#GivingTuesday Donations Smash Record, But Growth Slows
The day of giving, founded in 2012 by New York City's 92nd Street Y, brought in a record $168 million in charitable donations worldwide—a 44 percent increase over last year's $117 million tally. According to USA Today, 98 nations participated in #GivingTuesday, totaling 1.6 million individual donations at a $108 average gift.
"This year we are seeing #GivingTuesday begin to emerge as a national ritual,'' Henry Timms, #GivingTuesday co-founder and executive director of 92nd Street Y, told USA Today. "After two days of getting deals, and a divisive political season, people are ready to celebrate the things we have in common: our generosity as Americans. That can mean donating money to a cause we believe in, but it's also about volunteering in the community, running a coat drive or talking with children about the importance of giving."
The giving totals are fantastic, but some underlying numbers should give pause. Blackbaud, which handles the majority of online #GivingTuesday gifts made in the U.S., processed $47.7 million in donations this year, up from $39.6 million in 2015. It's the fourth consecutive year of dollar growth—but it's just a 20 percent increase, compared to 52 percent last year. That 20 percent marks the lowest percentage growth for any year since #GivingTuesday's inception.
Still, #GivingTuesday has grown by 317 percent overall in five years—hardly trivial. And Blackbaud reported that 33 percent more organizations received an online donation this year compared to 2015. It's not clear how those gifts were distributed, but it's a sign more nonprofits are getting in on the action.
“As we predicted, the movement continues to drive year-over-year growth," Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud’s vice president of data and analytics, said in a press release. "The positive trends displayed in our data proves the strength of the holiday’s message, as more donors embrace the simplicity of using smartphone technology to contribute. About 22 percent of donations were made online, and we expect that number to grow as time goes on.”