#GivingTuesday Harnesses Social Media To Drive Online Donations

In the wake of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is #GivingTuesday. Harnessing the power of social media, #GivingTuesday is asking shoppers to observe the season of giving in a different way: by first donating then sharing their giving stories using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Yet, when it comes to online giving, a sizeable gap still remains between what Americans say they will do and what they have actually done.



Although 65 percent of Americans said they would make a donation online, only 35 percent have actually done so over a 12 month period, according to the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study. This presents an opportunity for organizations to better leverage the power of social media to raise awareness and funds. To close the gap between intent and action, organizations need to understand what triggers will inspire action. Top drivers to online participation in social or environmental efforts include:

  • Their participation will make an impact (79%)
  • There is an urgent need for immediate support (79%)
  • It is easy to participate (77%)
  • The issue is personally relevant (74%)
  • The content triggers an emotional response (68%)
  • The appeal allows participants to show their social networks what is important to them (57%)

Yet, with more than 15,000 nonprofits and 20,000 partner organizations that participated in #GivingTuesday last year – a number that is likely to grow in 2015 – it will take a lot to stand out. Here are a few #GivingTuesday campaigns that caught our eye by motivating Americans to give online:

  • Impact: This year, the Harlem Globetrotters will be growing goatees during the month leading up to #GivingTuesday and are encouraging their supporters to get involved with #GOATee for a Good Cause by giving a goat from World Vision's 2015 Gift Catalog. With a donation of $75, one goat can nourish a family with up to 16 cups of milk a day and provide a much-needed additional source of income.
  • Urgency: The Brain Aneurism Foundation's #GivingTuesday campaign uses data to clearly lay out why now is the time to donate: "1 in 50 people will have a brain aneurysm. Every 18 minutes a rupture occurs. Only 50 percent of those that rupture will live. 33 percent of those that do survive suffer permanent neurological damage and are unable to resume their normal lives."
  • Ease: Last year, The Home Depot Foundation launched a month-long campaign, which kicked off on #GivingTuesday, asking individuals to honor vets during the month of December. The call to action was easy – for each tweet using the hashtag #DoingMore4Vets, the Foundation would donate $1 to four of their nonprofits partners, up to $400,000.
  • Personal Brand: The #GivingTuesday #unselfie campaign encourages individuals to write what cause they'll be supporting this #GivingTuesday on a piece of paper, hold it in front of their face and snap an #unselfie to broaden awareness and conversation for causes worldwide.

To read more on these campaigns or what motivates Americans to donate online, read our full post on The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Back to Insights