Giving Tuesday is clearly a big deal. First established by the 92nd Street Y and Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact in New York City in 2012, it’s grown from its humble beginnings to encompass a global movement. In 2022, the number of Giving Tuesday donors swelled by 6% to 20 million people.
Even though charitable giving as a whole has fallen off a bit from the pandemic-driven high in 2021, Giving Tuesday contributions continue to grow. In 2022, donors in the US alone gave $3.1 billion—up 15%. And that’s just the monetary contributions. An astonishing 56% of Giving Tuesday participants contributed, volunteered, and advocated on behalf of their chosen nonprofit(s).
The other astonishing thing? A higher proportion of the Giving Tuesday donors came from the ranks of younger generations, who gave more often and in more ways. The higher proportion is probably due, in part, to #GivingTuesday trending on social media each year. But there’s still room for growing engagement—93% of consumers are familiar with Black Friday, while only about 18% have heard of Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday is a perfect opportunity to use social media to drive participants to your organization’s website. Despite the common perception that more immediate and interactive digital channels are holding sway over the traditional website, 40% of all donations on Giving Tuesday were through websites. What donors used to access that website played a role in the amount of the contribution—those made on a desktop computer were the highest, followed by those made on a tablet. Contributions from mobile devices were the lowest.
In the US, an age difference exists in attitudes toward giving in general. Older donors prefer to give to established or registered charities and nonprofits. Younger donors tend to view these organizations with a jaded eye and prefer to give directly to individuals and informal community groups. Interestingly, in other countries and cultures, the age demographic that prefers to give to registered or established nonprofits differs—primarily because the generation that holds the wealth varies by country.
This fact raises interesting questions about how organizations build their pipelines. Are their common fundraising practices biased toward older and/or wealthier individuals? Are fundraisers missing an opportunity? Do they need to rethink how they engage with each generation—especially considering that globally younger people more actively give than older people?
While all this data provides interesting food for thought as your organization strategizes about how best to build its pipeline and more effectively engage all types of donors, one finding stands above the rest. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project discovered that when nonprofits engage in a Giving Tuesday campaign, they elevate their overall fundraising—not only for one-time, end-of-year giving, but for year-over-year giving as well. Organizations who promoted Giving Tuesday received donations from 40-60% more donors during the end-of-year giving season, and they had higher retention and recurring growth rates. Crafting an effective Giving Tuesday campaign transcends merely increasing end-of-year contributions—it fosters a lasting culture of giving that echoes far beyond a single day. Giving Tuesday is about igniting a continuous wave of generosity that reshapes the future of charitable giving.