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First came Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday. Now, Giving Tuesday is becoming more widely known, as charities seek to use digital channels to raise awareness, and dollars, in the overwrought holiday shopping season.
While many potential donors tend to focus on giving during the runup to the holidays, it remains difficult for many nonprofits to compete for attention amid a welter of deal offers associated with gift shopping.
Many users’ inboxes and social feeds were filled with requests for donations tied to Giving Tuesday. But how did charitable organizations fare? Early signs suggest an increase in donations.
Blackbaud, a cloud software company focused on the nonprofit sector, reported processing more than $47.7 million in online donations from US donors, an increase of 20% increase compared to last year. Network for Good, an online fundraising platform, said it processed $7.65 million, up from $6.55 million. And DonorPerfect, a provider of fundraising solutions to nonprofit organizations, said that Giving Tuesday donations were up 35% from last year.
New York Cares encouraged people to donate to its Coat Drive by texting COAT to 41444 to purchase a coat for a New Yorker in need. The organization teamed up with Bank of America, which matched every pledge. New York Cares said it raised approximately $85,240 from 865 people, including the matching grant from Bank of America, which allows it to purchase and deliver 4,262 coats to those who need them most.
“We try to tap into the mentality of the season,” said Megwin Finegan, senior director of communications and constituent relations at New York Cares. “It’s that time of year that people are thinking of giving, but it’s hard to break through the clutter because [people are also participating in] Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”
Charities like the American Red Cross, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook also matched Giving Tuesday donations. For example, the Gates Foundation, which focuses on reducing poverty and expanding health care access, teamed up with Facebook to match funds raised through the social media giant’s fundraising tool—the groups said they would match up to $1,000 per fundraiser. Additionally, motivational speaker Tony Robbins pledged $3 million to match donations made to Feeding America. The hunger relief charity raised more than 3 million meals on Giving Tuesday.
An October 2016 survey from PayPal, conducted by Koski Research found that three in five Americans plan to make charitable donations this holiday season. PayPal and Koski Research report that people will donate an average of $259 and half of donors will donate online.
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