Sarah Ford | December 12, 2013

Giving That Gets Engagement

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Giving that gets engagementIf the surprise of this year’s Black Friday was a sag in sales, the surprise of #GivingTuesday was the jump in engagement around philanthropy. We didn’t quite see lines of people camping outside nonprofits the night before, waiting to give (though one very funny parody video claimed we did), but we did see some positive numbers.

According to Blackbaud—which measured the largest data sample—there was a 90 percent increase in online giving over #GivingTuesday last year. Network for Good recorded a 74 percent increase, and Paypal showed a 123 percent rise in charitable donations.

The engagement of nonprofits and other civic organizations appeared to play a big part in the increases: Ten thousand partners took part in all 50 states and around the world. Participants sent more than a half a million tweets, and #GivingTuesday was the number-one trending topic on Twitter (when was the last time philanthropy placed there?). #GivingTuesday was even up in lights in Times Square.

We also saw some powerful campaigns. Baltimore came together as a city to raise more than $5.4 million for local causes. Good Ventures used #GivingTuesday to announce a remarkable $5 million matching grant to GiveDirectly, challenging supporters to match these funds during the giving season. The Red Cross went in another direction and spent the day saying “thank you” to those who help them all year around.

As we reflected on this remarkable uptick in #GivingTuesday activity, we looked back on the 25-plus philanthropists who participated in the Giving That Gets Results blogs, webinars, and videos—a series that drew the highest number of subscribers ever to aStanford Social Innovation Review webinar (more than 2,500). What became clear was the imperative to fundamentally re-imagine how we build strategies and communities in the social sector so that they are more adaptive to an ever-changing and uncertain landscape. And we were struck by a common theme that kept surfacing: engaging constituents—that is, collaborating partners and beneficiaries—to more deeply understand what the sector needs and what’s working.

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​Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review

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