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#GivingTuesday: How Social Media Helped Globalize a Movement

Written by:
December 3, 2019

Today is Giving Tuesday, annually recognized as the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. What began as an inspiring idea quickly turned into a global movement that encourages people to donate to local organizations and nonprofits in their community as the ‘giving season’ commences. Since the birth of the idea in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown into its own organization whose virality annually results in millions of dollars in donations for charities, organizations, and individuals across the globe. As of 2018, over $1 billion has been donated in the United States alone.

giving tuesday

Estimated Total Donations in Observation of Giving Tuesday

Donation totals have seen numerous and significant increases over the years as awareness of Giving Tuesday continues to spread throughout the world.

  • 2013: $28 million

  • 2014: $45.7 million

  • 2015: $116.7 million

  • 2016: $168-177 million

  • 2017: $274 million

  • 2018: $400 million

 Social Media, Hashtags, and Virality

When an image, video, concept, or piece of information is shared on the internet and gains rapid and widespread attention, it is said to have “gone viral.” Thanks to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, ‘hashtag activism’ is something that not only exists but has been known in a number of cases to achieve success in raising public awareness to a variety of causes and effect positive change.

At first, Giving Tuesday was just an idea. Through the use of publicity, powerful social media strategies, and marketing advice, the movement quickly went viral. What’s especially unique about this movement was the utilization of the hashtag. Using the hashtag #GivingTuesday in social media posts allowed for the movement to spread across social media like wildfire and rally people around the world and inspire them to give. The movement continues to grow significantly due to the use of hashtags and additional social media strategies.

Tips for Nonprofit Organizations on #GivingTuesday

If you are involved with a nonprofit, mark the Tuesday after Thanksgiving on your calendar each year and use the day to inspire those in your community (and beyond) to support your organization in the spirit of Giving Tuesday by:

  • Announcing your nonprofit organization’s participation in Giving Tuesday via social media

  • Creating an email marketing campaign encouraging donations

  • Setting up a “Donate” button on your organization’s Facebook page

  • Setting and promoting a reasonable donation goal

  • Use social media platforms to spread your message, tell an inspirational story, or otherwise motivate the public to give support

And don’t forget to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag on all of your social media posts to help continue the growth of this awesome movement!



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