The idea of having a Giving Tuesday fundraising drive has become commonplace among New York nonprofits, but it remains an open question to what extent this charitable response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday hurts or hinders nonprofits’ fundraising efforts.
Thus far, all signs indicate that the 2017 Giving Tuesday will be the biggest one yet. Total amounts of money raised and participating organizations has risen every year since the idea first came out of the 92nd Street Y in 2012. Online searches for “Giving Tuesday” have spiked above last years’ suggesting the nonprofit holiday will beat the totals from last year when more than $47.7 million went to 6,700 organizations, according to Blackbaud, a leading processor of online donations.
In a year with several prominent hurricanes, two-thirds of people who donated to disaster relief plan to give again on Nov. 28, according to a survey released on Nov. 20 by Survey Monkey and the 92nd Street Y. Six out of 10 Americans donated money, half gave food and clothing and more than one-third volunteered for a nonprofit this year, states the survey. About 75 percent of people who donated to a charity on Giving Tuesday last year also contributed gave money at some other time in 2016.
This year should be no different, according to promoters of Giving Tuesday.
“Charitable giving shows no signs of slowing down as we approach #GivingTuesday,” Asha Curran, chief innovation officer at 92nd Street Y and director of its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, said in a statement. “New technologies powering online giving make it even easier.”
Nonprofits throughout New York will reach out to donors today, inviting them to contribute to causes as diverse as combatting homelessness and promoting rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico, but there are signs, at least anecdotally, that the nonprofit sector might be reaching a saturation point by concentrating so many competing fundraising efforts on the same day.
“There’s a lot of noise now … it will be interesting to see where this goes,” Jimmy Lee, president of Goodcity Chicago, told Crain’s Business Chicago.
While it remains to be seen how much New York nonprofits will raise on Nov. 28, the need to compete with each other for the attention of donors has led some to adopt different strategies in their fundraising pitches.
Some have emphasized that donations will be matched. Others emphasize the work they do and the communities they benefit. At least one has dangled to possibility of winning tickets to the Broadway musical Hamilton, but all of them carry a shared sense of urgency.