It’s one month until #GivingTuesday.  Are you ready?

#GivingTuesday, the official “opening day” of the holiday giving season, is just four short weeks away.  Originally launched by a group of amazing philanthropic collaborators, led by Henry Timms of the 92nd Street Y, the movement aimed to widen who was participating in the world of giving while providing an antidote to the consumer frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Has it been a success?  Yes.

In its second year—still very much in the infancy of the movement—#GivingTuesday saw:

  • 10,000 partners
  • Activity in 40 countries
  • A 90% increase in online giving on the day (Blackbaud, Inc. data)
  • A 40% increase in gift size
  • 2 billion+ media impressions
  • And 406,000+ uses of the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter.

Looking beyond the top-line results, #GivingTuesday was also a day for individual action, for nonprofits to tell their stories, for businesses small and large to stand up for a cause, and for communities to join together in a desire to do good.  The stories are varied in reach and focus.  But they’re all great.

  • SVP Waterloo Region celebrated the day by launching SVP Teens, a group aimed not only at rallying youth, empowering them to “address problems facing their community” and teaching “them the importance and value of strategic and engaged philanthropy.
  • Community Missions in Niagara, NY, collaborated with Lauren Rose Miller and Rellim Hair & Makeup Design Studio to offer free haircuts to those staying at the Emergency Housing
  • The City of Baltimore, MD, sought to unleash its philanthropic potential and be the most generous city in America.  The B More Gives More campaign raised more than $5.7 million for area nonprofits in 24 hours.
  • Dress for Success celebrated #GivingShoesDay, asking supporters to donate shoes to the cause.  It was a fun, attention-grabbing campaign that paid off for the nonprofit.
  • And, as Ryan Scott shared in his Forbes article, “Discovery Communications broadcasted PSAs across Discovery’s global networks and promoted an employee donation matching program benefiting victims of Typhoon Haiyan.”

So what do we expect this year? 

More and better.

My colleagues at Blackbaud will be watching the volume of online gifts being processed on #GivingTuesday and standing ready to let the world know how much donations increased from the previous year.  With the number of partners shooting far past 10,000 and more companies, communities, people and nonprofits involved, goodness is bound to result.

A ton of creativity.

In addition to being a whole lot of fun, #GivingTuesday is a chance for organizations – nonprofit and otherwise – to step out of their normal personas and try something new.  It’s an opportunity to test an idea, to take a risk.

The world talking about giving.

Although there was activity in 40 countries last year, a record number of countries have official #GivingTuesday efforts going on in 2014, which means the day will actually last for far more than 24 hours – sunrise to sunset wherever it’s December 2nd.  Blackbaud is thrilled to be involved in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

So what are your plans?  If you don’t have any yet, don’t let the fact that #GivingTuesday is only four weeks away stop you.  Just do something.  Check here for some helpful resources, ask your co-workers, get your intern on it.  Join the fun.  Join the celebration.  And get ready for December 2nd.

[Photo Courtesy of GivingTuesday.org]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Hutchisson is the vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Blackbaud, headquartered in Charleston, SC.  She is responsible for the company’s global corporate citizenship efforts, a role that allows her to leverage her 20+ years of experience of working with nonprofit partners.  She is a member of the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International, the Giving Institute (producers of Giving USA), and the Coastal Community Foundation.  She is also a Past President of the AFP SC Lowcountry chapter. Rachel is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is a Renaissance Weekend participant and was the recipient of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Influential Women in Business Rising Star Award.  Rachel is an avid soccer fan and spends far too much time driving to remote parts of the state to watch her children play.  Connect with Rachel on Twitter at @RachelHutchssn or on LinkedIn.

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