The GiveGab team has been involved with GivingTuesday since it first came to be in 2012. As GiveGab's CTO and Co-Founder, I've contributed fundraising data from our platform to help inform GivingTuesday's data efforts since 2016. Here, I reflect on my experience working with the GivingTuesday team over the years and provide insights on GivingTuesday's 2021 Data Report.
GivingTuesday and "Giving Moments"
One of the unique things that our collaboration with GivingTuesday has afforded us is looking at trends surrounding “giving moments.” For GiveGab, this correlates directly to the hundreds of Giving Days that we help our partners from Community Foundations, Nonprofit Networks, and educational institutions run.
These unique fundraising events create a microcosm of concentrated giving that garners donors’ and nonprofits’ attention more than most other forms of giving. The unique microeconomies of these giving moments allow us to gain insights about donor and nonprofit behavior that you cannot necessarily achieve by analyzing year-round giving campaigns.
Often Giving Days, and giving moments like GivingTuesday help us understand the motivations and incentives of donors. It also allows us to examine how these events drive philanthropic activity at rates that are not easily accomplished during other times of the fundraising calendar.
GivingTuesday Data Commons
This collaboration has allowed many different giving platforms, including GiveGab, to provide anonymized data to the GivingTueday team. From the data provided, they continue to analyze and present on relevant trends over the years.
2020 was a unique year due to the global pandemic and most certainly impacted giving in ways not seen before. The GivingTuesday team ran a second annual campaign in May of 2020 called GivingTuesdayNow to help focus on pandemic-related efforts.
These insights and trends from 2020 are recorded in the GivingTuesday Data Commons Report: Donors Shifted and Boosted Giving in Response to Crisis in 2020, released on May 11, 2021.
Giving and Gabbing with GivingTuesday
In February, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Woodrow Rosenbaum, the Chief Data Officer for GivingTuesday, to discuss some insights from their 2020 Data Impact Report. Woodrow and I had a lively discussion around trends highlighted in his report and how they correlated with GiveGab's observations in 2020 and early on in 2021.
You can hear our dialog in the Giving and Gabbing podcast episode, Leveraging Data for Fundraising Success with GivingTuesday. Additionally, you can see some of the “look back” trends from the GivingTuesday team in the GivingTuesday 2020 Look Back Report.
GivingTuesday Data Report Findings
Potential findings: Growth was highest in repeat donors, and small donors dramatically increased in number from previous years.
Finding 1: Giving moments such as Giving Days and GivingTuesday rally supporters and drive unprecedented growth numbers on a year-over-year basis. GiveGab saw 97% average year-over-year growth for dollars raised across their Giving Days in 2020 compared to 2019.
2018 to 2019 saw 61% year-over-year growth for dollars raised. In general, Giving Days on GiveGab have grown on average over 29 times more on a year-over-year basis. The incentives and community-focused fundraising of a Giving Day drive attention and awareness to many different organizations at once and create a network effect that drives growth.
Finding 2: Giving moments drove donor acquisition and recapture at high levels in 2020. Unfortunately, retention was down. About 35% of donors on average to a GiveGab Giving Day are new donors and the remaining are retained or recaptured.
GiveGab's 2020 data saw significant increases in new donor acquisition matching GivingTuesday's data findings. This correlated with a number of people actively searching for ways to give during the pandemic.
Finding 3: Lack of traditional giving opportunities such as in-person fundraising events, drove many donors online to give. This included many smaller-gift donors, with 1.3% of top-line gain in donor totals resulting from donations between $101 and $500 (11% growth compared to 2019). This online trend looks like it will continue being permanently affected by the move of more transactions going online.
There were a number of interesting insights that came out of 2020, but the pattern is clear, giving moments such as GivingTuesday, GivingTuesdayNow, and Giving Days continue to drive intense focus on “community-based giving” which in turn drives year-over-year growth.