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#GivingTuesdayNow: Was It Worth It?

5 min read
May 07, 2020
Tim Sarrantonio headshot
Tim Sarrantonio
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Neon One
GivingTuesdayNow Recap

We’re fresh off the heels of a new global day of giving, brought on by urgent needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic: GivingTuesdayNow. Organizations of all types and sizes crafted appeals, assets, and campaigns in a little under two months, and now many are wondering — was it worth it? 

The short answer is yes. 

Neon One clients raised over $54 million on May 5th. So maybe the better question is, how do we keep this momentum going? 

Why #GivingTuesdayNow?

#GivingTuesdayNow was launched as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. It was designed to drive an influx of generosity and support for communities and nonprofits around the world. As the crisis unfolded, the team behind GivingTuesday considered what the best role was for movement to play in the response to the effects of the pandemic.

They had already begun to support their global network of leaders and communities in their outreach, but knew there was more to be done. The team put a plan in place to move forward with #GivingTuesdayNow when partners around the world reached out for help in galvanizing a response to this crisis. And this day of unity and giving sure delivered just that.

Was GivingTuesdayNow Successful? 

To measure success, we analyzed donations across the entirety of our ecosystem. Through the combination of individual giving, peer-to-peer fundraising, and giving events, our clients helped raise $54,242,846 on GivingTuesdayNow, which demonstrates an increase of 50% from the historical efforts from last year’s #GivingTuesday.

“Neon One has been an important collaborator in the GivingTuesday Data Commons, not just as a provider of rich, granular data, but also as advisors and thought leaders. We’re grateful for their support of our efforts to uncover the drivers of greater generosity,” 

-Woodrow Rosenbaum, Chief Data Officer, GivingTuesday

Diving into some of the numbers a bit, we found that our CRM clients had an extremely interesting breakdown in giving:


  • Online credit card donations: $1,356,246.88
  • Online ACH donations: $81,961.04
  • Offline donations (checks, cash, etc.): $7,259,831.98 


  • Online credit card donations: $131.03
  • Online ACH donations: $179.35
  • Offline donations (checks, cash, etc.): $1,140.23

When analyzing our client impact across platform, what stood out was that an omnichannel communication strategy worked best, likely because it prevented appeals from appearing as solely transactional. 

Let’s celebrate just a few of the best #GivingTuesdayNow campaigns from across our ecosystem. 

Sesame Workshop

For #GivingTuesdayNow, our client Sesame Workshop (the global nonprofit behind the hit children’s TV show, Sesame Street) focused on fundraising to support their Caring for Each Other program. This program provides direct relief to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Throughout May 5th, they shared resources and clips, including this inspiring message from our friend, Elmo: 

Martha’s Vineyard Film Society

One of the hardest-hit sectors of the nonprofit sector has been the arts and culture space, which why it was so inspiring to see our clients rise up and showcase their value on #GivingTuesdayNow in special campaigns. A great example of this was the dedicated landing page that Martha’s Vineyard Film Society placed on their website that outlined their story, their value, and their needs to the community they serve.

North Texas Giving Day

There’s no way we couldn’t highlight the amazing campaign that best represents the spirit behind #GivingTuesdayNow – the metropolitan Dallas community rallied to raise $20,754,228 for 2,572 organizations. It teamed up the Communities Foundation of Texas, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Dallas Cowboys in one massive fundraising effort. 

North Texas Gives GivingTuesdayNow Results
North Texas Gives GivingTuesdayNow Results

This giving event also generated 9,494 volunteers that have pledged 297,226 hours to help organizations in their local communities. That is ultimately the spirit of any GivingTuesday event. 

Now what?

When we look across the landscape of giving that is occurring now, there are a few key trends that stand out. If you want to dive into the core concepts here, then we highly recommend John Haydon’s book “Donor Care: How To Keep Donors Coming Back After The First Gift.

  • Early Giving: On giving days like #GivingTuesdayNow, the impact of early giving or advance notice of the campaign is going to be huge. So if your organization is going to gear up to a later giving day in 2020, make sure this is a part of your strategy.
  • Telling Your Story: The most successful campaigns are the ones that focus on personalized stories, not transactional engagement. The best way to engage in giving days is to ride the wave in a smart way, as Neon One consultant Gail Perry outlines
  • Communicating Loss: Take this time to reflect on why you exist and what would happen if you ceased to exist. That scare you? That should also scare your donors, too. Tell them why.
  • Communicating Hope: Did you think we’d end on fear? No, your organization needs to communicate inspiration! We WILL achieve our goals but it must be with your help. This is one of the most important parts of the impact cycle. 

#GivingTuesdayNow isn’t about donating once and then stopping. It is a global movement about helping however someone can. Lean into that and know that when our communities need help, our donors will rise to the call. 

Thank you to all the campaigns that ran on #GivingTuesdayNow around the world!

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