Bonus Episode: #GivingTuesday 2021
Fresh Research

#GivingTuesday in 2020 raised an estimated $2.47 billion both online and offline, which was up 25% from $1.97 billion in 2019. Almost 35 million people participated in 2020. What’s on tap for 2021?

According to Woodrow Rosenbaum, that’s up to nonprofits. “We’ve been handed an opportunity. It’s not often that you have an industry that’s had a multi-year trend that just suddenly turns positive,” the chief data officer for Giving Tuesday said in this bonus episode of the Fresh Research podcast. “Whether that becomes a positive legacy of this crisis, depends on what we do now. How we engage them now, in this absolutely critical time, is going to be the difference between preserving this shift and going back to a declining donor base.

#GivingTuesday was the single biggest day for donor acquisition in 2020, with Dec. 1 showing the highest percentage of donors acquired across all cause areas, according to Rosenbaum. Donor acquisition was up, there were more donors in the system, and multi-year trends for contractions reversed.

“There’s a really pervasive scarcity mentality in the nonprofit sector and it’s really harmful and most of all because the data do not support it. The giving economy is lot more elastic than people realize. #GivingTuesday is one example of the potential to get more and not have it cannibalize other giving,” he said. “As soon as you release yourself from this fear of competition and this scarcity mentality, it opens up all kinds of opportunities to engage and to re-engage. Donors aren’t tired of giving but that doesn’t mean they’re not tired of your message.”

Whole Whale predicts that this year’s #GivingTuesday will surpass $3 billion for the first time. Using analysis that includes trends in Google Search terms, national giving trends, and adjusted linear regression, the digital consultancy to nonprofits estimates that $3.048 billion will be raised on #GivingTuesday, which would be 27%, or $648 million, more than the 2020 total.