Each year, nonprofits gear up for the holiday season. For many organizations, a third to a half of their annual giving comes in during this time of year and is kicked off by #GivingTuesday, which featured several distinct trends this year.
- #GivingTuesday was used as an extension of black Friday/holiday sales marketing. A percentage of purchases goes to select charities
- Many tax exempt organizations seem to have executed a less robust, multi- channel campaign compared to previous years. Giving goals seemed to be more modest, perhaps recognizing the overall decline in giving across Americans. You can read more about this alarming trend in the Chronicle’s series, The Disappearing Donor.
- Recent national tragedies such as the wildfires and shootings, as well as the increasing political divide, were used to galvanize supporters to give. Frequently referenced in emails with images highlighting the pain and rawness of the tragedies – from the Philadelphia synagogue shooting, to the caravan of asylum seekers from central America, nonprofits messaged directly to many Americans’ greatest concerns.
- On trend with the smaller giving goals, we also saw smaller and less overt messaging around matching gift opportunities than in previous years. The most frequent opportunity was a double match, as opposed to multipliers of much higher yields from earlier years.
- Marketing language seemed to focus on more ‘soft messages’ such as ‘love’, ‘appreciation’, and ‘community’ like this Make-A-Wish one with the subject line, ‘Today you can give hope’. There were significantly fewer ‘hard messages’ with words such as ‘impact’, ‘outcome’, and ‘results’ noticeably absent across the board.
- Nonprofits seemed to get more sophisticated with their corporate co-branded messaging, like this American Red Cross one, which prominently features a business partnership.
- Excitingly, this year we are seeing more widely promoted alternate ways of giving, such as through cryptocurrency and Amazon Alexa.
- Lastly, we watched as asks continued into Wednesday for many organizations trying to capture ongoing goodwill and last minute individuals. #GivingTuesday seems to have been carried by the holiday spirit later into the week this year. And likely through the end of the year!
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