Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday and the Race to December 31
Happy Cyber Monday! This annual day was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation and Scott Silverman, and made its debut on November 28, 2005.
The date range is November 26 to December 2 and is always four days after the holiday. In 2017, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record $6.59 billion, compared with $2.98 billion in 2015 and $2.65 billion in 2014. Cyber Monday has become the online equivalent to Black Friday and offers a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains. Its name, as an international marketing term used by online retailers, is observed by many countries around the world.
Classy pointed out that, last year, nonprofits from more than 150 countries participated to raise an impressive $400 million through 3.6 million individual gifts on Giving Tuesday. This is the largest giving day of the year!
Classy data obtained from Giving Tuesday showed that organizations on Classy acquire four times more new donors on Giving Tuesday than on any typical day of the year. Of donors acquired on Giving Tuesday, 15% will give again before the next Giving Tuesday.
In 2012, the teams at 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation created Giving Tuesday as a philanthropic response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is now the second largest giving day of the year, runner-up to December 31.
The Atlantic compares the revenue raised versus consumer spending between Giving Tuesday and Black Friday. It is estimated that $5 billion in sales will be generated on Black Friday as compared to $200 million raised on Giving Tuesday. Just fewer than 25% of all annual donations will be given between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
The majority of Giving Tuesday donors are “small-dollar donors.” The mean donation made on Giving Tuesday 2016 was $107.69. Giving Tuesday offers people a way to feel a little less guilty about the stuff they have already purchased and the gifts they plan on purchasing before the year’s end.
The idea of Giving Tuesday on the calendar provides incentive for fundraising professionals to sprint to the fundraising year-end finish. After Thanksgiving, there is only one month left in the year. With respect to year-end fundraising information, there are 10 year-end giving statistics every fundraiser should know, according to NeonCRM:
- Nearly 1/3 (31%) of annual giving occurs in December.
- 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year.
- 53.8% of nonprofits start planning their year-end appeal in October.
- November (46.2%) and December (30.8%) are the most popular months for making year-end asks.
- 28% of nonprofits raise between 26% and 50% of their annual fund from their year-end ask.
- 36% of nonprofits raise less than 10% of their annual funds from their year-end ask.
- Two-thirds of people who make donations do no research before giving.
- Volunteers are twice as likely to donate than non-volunteers.
- 59.9% of nonprofits make between one to three donor “touches” for their year-end campaign.
- Direct mail is the most popular medium for year-end asks, followed by email, website and in-person asks.
Thanksgiving signals an arms race to raise funds from as many people as possible at the highest level of support possible. Many organizations will take advantage of the spirit of Giving Tuesday to seek prospect and donor contacts. Do not let your foot off of the gas pedal. There will be time to rest after the holidays.
As fundraising professionals are conditioned to hustle to December 31, so, too, are prospects and donors. My prayer is that someday, the amount consumers spend on Black Friday will eventually match the amount given on Giving Tuesday. Only time will tell if total generosity truly reigns supreme!
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.