Will Giving Tuesday Offer New Data Opportunities For Nonprofits?

As a response to post-Thanksgiving consumerism, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation unveiled Giving Tuesday in October of 2012 in an effort to inspire people to not just consume, but to give back. While retailers and brands are well aware of the impact of holiday sales, particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just how powerful has Giving Tuesday been for nonprofits and what does this mean for them in terms of capturing new donor data?

Here are six data points that show the increasing power of Giving Tuesday and what types of new opportunities non-profits will have to better understand their donor base. 

1.) There was a 63% increase in donations from 2013 to 2014 on Giving Tuesday.

In 2013, there was a total of $28.09 million contributed to nonprofit organizations in response to Giving Tuesday. By 2014, the total amount donated had a dramatic increase to $45.68 million in 2014, resulting in an approximate 63% increase. The average gift size went from $142 in 2013 to $154 in 2014. By capturing and analyzing transactional data, nonprofits will have a better understanding of who is most likely to spend on their organization, how much and how often. 

Source: Case Foundation, Mobile Cause

2.) In 2014, #GivingTuesday trended on Twitter for 11 hours and was used 754,600 times.

Social media is a key component for nonprofit organizations seeking donations. By leveraging the popular hashtag #GivingTuesday, hundreds of nonprofits were able to drive new donors back to their fundraising page. According to Vox, 63% of the people that used the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Twitter were women and 17% viewed the fundraising page via their mobile device. From a data perspective, this is a tremendous opportunity for nonprofits to better segment their social media audiences and optimize their ad spend. 

Source: Vox

3.) Celebrities are flocking to the Giving Tuesday cause.

Celebrities are blanketing their social media accounts with #GivingTuesday messages in a show of solidarity with organizations that they care about. Giving Tuesday announced an impressive roster of celebrities who signed up to support the 2015 post-Thanksgiving giving campaign, in addition to over 16,000 partners. 

4.) Giving Tuesday has caused an increase in volunteerism.

The Giving Tuesday movement isn’t strictly about monetary contributions, it’s also inspiring people to spend more time volunteering. According to Philanthropy.com, Giving Tuesday has ignited a palpable increase in volunteer efforts, which includes things like mitten drives, clothing drives, tutoring sessions, and other community projects. Capturing offline data and online data will prove to be invaluable as nonprofits try and sync their donor data with their volunteer information. 

Source: Philanthropy

5.) 15% of Americans stated that human rights was the most important cause to them.

What causes drive American to open their hearts and their wallets? According to the Harris Poll, Americans stand behind improving human rights, with youth and family causes coming in at a close second (14%). Having a clear understanding of what your audience cares about and being able to segment them by the things they are most passionate about gives nonprofits the ability to customize their messaging.  

Source: Harris Poll

6.) Organizations are using data tools to ensure maximum visibility to their organization for special campaigns like Giving Tuesday. 

Nonprofits are under pressure to meet year-end fundraising goals with limited resources. Organizations like YMCA Austin are investing in data tools to help ensure that they are targeting the right audiences for membership and fundraising efforts during special campaigns like Giving Tuesday. 

Just as retailers and brand have applied a data-driven approach to the holidays, it will be interesting to see how nonprofits will become more strategic in terms of their Giving Tuesday ask over the years to come. As this day of altruism increases in popularity, we believe taking a data-driven approach will become an integral part of optimizing the success of Giving Tuesday campaigns.