Beginning on Black Friday and continuing through December, consumer spending typically sees a sharp rise in the final weeks of the year, thanks to holiday gift shopping and those rushing to take advantage of year-end sales. Yet it’s not just personal spending that spikes at the end of each year. According to Blackbaud’s 2014 Charitable Giving Report, an average of 32 percent of online giving took place in the final three months of 2014. Additionally, some 50.5 percent of the organizations surveyed in a 2012 Guidestar Survey reported that more than half of their gifts were received between October and December.
Philanthropy in the spotlight
In an attempt to draw even more attention to charitable giving, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving was designated “Giving Tuesday” (or #GivingTuesday) in 2012 and has become a more popular day to give each succeeding year. According to www.givingtuesday.org, online giving on #GivingTuesday has increased by roughly 470 percent since its inception. This year, #GivingTuesday will occur on December 1.
#GivingTuesday joins National Philanthropy Day (November 15) as a nationwide effort to put the spotlight on the important role nonprofits play in a global society. Since President Reagan first proclaimed National Philanthropy Day in 1986, communities around the country have marked the day with special events to recognize donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders and others involved in philanthropy.
But what remains the most important giving day of the year? December 31! According to Network for Good’s 2014 Digital Giving Index, 31 percent of online giving occurred in December, and 12 percent of gifts were made during the final three days of the year. Furthermore, the average dollar amount given online was higher on December 31 than on any other day of the year. The study revealed that, in 2014, the average daily size of a gift was $104. This number increased to $142 on #GivingTuesday and $229 on the last day of the year.
Both #GivingTuesday and National Philanthropy Day bring attention to the spirit of charitable giving in a season often overshadowed by consumerism and spending. They capitalize on the natural increase in charitable donations during this time period, bring attention to nonprofit missions and hopefully remind everyone that “it is better to give than to receive.”
These days also provide a good opportunity to use a digital strategy that follows up on your year-long multimedia communications and offers a convenient way for your donors to quickly give while giving is at the forefront of their minds. Contact a Sharpe representative for ideas about ways to take advantage of these special opportunities. ■
Sharpe Group has developed a new digital guide to help you plan and execute your year-end fundraising. “Your Guide to December Giving: The Most Generous Time of the Year,” includes our commentary, specific advice on seven ways to boost giving and communications materials you can use in both digital and print formats.
This guide and included materials are intended to be used by fundraisers to maximize gift potential during this important giving season. It is conveniently available for download and ready for immediate use.