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Bonterra customers power social impact on GivingTuesday 2022: A look at the numbers

Ben Miller
SVP, data science
December 16, 2022
Woman in blue shirt standing with box of clothes next to clothes rack

Nov. 29, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the internationally recognized day of generosity, GivingTuesday. What started in 2012 as a humble endeavor to counteract the consumerism of Black Friday and now Cyber Monday has transformed into the largest day of impact in the social good sector. The support generated around this movement continues to resonate with those looking to make a difference during the holiday season, as GivingTuesday Data Commons estimates that over $3.1 billion was raised on this day alone! Bonterra is a proud supporter and partner of the GivingTuesday movement.

In recent years, Black Friday deals have started earlier and continued into the next week. We see a similar trend in the social good space—it is also common for organizations and companies with giving programs to see an influx of generosity in the days surrounding GivingTuesday.  

To account for the full picture of what took place on the Bonterra platform surrounding the 2022 GivingTuesday movement, we’re diving into data between Nov. 26 – Dec. 2—which we will refer to as GivingTuesday week—with specific call outs to results generated on Nov. 29, 2022. The data you will see within this blog includes our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) solution; CyberGrants and our Fundraising and Engagement solutions; EveryAction, GiveGab, Mobilize, Network for Good, and Salsa, many of which have participated in GivingTuesday since the start.  

Every year, we empower our customers to spark change through corporate social responsibility initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and robust fundraising campaigns on GivingTuesday, and year-round, with our best-in-class social good technology.

GivingTuesday week by the numbers

Despite the current economic environment, there was a strong response from donors, volunteers, participating organizations, and corporations during GivingTuesday. On Nov. 29, over $70.8 million was raised online through Bonterra’s solutions. And as we look at the full week of giving, our solutions were utilized by 625,000 donors who collectively gave over $132.3 million online from Nov. 26 – Dec 2.

Social impact generated on GivingTuesday week by Bonterra customers
Over 60,000 organizations and nearly 200 corporations participated in GivingTuesday week through Bonterra solutions.

Our data also showed that the most common gift size on GivingTuesday week was $50, and the average gift size was $187. While large donations certainly were well represented, these insights show that GivingTuesday continues to be a grassroots effort that encourages donors with less capacity to give and those who are giving for the first time to connect with causes in their communities.

And as we all can attest; the collective giving of small donors can yield big results! With current industry trends indicating that donors have been declining in recent years while donations have grown, nonprofits are increasingly dependent on fewer donors giving more. That is why these small and new donors acquired on GivingTuesday are a welcome addition for many nonprofits.

Donors from across the United States took an active role in supporting participating organizations during GivingTuesday week, with the greatest number of gifts coming from metropolitan areas, particularly New York, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Columbus, Ohio. We also saw significant pockets of impact across the Midwest, Alaska, and Hawai’i, reflecting the breadth of philanthropy powered by Bonterra’s solutions on Nov. 29, 2022, and throughout GivingTuesday week.

GivingTuesday week donation origins
Donors from all over the US participated in GivingTuesday week.

With a purpose to power those who power social impact, there is an ever-growing importance at Bonterra to not only highlight the work of our customers, but also to draw insights from their results to help the entire social good sector to expand their impact.

Key findings from Bonterra’s GivingTuesday 2022 results

  • Philanthropy remains strong throughout GivingTuesday week.  
  • Nonprofit communications continue to drive donations.
  • Corporate matches and incentives empower employee giving.
  • Volunteerism remains a significant driver of social good on GivingTuesday.

Philanthropy remains strong throughout GivingTuesday week.  

Dollars raised on GivingTuesday week by day
Donations made on days surrounding GivingTuesday account for nearly half of all dollars raised.

The graph above visualizes the importance of accounting for the philanthropic activity that happens on the days surrounding GivingTuesday. While giving hit its anticipated peak on Nov. 29, there was a significant increase in giving between Nov. 26 – Dec. 2.

The day of GivingTuesday accounted for just 53% of the total raised through Bonterra during the entire GivingTuesday week at $70.8 million. The three days prior to GivingTuesday accounted for 18.7% of donations, and most notably, the three days following attributed to 28.7%. Collectively 132.3 million was raised online through Bonterra during GivingTuesday week. While there are many factors that influenced when a donor made their gift, these findings indicate that the GivingTuesday movement has expanded beyond a singular date.

Take action: Consider how your organization or company can apply these results to your next giving event or campaign. Add some padding to your campaign by offering an incentive for early giving and factor in creative ways to help you solicit any final gifts needed to meet your fundraising goal. Remember that while Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday create an environment of generosity, but that your mission is the reason donors give to you.

Nonprofit communications continue to power donations

Outreach during GivingTuesday week
Email and SMS messaging play a large role in reaching new and returning donors on GivingTuesday week.

