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Giving Tuesday Early Results Show Strength

Giving Tuesday 2020 is in the books and while there’s no definitive overall estimate just yet, early returns from a handful of fundraising platforms show an increase over 2019.

More than 1.9 million people raised more than $135 million across Facebook and Instagram, including $7 million in matching donations from Facebook, for 107,000 nonprofits over the last two weeks. Facebook announced what it called its Season of Giving campaign, from Nov. 17 through GivingTuesday on Dec. 1.

Those estimates are up from last year’s preliminary estimates, when Facebook reported $120 million raised from 1.1 million people to benefit 97,000 nonprofits in the week leading up to Giving Tuesday.

Jose Andres, who founded World Central Kitchen (WCK) in 2010, raised $132,015 toward a $150,000 goal from 2,339 people in two days via a Facebook Fundraiser.

Facebook itself matched $7 million in donations, limited to $100,000 per nonprofit and $20,000 per donor.

Donations processed on the DonorPerfect platform hit $55 million, 37 percent more than Giving Tuesday 2019. Donors gave 233,000 gifts, a 65 percent increase from last year. Online gifts were up 104 percent from last year, according to Emily Patz, DonorPerfect brand manager.

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There were 45 percent more crowdfunding campaigns launched compared to last year and crowdfunding totals via the DonorPerfect platform grew 75 percent over last year. The vast majority of the action was from east of the Mississippi River.

The Human Services sector raised 191 percent more than the second-highest sector, Education. While human services nonprofits make up just 25 percent of the DonorPerfect client community, they raised a chart-topping 34 percent of total dollars given, according to Patz.

San Diego-based Classy reported increases across the board, in funds raised, number of donations, and number of campaigns on Giving Tuesday.

The $37.9 million on donations processed on its platform, almost double the $19.4 million reported in 2019. The Salvation Army ranked No. 1 overall on Classy, with more than $5.2 million raised. There were 9,008 active campaigns this year compared to 6,462 last year, with 292,233 unique donations, versus 173,851 in 2019.

The three most generous states or districts per capita on Classy were Washington, D.C., ($341,485), Washington state ($2.03 million) and Massachusetts ($1.75 million). The top causes on Classy were human services ($15 million), health ($4.86 million), and international/foreign affairs ($4.8 million).

In 2019, GivingTuesday reported $511 million raised online in the United States, up from $400 million in the previous year while new statistical modeling estimated $1.97 billion in online and offline giving.

Some 430 schools raised $12.5 million in online and offline donations through GiveCampus, up from $5.8 million in 2019 and $3.4 million in 2018. Schools that ran campaigns in both 2019 and 2020 raised an average of 60 percent more online dollars this year than in 2019, according to the GiveCampus.

The attention and traffic generated on Giving Tuesday can be a blessing but also a curse. Calabasas, Calif.-based MobileCause reported issues with its software and app, starting at 11:15 a.m. Eastern and continuing intermittently throughout the day, with a final update at 12 a.m. Eastern.

While cash is often king, the stories of community activity might be the real story, as Giving Tuesday evolves from a fundraising-centric event to a more holistic, international approach to redefine philanthropy. The Giving Tuesday Spark youth communities gave soothing blankets to trauma victims and separately arranged for toys in Brooklyn.

There were free busses in Liberia to get essential workers downtown and food programs in the Philippines where there were people fed who had not eaten in days as well as masks and face shields handed out for free.

This article was first published at The NonProfit Times. It is reprinted with permission. Mark Hrywna contributed to this article. 

Paul Clolery

Paul Clolery is vice president and editorial director of NPT Publishing Group and The NonProfit Times, the leading business publication for the charitable, tax-exempt sector.