Four years ago, a simple idea started circulating around the world — join with friends, family, colleagues and your community to give back during the holiday season. As a complement to the “spend, spend, spend” messages of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, could we set aside a day dedicated to giving your time, dollars and skills to organizations making a difference in communities at home and across the globe? Today, this idea — #GivingTuesday — has taken off and become a movement embraced by millions of people looking to expand the “season of giving” to include charitable causes. This movement has mobilized tens of millions of dollars toward deserving nonprofits, bringing together the powerful combination of everyday givers, countless organizations and major brands and celebrities.
Last year at the Case Foundation, we challenged ourselves — and the sector — to measure the collective reach of #GivingTuesday — starting with an estimate of total dollars donated to nonprofits during the 24-hour period. We recognized then, that while we couldn’t immediately measure the full impact the day had on nonprofits and their programming, we could bring increased awareness to the movement and the amount raised over the 24-hour period. Working in partnership with Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and five leading online donation platforms — Blackbaud, DonorPefect, GlobalGiving, Network for Good and Razoo — we estimated that nearly $46 million in donations were processed on #GivingTuesday in 2014.
With thanks to this pioneering set of partners, we learned a lot about the process of measuring this new, influential holiday and movement. We were pleased to take those learnings to a new level this year and partner with 92nd Street Y (92Y), the founders of #GivingTuesday, to expand this year’s measurement of the total dollars donated online and related activities on December 1, 2015. And we are pretty excited about the numbers we’re seeing.
Working with data from 24 online donation platforms, 92Y estimates that total online donations processed on #GivingTuesday more than doubled from 2014, to a staggering $116.7 million given by 698,961 online donors. These growing numbers are the cherry on top of a mountain of evidence that #GivingTuesday is a movement that is here to stay. The data found that the average amount donated by individuals was $107.47.
The success of #GivingTuesday is driven in large part by the huge social media effort and online giving campaigns from nonprofits, media partners, individuals and more. Over the course of the day, more than 1.3 million tweets mentioning the #GivingTuesday hashtag were shared. This was an increase of 86 percent from 2014. And the leading issues shared on social channels included education, environment, animals, healthcare and international affairs.
This year, several of the data providers also launched their own online challenges encouraging individuals to support a cause they cared about. PayPal matched one percent of every donation of $10 or more made through the PayPal Giving Fund and is currently running for the Guinness World Records™ title for the most money donated online for charity in 24 hours. GoodWorld, which facilitates donations directly on Facebook and Twitter with a hashtag, announced a $1 million match to charities. And the CrowdRise Giving Tower used virtual reality to show the collective impact of everyone giving back on #GivingTuesday reaching heights of more than 4,359 feet tall.
At the Case Foundation we have been long-time champions of the collective power of small gifts to make meaningful change in communities. We are thrilled to see the tremendous growth of the #GivingTuesday movement both online through donations shared and through the overall awareness the day raises for global issues. We are proud to partner this year with 92Y and share with you the making of another big bet that is revolutionizing philanthropy.
We invite you to check out our infographic below detailing highlights from the day. We hope you will share the results in celebration of the global movement that has united tens of thousands of partners and millions of individuals, businesses, communities and nonprofits in a day of giving back across the globe.