to thank donors or direct volunteer and community service efforts. More than 100 volunteers at the Stamford, Conn., headquarters of Americares packed hygiene kits. Organizations in Puerto Rico, still rebuilding after Hurricane Maria in 2017, cleaned up beaches and helped repair homes. Corporations also got involved in matching employee gifts or partnering with charities.
Almost one-third of $380 million tallied so far was raised through Facebook, which along with PayPal matched up to $7 million in gifts and waives transactions fees. The $125 million raised via Facebook was almost three times as much as the $45 million raised last year.
Five platforms that processed donations yesterday reported a combined $336 million raised (last year’s preliminary figures in parentheses):
- Facebook, $125 million ($45 million);
- PayPal, $98 million ($64 million);
- Blackbaud, $62.6 million ($60.9 million);
- DonorPerfect, $35.2 million ($27.7 million); and,
- Classy, $15.4 million ($10.3 million).
Last year, some 37 platforms reported fundraising statistics to the 92Y Giving Tuesday Data Project, which tabulated $274 million in initial estimates. A final report, released in early 2017, tabulated about $301 million in #GivingTuesday donations.