#GivingTuesday = #winning & what your company can learn

#BlackFriday. #CyberMonday. #GivingTuesday.


It’s been a week since this new tradition of generosity took place on December 2, 2014, and the data is in: the giving economy is thriving.

Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday provides a global stage to promote, celebrate and encourage the act of giving at the beginning of the holiday season.  By using technology as a catalyst and the power of social media, #GivingTuesday unites millions of donors—CSR professionals, citizens, corporations, corporate citizenship practitioners, and students—to support over 15,000 nonprofits.

According to a report released by the Case Foundation, which includes data from Blackbaud, as well as DonorPerfect, GlobalGiving, Network for Good and Razoo, an estimated total of $45.7 million was raised both offline and online on #GivingTuesday this year. Total donations grew by 63 percent. The average donation was up from 2013 by 6 percent.

2014: The year of the #Unselfie

This year, to encourage participation in charitable activities, thousands of users posted  #UNselfie pictures on #GivingTuesday to social media highlighting the causes they support.  From celebrities, millennials to tweens—the power of the #Unselfie that this social media movement gathered was undeniable. #Unselfie was tweeted 39,700 times (183 percent more than 2013) with users posting more than 7,600 #Unselfies to Instagram.

What can companies learn from #GivingTuesday?

  1. WaterAid-AmericaUsing the internet to tell your corporate citizenship story is powerful.  #GivingTuesday uses the power of technology to tell stories by promoting creativity and collaboration for maximum impact. What started with a #hashtag has grown to thousands of companies taking the opportunity to tell human stories of their nonprofit partners through photos, videos, and online forums, highlighting altruism with authenticity. 

  2. #GivingTuesday is only going to grow.Bill-Gates #GivingTuesday was tweeted 754,000 times this year - an increase of 180 percent over last year. 2012 raised an estimated total of $13.5 million, 2013 raised roughly $28 million, 2014 raised roughly $45.7 million. Do you see a trend here? 

  3. Joining a campaign with buzz, power, and momentum can only benefit your corporate citizenship efforts. #GivingTuesday is the perfect opportunity to use a #hashtag, invest in growing a digital community, and amplify your corporate citizenship messaging.  Think of giving Tuesday as a way to make progress towards a goal you already have and join in the momentum of the day. Want some great ideas? Check out what other companies did in 2014.

  4. Use technology to provide stakeholder updates. Companies as well as nonprofits are setting transparent goals and using technology to provide stakeholders visual updates on their donations. Charity Water puts remote sensors on its wells so donors can see how much water flows thanks to their contribution. By creating a #GivingTuesday campaign with set goals for your corporate citizenship efforts, you can use reporting tools to measure your efforts in real time and share the impact.

  5. The power of partnership.  #GivingTuesday helps companies reflect the importance of their partnerships with nonprofits.  Use the platform of #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to announce a new partnership or corporate citizenship initiative.  Don’t forget to remind employees of your matching policy on #GivingTuesday.

As CSR professionals, it can be challenging to get the stakeholder approvals needed to get a campaign off the ground and gain the engagement from employees to rally around a cause; however, the numbers speak for themselves.  

Use data and learnings from this year’s #GivingTuesday to prove your case to participate next year and make it easy for stakeholders to share the message through social media (as well as measure it!).

Start a new tradition with your partner organizations. Check out #GivingTuesday for more information and learn how your company can be a part next year.  For idea generators on how to create a campaign, check out the 2014 #GivingTuesday Campaigns on Pinterest.