Blog Post

Social Media and the Rise of Giving Tuesday


With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, a special day for Tuesday was just waiting to happen. Giving Tuesday is a day celebrating the season of giving, and encourages people to give. Last year, the first-ever Giving Tuesday, brought in $10 million in donations. This increase was over 50% from the same time last year, when the day didn't have a special name or message. The success of this celebration can really be correlated easily with the impact of social media, and that's what we want to address today. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn about what Giving Tuesday is all about, and the impact that social media has had to bring life to a meaningful celebration.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we’re going to be talking about Giving Tuesday, just after Cyber Monday here. I’m Chad Hill and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad, and welcome to our Brown Bag. Well, you have Black Friday, and you have Small Business Saturday, and then we just had Cyber Monday yesterday, so today we’re talking about Giving Tuesday, which is a term maybe a lot of people are not familiar with. In a culture that’s really inundated with shopping, particularly during the holidays, it’s kind of nice to be turning this topic today, Chad, and talking about Giving Tuesday which is really all about the spirit of giving. This day was created to help people think about someone other than themselves, and to kick off the holiday season with a few themes other than shopping and spending money, particularly focusing on donating time, donating money, and donating attention to the causes that you might believe in. And no, shopping is not a cause, so let’s get that clear from the start. This is the second year they’ve done Giving Tuesday, and apparently over 7000 non-profits are partnered up with the program this year, so this is something pretty exciting to see.

Here are a few stats about the holiday season, charities, and raising money. Forty-six percent of the year’s total donations are received in the last quarter of the year, so the stats we see for non-profits and raising money are not all that different than what we see on the shopping side and on the consumer side. Thirty percent of those are actually received in the last week of December, so I guess the Black Friday of non-profit fundraising is really the last weekend in December, which makes some sense. Everybody is sort of winding down their holidays, the shopping is done, and they turn their attention probably to the end of the tax year as well as to the spirit of philanthropy which has hopefully inundated them through the various holiday observances. But, it is important to note that even though this term is hopefully picking up steam with 7000 non-profits that a lot of non-profits are still hurting. Totals for 2013 are expected to actually decrease by about 1% over totals in previous years, and it’s also worth noting, Chad, that a lot of charities, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, are still really catching up from the recession and are not back to pre-recession levels of giving. So, it is an interesting subject, and I’d like your thoughts, Chad, on whether you think giving Tuesday is really going to catch on and maybe turn a little bit of that greed around.

It was interesting also that in some of those analyses, some people also use Giving Tuesday as a way to buy a gift on someone’s behalf. But, one of the things we saw when we were looking at this topic was that social media really is driving Giving Tuesday and driving a lot of philanthropy these days. In fact, some of the stats we have here are that 98% of non-profits are on Facebook, 74% are on Twitter, 66% are on YouTube, and I think we have some stats here which show that the amount of giving has gone up since 2010. It was, on average, $38, and now it’s up to $60. It’s hard to know whether that’s some of the boost they’re getting from social or whether that’s just, as you said, Adam, the economy recovering and some of those numbers getting back to where they were before 2008. One other note on the social is that it’s really allowed some of the smaller charities who used to not really be able to to compete with the national guys who had the money to really put together these national fundraising campaigns. Local businesses have been able to use social media because it’s so much more efficient and easy to reach their local market. They’ve been able to fundraise more from social media. One other note that we found here is that three of the top donors of 2012, came in under 40. One was Mark Zuckerberg. Number two, Sergey Brin, and his wife were number five. This is interesting, as it’s driven around the giving season, and social media is really playing a big part.

Yeah, interesting stuff. So, for one, it’s nice to be covering this topic because there’s so much emphasis on consumerism and spending money, and certainly that’s where a lot of our internet marketers are as they need their small businesses to round the corner and turn profitable for the year. That’s understandable, but it’s nice to step out of that and also remember some of the more important themes of the holiday season, which is helping and sharing and giving to those who are less fortunate. Then, as you tied that into social media, that’s very interesting. Social media as a strategy for non-profits is really emphasizing there that your opportunity to reach communities and talk about great things you’re doing is an unparalleled opportunity, as you said, Chad, to get an audience that was maybe closed out before by some of the bigger foundations and traditional advertising mediums. So, just a fun topic to be covering today. That’s our Brown Bag for this Tuesday. We hope you enjoyed our coverage and that you’ll subscribe to our YouTube channel and come back to see us tomorrow.

Comments (8)

  • Charlie Reply

    Like you guys said, really refreshing to see a day that is aimed toward giving.

    12/03/13 at 04:22 PM
  • Jesse Reply

    I actually like this idea better than Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, etc etc. As Charles said, it's very refreshing. In my opinion, it actually reflects what all of the holidays that take place this time of year are supposed to be about. Great stuff!!

    12/03/13 at 06:28 PM
  • Reply

    Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday... and maybe Catch-Your-Breath Sunday?

    12/04/13 at 08:27 AM
  • Raven Reply

    Coming from a non-profit background, these designated days are a mixed bag. Non profits try to run their own pushes for end of the year giving, and then locally (here in Rochester) there is ROC the day, yet another third-party push for a day of giving. Donor fatigue is a real concern...I get that it plays in nicely with the Call-to-action+Day formula at this time of the year, but I have to wonder at what point there will be push back from donors.

    12/04/13 at 09:25 AM
  • Terrance Reply

    This is great stuff and omg yes...."catch your breath Sunday"

    12/04/13 at 04:12 PM
  • Jason G. Reply

    Love the concept of giving Tuesday. That is where the focus should be during this season.

    12/04/13 at 04:56 PM
  • Matt Reply

    this is the first i have heard of giving tuesday. Maybe we can do something as a company around this next year.

    12/04/13 at 10:05 PM
  • Adam Reply

    I hope it sticks.

    12/30/13 at 12:23 PM

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