It’s big, it’s a winner, and it’s back

publication date: Oct 11, 2014
author/source: Janet Gadeski

What is young, grassroots, collaborative, and poised to make charitable giving seem as natural, satisfying and exciting as shopping? I’m talking about GivingTuesday, proclaimed in Canada and the US for Tuesday, December 2, right after the consumer frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season,” organizers say, “GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season.” 

Giving spiked on GivingTuesday; continued at new high for remainder of 2013

And what an opening day it was in 2013, the giving fest’s first appearance in Canada. According to CanadaHelps, one of the campaign’s founders, donations through Canadian online portals on GivingTuesday 2013 increased by 134, 150 or 169 percent (Blackbaud, Artez and CanadaHelps respectively). The vast majority of that came from new donors, and the increase in giving stayed nearly as strong right through to the end of the year.

There’s more – in the US, where GivingTuesday began in 2012, its second year saw donation increases that were almost as dramatic as those experienced in its first year. In other words, GivingTuesday is no trendy one-off initiative. It’s here to stay – and to help every participating charity succeed at attracting new donors and raising more money from existing supporters.

How charities can get involved

It’s easy for charities to become a partner in GivingTuesday, no matter how many or how few donors you already have. The GivingTuesday website is full of implementation tips and sample social media postings. The goal is “amplification” – a social media term meaning that posts and tweets are repeatedly shared and retweeted so that information travels far beyond the small group that launches it. 

Last year, supporters managed to make Giving Tuesday trend on Twitter in Canada, attracting the attention of traditional mainstream journalists and racking up millions of impressions in earned (i.e., not purchased) media.

Once you’ve signed up as a partner, don’t forget to spend some time planning for how you will keep those new donors involved and giving again. Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the first gift can be just the beginning of a lifelong donor commitment.

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