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GivingTuesday Stats and Revenue from 2019

Published by Brady Josephson

How was GivingTuesday?

That was a question I was asked last week and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond so I decided to do a little digging. I first looked at the 25 organizations we used for the 2019 edition of Cutting Through the Clutter and here’s what I found:

So, thanks to an increase in average gift — one of the three metrics that matter for online fundraising — this group saw a small uptick in GivingTuesday revenue. But that’s just 25 organizations and accounts for only about $1.8 million of the reported $511 million from the GivingTuesday Data Collaborative (shout out to WholeWhale for the solid prediction). So I started to look at other reports and stats largely from donation platforms and service providers but one thing became very clear: No one is actually measuring year over year growth in a useful way.

Here’s what I mean, most reports you’ll see are on top-level figures and stats but very few give the number of organizations included in the data and none, that I could see, compare the same organizations year over year. So we get growth numbers but if there are dozens or even hundreds more or new organizations, then, of course, the numbers will (or should) go up.

For example, Classy reported an increase in online revenue of 25% which is great but they also had 179 more nonprofits in their data set in 2019. So that means the increase in revenue per organization is actually 15.23%. Still a great number showing the growth of the day for their clients but more accurate than the cited 25% figure.

But wouldn’t it be great if they could share the increase for the same group of nonprofits? What if one of those additional 179 organizations was a massive nonprofit? That could account for a large chunk of the growth right there if they weren’t in the 2018 group but were in the 2019 group.

Now, this isn’t to besmirch Classy at all. They raised $19.4 million on the day — which is pretty eye-popping — but they also produced one of the best and most useful reports I came across as it included the number of organizations included so I could calculate the revenue per organization above. They also had some stats on the most generous states, donations by the time of day, and recurring giving.

Some GivingTuesday Stats

The GivingTuesday stats and reports below did not include the number of organizations and are therefore harder to understand the true difference of GivingTuesday 2019 so take them with a grain of salt:

So What?

Even without a more accurate ‘index’ approach looking at the exact same organizations, it does appear GivingTuesday continues to grow, which is great.

I know some people fear that GivingTuesday success will eat into the rest of December results but I haven’t seen that personally or seen that theory backed up by data. But also on the flip side, I also haven’t seen GivingTuesday success be a reliable predictor of success for the rest of the month. In fact, it’s most things like the economy overall, the stock market, and the news cycle that play a role in helping shape how year-end will shake out although there’s not a lot your organization can do about those things.

But what you and your organization can do is be sure to have a plan in place for the biggest day of online giving… December 31st.

Data from NextAfter 25 organization benchmark

GivingTuesday isn’t the end of your year-end fundraising work but in many cases just the start. So if you’re still looking to make the most of the year-end here are some resources you may be interested in:

  • Cutting Through the Clutter study. This annual study looks at over 7,000 emails from 240 organizations with data, tips, and ideas to cut through in this noisy time.
  • Live Optimization Webinar. The NextAfter team looked at real nonprofit examples and offer suggestions and ideas to improve and optimize them to raise more money before the end of the year.
  • Year-End Fundraising Certification Course. This 4-session course will walk through a full year-end strategy from emails to send and changes to make on your donation page.

Did I Miss Anything?

Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter or via LinkedIn. I know GivingTuesday, Blackbaud, and some others release much more detailed data and reports later after they have a chance to sift through the data so I’m sure there will be more to come.

Published by Brady Josephson

Brady Josephson is Managing Director of the NextAfter Institute.