There are only a few times a year that the masses gather together for a good cause--one of those times is a relatively new phenomenon, and it's called #GivingTuesday. It rose from the popularity of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, and is powered by the force of social media. Organizations like Google, Mashable, Facebook, and Twitter all gathered this year to help keep the momentum going from previous years' efforts, and they absolutely paid off. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn about the outcome of #GivingTuesday, and the influence social media can have on movements such as this.


Hello, and welcome to The Daily Brown Bag. Today, we’re going to be talking about the results of Giving Tuesday. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. Welcome to The Brown Bag. We reported on Giving Tuesday back a month or two ago, and this is a cool new thing that just has started up. We know all about Black Friday, and of course Cyber Monday has become popular, so Giving Tuesday was this idea that after shopping around Thanksgiving and on Cyber Monday, we should all focus on giving back. So, it was pretty cool this year, Chad.

Google and Mashable hosted a 12-hour hangout to try and link donors to different causes. Facebook had a Giving Tuesday live streaming session. Twitter, of course, had their hashtag and a lot of activity, and apparently on Twitter there were over 320,000 tweets with the hashtag #GivingTuesday. So, it looks like a bit of a success on the social media side. I want to report some of the numbers here that are coming in from Blackbaud, a big supplier of software and services for nonprofits, and they said that donations were up over 90% this Giving Tuesday from the previous one. Some of the numbers here are $19 million in online donations in 2013, compared to $10 million donations in 2012. The average donation was also up per person. It was at $101 per person in 2012 and spiked to $142 in 2013. So, it’s kind of cool to see this social media movement taking hold, Chad, and I guess the discussion point is will we see more of this? Are things like Giving Tuesday, the hashtag, the Facebook, and the G+ activity going to shift some of the power to non-profits? We’ve obviously seen it exploited for commercial use, but will we see this trend continue?

That’s a good question, and I was reading something from the CEO of Blackbaud, one of the larger donor management tools that are out there, and they process a lot of those transactions that happened. Their CEO was saying that it’s really going to take five years of these efforts and Giving Tuesday to see how it will change donating, but certainly what’s really interesting here is leveraging and harnessing social media to see how this really has changed the dynamic of giving.

There were a couple really interesting examples where a group of organizations banded together in Baltimore and were able to raise I think $5.4 million by banding together and trying to leverage all their different members and donors to their organizations together to give, and it was really a fantastic result. I think that the big thing here is that, as we talked about before, it gives smaller non-profits a way of being able to reach their audiences more efficiently and cheaply than some of the bigger national charities, and that’s truly, I think, the big dynamic change here that Giving Tuesday and social media have made with online donation.

That’s interesting, Chad. So really, we’re talking about barriers to entry, and we make this argument all the time in terms of how smaller retailers and e-tailers can jump in. Publishers, writers even, artists who make music can have avenues for distribution and publishing that were previously held by a few sometimes monopolistic folks at the top. So this is sort of the promise of the internet. We’ve also seen competition heating up, so it’s harder and harder to get into those spaces, but you can still do it if you know how to do it. I also think this idea of Giving Tuesday is really cool just because it brings awareness to sharing and giving in a season that’s otherwise dominated by shopping and consumption, so I think in that regard, it’s also one of the promises of the internet. Well, it’s good to be covering this, and I’m glad to hear that it’s a success. I think they’re right. It’s probably going to take five years to really catch on, but 90% growth is great, and that seems like a success this year. We’re glad we could report it.

That’s our Brown Bag for today. Share some comments with us, and we hope you’ll subscribe to our YouTube channel.