Now in it's fourth year, #GivingTuesday, in the words of its organizers, "harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges."
So, how does social media as a platform to address local challenges look in Kansas City?
M&C is following 30 randomly selected local charities and here's a brief overview of what we've seen.
The majority of these organizations are active on social media: 90% on Facebook and 73% on Twitter. The smaller organizations are slightly less likely to be active on Twitter. Only four organizations – three small and one large – emailed requests for #GivingTuesday support.
There was not a great deal of activity around #GivingTuesday last week, with only about a quarter of the socially active organizations making any mention of the event. Interestingly enough, the same Early Promoters tended to be active across both platforms.
The activity began to increase on Sunday and built from there to Tuesday's crescendo of 59 posts and 81 tweets from the 34 organizations communicating about it.
That's an average of seven communications per socially active organization. Volume was actually far less evenly spread, with two of the organizations (one small and one large) accounting for nearly a third of the total.
The campaigns that were more involved appeared to result in significantly more constituent engagement. Some examples, from low to higher involvement, include:
• simply announce #GivingTuesday
• invite participation/ask for donations
• set a goal/target amount to be raised
• provide program-based reasons to give
• promote social involvement (e.g., unselfie photos)
• host an event or activity
• offer a matching gift
• recognize participation (public acknowledgement; retweet activity; etc.)
Perhaps not surprisingly, it was one of the smallest organizations that was most agile and interactive. (Check back in a week or so for a sampling of some of those best posts!) The larger organizations, by contrast, tended toward fewer, more broadcast announcements. There was virtually no response/engagement to the organizations that made a single, broadcast announcement
However, volume alone is not the answer. One mid-sized organization, after more than six weeks of Twitter silence, suddenly tweeted five times in the span of a few hours.
It will be interesting to see if giving actually increases (see current estimate now and watch for Blackbaud Trends report) this year. As a fundraiser, I hope you're also considering how you can use #GivingTuesday to strengthen your connection with current donors and to begin to establish meaningful relationships with new constituents!
[Note: M&C worked with Nonprofit Connect to randomly select a representative range of Kansas City philanthropic organizations. Over the past 40 years, Nonprofit Connect has firmly established itself one of the area's primary providers of training, resources and networking opportunities for the nonprofit community.]