For the fourth consecutive year, #GivingTuesday grew big-time. On December 1, donors from 71 countries stepped up and gave generously to tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations in what has certainly become an established annual day of charitable action during the holiday season.

Based on aggregate numbers from dozens of digital donation processors, participating nonprofits raised more than $115 million. The previous year’s total was around $46 million.

Blackbaud – the largest processor of online donations – waived regular administrative fees for the day, helping to optimize the impact of dollars raised. Nonprofits deployed a number of strategies to raise funds. Matching gifts – a very traditional strategy – have proven efficient in encouraging large volumes of small contributions on #GivingTuesday.

Although they did not attribute their announcement to #GivingTuesday 2015, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced on December 1 that they would give away 99 percent of their Facebook company stock over their lifetime, amounting to $45 billion in charity. While the couple’s gargantuan gift has raised some concerns, some analysts credit the move as taking #GivingTuesday to the next level.

Success stories for this year abound. For the second year in a row, Seton Hall University has proven adept on this ascendent day of giving. Raising $34,000 during its inaugural year of #GivingTuesday participation in 2014, the school attracted more than $450,000 this year. Maryland nonprofits collectively raised more than $6 million.

In a truly astonishing display of fundraising prowess, the Sikh Coalition leveraged matching gifts to raise more than $127,000 to fuel its volunteer programs.

There are a number of fascinating details from this year’s #GivingTuesday that provide clues that will not only help nonprofits succeed next year, but will also help organizations take advantage of online donor trends anytime. The average gift for 2015 was $174.83, a 29 percent increase from the preceding year. Underscoring the importance of responsive website designs and cross-platform digital infrastructure, mobile giving accounted for 35 percent of this year’s donations, compared to 30 percent in 2015 and 24 percent in 2013. Additionally, in keeping with ongoing research on the philanthropic spirit of Generation Y, one-third of millennials were projected to participate in #GivingTuesday 2015.

Over the coming months, Key Elements Group LLC will provide ongoing coverage on the results and successes of #GivingTuesday 2015 as they emerge. Fundraising professionals would do well to follow these stories in order to begin constructing strategies for next year. If there is one thing that these early statistics and trends show, it is that #GivingTuesday is not only here to stay, but is also likely to become a foundational component to any successful year-end giving campaign.


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