Yesterday millions of individuals across the globe united for one purpose – to give back to their communities and kick off the holiday season with an act of good. In its third year, #GivingTuesday harnessed the collective power of charities, online social media, businesses and individuals to transform how people think about and participate in the giving season. Whether it be a donation of time, pro bono services or money, #GivingTuesday reflects our long-held belief at the Case Foundation in the importance of collective action and of making giving a part of every individual’s daily life.

We couldn’t be more proud to support 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a founding partner of #GivingTuesday, taking a bet on this powerful idea to unite the globe in a day of giving back in 2012, watching it evolve to a full-fledged campaign with 10,000 partners worldwide in 2013 and now witnessing it become an annual tradition with more than 20,000 partners in 2014. And just as #GivingTuesday itself has evolved, so have the timeliness and depth of the measures it uses to assess progress. For the first time ever, this year Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and donation fundraising platforms Blackbaud, DonorPefect, GlobalGiving, Network for Good and Razoo partnered to provide collective preliminary data on the amount of donations processed on #GivingTuesday. A preliminary estimate of donations tallied from these platforms shows that $45.7 million was given on #GivingTuesday this year.

Much like everyone anxiously awaits the monthly unemployment rates and the amount of online spending on Cyber Monday and Black Friday as a measure of our nation’s economic health, measuring the amount of online donations every #GivingTuesday serves as a gauge of our nation’s philanthropic health. We recognize that this is by no means the impact measure, rather it is a valuable piece of data that provides an entry way into a much larger and more important conversation about how best and how most effectively to catalyze a culture of collaboration, giving and service. So while we are of course excited to see the total amount of giving increase year-over-year, we are perhaps more excited to witness this culture of collaboration among more than 20,000 partners; the fervor of activity on social media and online giving campaigns manifested in the nearly 700,000 tweets with the #GivingTuesday hashtag; and the data that shows how a large of number of even the smallest of donations can add up to something big. And we know that this preliminary estimate is not the end of the story – it is the first collection of a portion of the data that is out there. We look forward to that number growing as more data comes in and finding more ways to measure a movement that involves so many partners and nonprofits.

We look forward to a more detailed look at the impact of #GivingTuesday from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on December 17 when they release their #GivingTuesday Spotlight Report with an initial analysis of how the day has affected overall giving trends. As a teaser, we invite you to check out our infographic below! We hope you will share the results of the day in celebration of the global movement that has united more individuals, businesses, communities and nonprofits in a day of giving back across the globe.

What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Giving Tuesday Infographic 2014