Giving Tuesday 2019 Trends, Takeaways and Challenges

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Fundraising  |  2 comments

3 min to read ✭ In this post, we’ll discuss the trends, takeaways, results and challenges of Giving Tuesday 2019.

Overall, Giving Tuesday 2019 was a big success for the nonprofit sector with close to $2 billion being fundraised this year and a whopping $511 million raised online. That is a 28% increase from 2018 when it comes to online Giving Tuesday donations, going from $400 million to $511 million. Make no mistake, the data is clear and donors are becoming used to and make it a point to donate on Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday thankfully isn’t going anywhere.


Giving Tuesday Review

It’s really important to postmortem and review your organization’s Giving Tuesday success, so your team can continue to improve your December fundraising efforts year over year.

So let’s dive deeper into some of the biggest Giving Tuesday 2019 takeaways, challenges and talk key next steps to carry forward. Here at Community Boost, our team is supporting 40 year-end fundraising campaigns this year and here are some of the common themes we noticed.


How Our Predictions Panned Out

First, our founder and CEO, Cameron Ripley, over predicted how much would be raised through Facebook Fundraisers on Giving Tuesday. In 2018, Giving Tuesday donations on the Facebook platform grew from $45 million to $153 million. Interestingly in 2019, Facebook reported $120 million donated on Giving Tuesday, with another $20 more million on platform in the week leading up to Giving Tuesday.

Overall, Cameron publicly predicted definitely over $500 million, likely $540 million or more which was too high. The biggest miss was assuming Facebook fundraising would grow.


Fundraising Through Facebook

In hindsight, while Facebook rolled out another $7 million Giving Tuesday match, it’s our assumption that the sector didn’t market and push Facebook fundraising as hard as they did in 2018 as it was more apparent that it was unlikely that they would receive any piece of the match. I know some of our clients after 2018 had some difficult conversations with their donor base as to why they didn’t get a FB match.

In addition, this year running ads on Facebook for many nonprofits on Giving Tuesday was difficult due to the Facebook ad approval process taking a bit longer. We definitely heard from our network that organizations were struggling to get ads approved quickly at times (we definitely recommend and make it a habit to get ads approved, then pause for specific days like Giving Tuesday). Fortunately, we learned this mistake last year and if you still felt the effects of slow approval on Giving Tuesday, be sure to get your final year-end ads approved way before December 31st.


Returns and Opportunities

Overall, many of our nonprofit partners saw a solid return on Giving Tuesday via Facebook and Instagram advertising. Nonetheless, Cost Per Clicks were definitely a bit higher this year over last year. Advertising is growing on the platform and not just for nonprofits. The space naturally gets more crowded with more eCommerce advertising, Thanksgiving deals, Black Friday deals, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc. 

However, the obstacle is the way. With so many buying asks, it’s an opportunity to have your nonprofit Giving Tuesdays asks inspire hope and care. This phenomenon of wanting to give after buying so many things is a big part of GT’s continued growing success. So continue to test new creative and messaging to take advantage of this. 


The Deciding Factor

Honestly, the biggest difference-maker between nonprofits that crush Giving Tuesday versus the one’s that say it’s noisy and doesn’t impact them, is preparedness. Giving Tuesday is a day to capitalize on all of the goodwill, branding and community your organization has built up all year long! Not just a day that generous people are handing out money.

Cameron Ripley


  1. James L, on December 24, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    We are still new at this but are working on next year ASAP. Thank you.


  2. James L, on December 24, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    We are still new at this but are working on next year ASAP. Thank you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to grow your nonprofit?

Our team of purpose-driven digital marketers would love to learn more about your mission and chat about how your nonprofit can drive more online supporters, volunteers, clients & donors.