Initial 2016 #GivingTuesday Estimates at $168 Million

The #GivingTuesday Data Project has announced that an estimated $168 million was raised online during the fifth annual #GivingTuesday event earlier this week.

According to the project, more than 1.5 million donations were processed during the day, while nearly 2.4 million social media engagements and countless acts of kindness were recorded. By Wednesday morning, the NonProfit Times reports, the combined estimated giving total from four major donation processing firms was approaching $125 million, surpassing the previous year's total of $117 million. The four firms were Blackbaud, which processed more than $47.7 million in online donations from U.S. donors, up about 20 percent from the almost $40 million it processed last year; PayPal, which reported $48 million in donations, up 5 percent from $45.8 million in 2015; DonorPerfect, which reported $18.9 million in donations processed, about 27 percent more than last year's total of almost $15 million; and Network for Good, which processed $7.6 million in donations, up from $6.55 million in 2015. According to NPT, donors located in nearly a hundred countries made gifts, including several nations that do not have official, independently led #GivingTuesday movements.

Established in 2012 as a charitable response to the post-Thanksgiving sales events associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday has quickly established itself as an important way for nonprofits to raise awareness of their activities at the start of the most critical fundraising period of the year. An estimated forty-five thousand organizations worldwide were believed to have participated in this year's event.

During a Facebook Live panel, Rachel Hutchisson, Blackbaud's vice president for corporate citizenship and philanthropy, said that online giving had been growing at roughly 10 percent annually in recent years. "People are used to doing different methods," Hutchisson said. "Our lives are driven by interacting with technology. Giving is so easy now, it's just part of our life."

"2016 #GivingTuesday by the Numbers." 92 Street Y InfoGraphic 12/01/2016. Mark Hrywna. "Early Estimates Have #GivingTuesday Up 20%." The NonProfit Times 11/29/2016.