User Generated Content Drives the #GivingTuesday Movement Towards Success

UNnselfie MovementTime NewsFeed asserts that, “A good ‘word of the year’ will sum up our culture as it was during that particular orbit around the sun.” As the earth makes its full revolution, it seems only right that the giving season is here and #GivingTuesday has restored the balance over the 2013 Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year by introducing the #UNselfie. An online campaign designed to generate earned media for good causes around the globe by asking supporters to take a picture of themselves doing something for the greater good.

There were many vehicles in place for spreading awareness through print, radio, and television, but nothing takes the cake like simple word-of-mouth. The White House took part in pushing forth the #GivingTuesday Movement along with many other prominent public figures, celebrities, nonprofits, and socially responsible corporations.

People across the nation catapulted the movement’s efforts through user generate content by promoting #GivingTuesday as a national day of giving, helping good go viral through social media and a multi-channel approach. Whether you’ve made the The Bieber or The Sunsoaker your favorite selfie pose this year, #GivingTuesday provided each and every one of you self-regarding exhibitionists an opportunity to shed the narcissism and cast your stance on raising awareness for your favorite cause or nonprofit organization.

User Generated Content – #UNselfie Movement

The Tale Of The Hashtag

Over the last 30 days, 723,237 unique tweets were sent out with 289,063 of them peaking on #GivingTuesday while #UNselfie reached 33,580 total tweets and 16,933 on Decembers 3, 2013. They both achieved a Topsy Sentiment Score of 84, which is comparable to brands like Calvin Klein (83), Pepsi (84), and Taco Bell (86) during the 2013 NFL Superbowl. I’m talking about hundreds of billions of impressions with retweets, @replies, and the impact on other social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.


This year, there were 10,000+ nonprofits participating in #GivingTuesday worldwide, a 300% increase over 2012 with only 2500 organizations during its kick-off year. It is anticipated that the number of mentions for #GivingTuesday will surge to a cool million+ by the end of the year as the giving season continues.

As you can see in the graph below, the use of #UNselfie started to drop hard and fast when supporters stopped producing content just one day later. The good thing is that the giving has not been interrupted.


A Bigger Trend in Global Personal Philanthropy

Blackbaud, a leading source of nonprofit news, trends, best practices, and a founding partner of #GivingTuesday recently published its findings for the 2013 giving day to reveal a final tally of $19.2 million in online donations, up 90% from $10.1 million since the inaugural season in 2012. While Black Friday suffered it’s first decline in spending since 2009.

Is this a sign of the times? Are we are heading towards a major decline in global apathy? I hope so! With all the record-breaking fundraising which occurred for many organizations – big and small – perhaps #GivingTuesday is the answer towards breaking past the 2% GDP ceiling in charitable giving. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep the optimism flowing.

Needless to say, the bump in online fundraising for #GivingTuesday should provide a compelling argument to all the naysayers and skeptics. Take a look at FirstGiving for example; donations increased by 175%, from $159,102.96 in 2012 to $438,018.50 on December 3rd. Then there’s the General Board of Global Ministries UMC in Los Angeles who yielded $6.5 million from 11,000 donors in 34 countries.

Mobile and social media will continue to play a major role in online fundraising, especially with an increase of 205% in mobile donations in North America alone. Thus contributing to a larger trend in global personal philanthropy as we move into the new year. Combining this with the power of crowdsourcing will allow people to fundraise for the causes they care about most while at the same time garnering a return on relationship through increased awareness for the organizations they cherish.

It is important for 501(c)(3)’s to demonstrate transparency and high visibility in spending, allowing supporters to see how their contributions are causing impact. Existing technologies and new innovations in the nonprofit sector will continue to drive and expand this effort. In the future, digital literacy programs and capacity building will help all organizations participate in #GivingTuesday to reach new donors and break some records of their own.

Just as online technology is helping business reach millions of new potential customers in a more targeted way, it’s also helping nonprofits reach a huge pool of potential new donors.” —Bill Gates

Moving forward, I can see the first Tuesday after every Thanksgiving as the official launch date to the charitable giving season and year-end fundraising. #GivingTuesday will be established as a household term as commonly familiar to the masses as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Like many foundations in the country hosting a Giving Day to empower their communities, the #GivingTuesday Movement sets to do the same on a global scale.

If you missed this historical fundraising event, not to worry. The next one isn’t until December 2, 2014. I think you have a little bit of time to start prepping. The best is yet to come!

Congratulations on a well coordinate effort! Kudos to all +Giving Tuesday partners, ambassadors, and social change agents for participating. I am grateful to +Henry Timms of the +92nd Street Y, Kathy Calvin of the +United Nations Foundation, and +Steve MacLaughlin of +Blackbaud for making this a reality.

Special acknowledgment to +Google+ and +Mashable for hosting the first ever Hangout-a-thon which featured 12-hours of giving live and direct. Check out the video below if you missed it.

I suggest you bookmark this page and watch it in piecemeal.

Did you participate in #GivingTuesday this year? Please share your results, biggest challenges, and overall thoughts on how to make it better for next year.