how was GivingTuesday different this year?


Different has been the story of our lives this year. #GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, but this year givers took it to a whole new level. Maybe it was the global pandemic, maybe the holiday cheer, but GivingTuesday made a monumental impact on social media in 2020. What made it so different from years past?

We had a lot going against us

  • Unemployment rates skyrocketed this year, a shortage of generosity would be expected. 
  • Political campaigning this election year could have driven inactivity online.
  • COVID-19 caused the giving trend to drop 6% in the first quarter of 2020
  • GivingTuesday Now was organized on May 5th to spark generosity and positivity, which could have moved giving away from the end-of-year push.

2020 results show differently

Whole Whale predicted $605 million would be raised on December 1st, 2020. If that were the case, it would have been an “18% or $94 million increase over 2019’s record-breaking estimated pull of +$400 million.” Well, the official results are here! “In a single day, GivingTuesday donors in the United States gave $2.47 billion.” This year’s results are characterized by words like unprecedented, massive, groundbreaking, and more. Why was this year so different?

COVID changed digital presence

With companies working from home, schools going virtual, and more, internet usage has obviously jumped. Many nonprofits put the kibosh on in-person fundraising this year due to COVID, putting all their energy into online giving – virtual galas and fundraising campaigns – including GivingTuesday. They had more funds to invest in online ads, as well as the bandwidth to activate their audiences. The social media space was saturated with mission-driven stories and call-to-actions on GivingTuesday, with more eyes paying attention.

Generosity is more than a dollar amount

Since 2012, the day following Cyber Monday has always been about generosity and encouraging people to do good in their communities, but the year 2020 has changed us all – for the better. Not only were nonprofits marketing their mission all over social media platforms searching for support from donors, but people went out of their way to perform acts of service. From lighting up hospitals in support of health workers, to wellness programs through webinars and online classes, givers got creative this year! It wasn’t just about donating money, it was about supporting a cause.

All facts considered, we were changed for the better

Despite financial, emotional, and physical hardships, people all over the world have shown their true colors. GivingTuesday is calling this movement a “swell of generosity and shared humanity.” 34.8 million people participated in GivingTuesday 2020, a 29% increase over 2019.

We are all in this together. We have all been affected by the same factor and this has brought humanity closer. It has changed the way people think about one another and the way people live their lives. GivingTuesday will always be an opportunity to not just support your favorite charity, but to show just how good, generous, kind, and creative humanity can be.

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