Move over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Canadians are taking a break from the shopping frenzy. December 2 was GivingTuesday, a day for Canada and the whole world to celebrate giving back and supporting the causes that matter to them. Over 3,200 businesses, charities and organizations celebrated the second annual GivingTuesday in Canada – that’s more than double the number in 2013 – signaling a growing shift towards helping others.
So did GivingTuesday have an impact?
According to new data from CanadaHelps, the second annual GivingTuesday increased charitable donations in Canada by 75% on top of last GivingTuesday’s lift of 169%. This amounts to a 369% increase in the number of donations and a 205% increase in dollars donated compared to 2012.
Like last year, charities that actively promoted GivingTuesday saw the greatest lift in donations, with an average overall increase of 93% in number of donations received through CanadaHelps. And, many Canadians committed to the ongoing work of a charity, with the number of new monthly donations set-up using CanadaHelps increasing 84%.
Charitable donations through CanadaHelps increased 75%.
Several other online giving platforms also announced significant increases including Frontstream (+30%), Mobile Giving Foundation Canada (+75%) and Blackbaud (+36% in North America). All of these increases are on top of significant lift in 2013. And charitable donations are just one way that people got involved; volunteering and other forms of giving are an important part of the annual event with individuals families, and work colleagues getting behind numerous initiatives such as socks and clothing drives, helping out at local food banks, signing up to donate blood or organs, acts of kindness and much more.
Civic movements power citizen engagement
This year Canada saw several cities embark on organized civic movements, including Halifax, Guelph, Sarnia-Lambton, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver. Numerous mayors, from Halifax's Mayor Mike Savage on the East coast to Vancouver's Mayor Gregor Robertson on the West, proclaimed December 2nd, 2014 as "GivingTuesday". These civic movements created a platform for a deeper level of engagement between charities, businesses and local residents. One such group, GuelphGives, rallied with the mantra ONE CITY - ONE DAY - ONE MILLION. Organizers celebrated with various events around the city, all in pursuit of a $1 million dollar giving goal. GuelphGives leaders announced on December 3, 2014 that total donations had reached over $1.2 million
Online and social media phenomenon
Endorsements from President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston, celebrity twitter posts and millions of individual social-media exchanges helped power the GivingTuesday momentum in Canada. Social media was brimming with GivingTuesday stories, with #GivingTuesday trending all day. GivingTuesdayCa was tweeted 34,000 times and generated 47 Million impressions on Dec 2nd alone. Hundreds of local and national media outlets, small and large, as well as politicians, celebrities and charitable sector advocates participated by lending their voices in support of GivingTuesday.
Facebook has a major impact.
Donors responded to charity social media engagement again this year. Frontstream reports that the top referring web site for donors was Facebook which also accounted for 85% of donations initiated through social media. Facebook conversion doubled on Frontstream compared to 2013.
Facebook was the top referring web site for donors to Frontstream.
Businesses embraced GivingTuesday, with unprecedented matching gifts and many other creative and innovative GivingTuesday campaigns. This year saw participation from large corporations like Interac, PayPal, CIBC, Deloitte, Tim Hortons, Morneau Shepell, McDonalds and Sobeys, as well as small businesses like South Street Burger Co., North York Chrysler, Paws For Pictures and more.
Impact metrics understated
Given such a wide array of giving and volunteering activities, tracking the total impact of GivingTuesday is a challenge. While several online giving platforms report significant increases on December 2 and beyond, the offline giving and other forms of generosity are harder to quantify.
Globally, more than 26,000 charities, businesses and community organizations celebrated GivingTuesday this year, with activities in 68 countries. Check out this compilation of some amazing and inspiring GivingTuesday moments.