Email and SMS (also known as mobile messaging or texting) are essential in how an organization communicates its needs and goals with its donors and future supporters. Email continues to be the most popular form of communication during an organization’s campaign, with over 195 million sent on Nov. 29 alone. It is also worth noting that nearly 1 million SMS messages were sent, which allowed organizations to deliver messages to their donors in a more personal way.

When compared to the totals raised during GivingTuesday week, we saw that communications and donations ramped up proportionally in the days leading to GivingTuesday, but that communications dropped off faster than donations on the days immediately following. This shows an opportunity to send additional messages in the days following GivingTuesday since donors are still likely to give, and there will be less competition for their attention.  

Emails and donations by time on GivingTuesday
Organizations send the most emails around 5 PM ET on GivingTuesday which caused an spike in giving in the evening hours.

We can also gain further insights by taking a more in-depth look at when organizations sent emails through EveryAction and Network for Good’s solutions and when they noted larger percentages of donations coming in. Emails sent during the morning of GivingTuesday, 7 AM – 12 PM ET, directly correlated with an increase in gifts. And most notably, a significant spike in emails near the end of the workday spurred an even greater increase in giving taking place in the evening hours.  

Nov. 29 was unique in terms of timing of when donations came in. Both in the days prior to and proceeding GivingTuesday, we saw higher amounts of giving during the morning hours that tapered off in the afternoon and evening. But on GivingTuesday, we saw the opposite, with donations continuing to rise throughout the day, hitting a peak from 8-9 PM ET.  

Take action: As you can see from the charts above, your organization is not the only one hitting send on a multitude of emails. Being deliberate in your messaging and tailoring it to your unique donor segments will go a long way in ensuring your communication will resonate with your audience. But the most important thing to note is that sending emails and SMS messages works! Many organizations are wary of sending too many communications, especially during GivingTuesday, but our findings suggest it plays a major role in getting more donors and supporters to take action on behalf of your organization.

Corporate matches and incentives empower employee giving

Employee giving on GivingTuesday Week
$29.7 million dollars was raised by employees of companies that led GivingTuesday initiatives.

Corporations that led GivingTuesday initiatives had a significant influence on the philanthropic support received by the social good community from Nov. 26 – Dec 2. To inspire their employees to participate in GivingTuesday, many corporations leveraged matching programs, meaning that when an employee donated to a cause, the employer made an additional contribution on their behalf. Matches help employers recognize and appreciate their employees' efforts and support for causes they're passionate about and allows employees to feel they made a larger impact with their gift.

recent survey conducted by Double the Donation showed that 84% of donors are more likely to give if a match is offered and that one in three donors is more likely to make a larger gift when a match is applied. This mirrors our findings from GivingTuesday week. From Nov. 26 – Dec 2, over 31 million employee-made gifts were matched by participating corporations. These matched donations brought in  $29.7 million in additional funding for nonprofits. On top of that, the average gift made by an employee on the CyberGrants solution during GivingTuesday week was $413, 127% higher than the average gift size across all Bonterra products, $182.  

Take action: The relationship between nonprofit organizations and corporations is symbiotic. When a community is thriving, so are the local businesses. We encourage corporations and their partner nonprofits to engage in ongoing conversations about how they can collaborate on events like GivingTuesday to significantly amplify community impact through employee gift matching.

Volunteerism remains a significant driver of social good on GivingTuesday

Volunteer impact on GivingTuesday
Over 60,000 volunteers gave their time to a cause during GivingTuesday week.

While much of this blog has centered around the monetary impact of GivingTuesday, we must also examine the role volunteerism plays in telling the full story of the success that took place during GivingTuesday week, especially as the value of a volunteer hour rises to $30 an hour

With the excitement of GivingTuesday campaign planning, many organizations leveraged volunteers to support these endeavors. Additionally, GivingTuesday presents an opportunity for community members to seek new organizations to connect with and give their time. Through our volunteer management software, Mobilize, we saw that while Nov. 29 had the largest number of participants, with 10,108 volunteers stepping up to give their time, generosity again went beyond that singular date, with over 60,000 people donating their time throughout GivingTuesday week.

Take action: Consider adding a volunteer component to your next giving event. This provides your organization or company with a way for others to give back in non-monetary forms, making participation in the event more accessible and allowing you to grow long-term support for your causes.

While many organizations and companies are still in year-end giving mode, with the New Year on the horizon, it is our hope that you can take a moment to reflect on the impact generated throughout the social good sector and consider how you can take action from these findings. At Bonterra, we are honored to enable our customers as they put $132.3 million directly back into their communities to drive impact in 2023,

Note from the author:

This blog was made possible by Bonterra’s Data Analytics team, which collected and analyzed data across six of our fundraising and engagement and corporate social responsibility solutions. I would like to recognize the individual contributions of my team in providing insights into the impact created by our Bonterra customers during GivingTuesday week. Thank you, James Keane, Jack McCormick, and Lauren Oldja for your dedication to powering those who power social impact by providing a trusted data source to fuel change.

Written by

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
SVP, data science
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing
  • Fundraising ideas