We buy food because we are hungry. Gas because our car needs fuel to function. Shoes because we really do need those sandals that go perfectly with a new outfit. But we give because we feel an emotional tie to a cause. For marketers trying to predict who will give to what organization at what time of year and how much, the ever changing dynamics of the non-profit sector can make this process unpredictable and challenging at best.
Giving Tuesday debuted in 2012, combining the power of social media and collaboration to bring end-of-year giving to the forefront of holiday conversations. And it’s is working. This year donations on November 29 totaled $168MM, up 44% from last year attracting 1.5MM donors from 98 countries. Nonprofits also used this time to encourage matching gifts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched every single donation up to $1,000. The ACLU matched donations to $500,000. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins pledged to match $3MM to Feeding America. Giving Tuesday was further supported through employers’ corporate matching programs, matching their employees’ charitable donations.