Some nonprofits in the Little Rock area saw an increase in donations this past Giving Tuesday and some credit the use of social media as a reason why.
Giving Tuesday, which began in 2012, is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It follows the shopping days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, and encourages people to give money to organizations they value. Some Arkansas nonprofits noticed improvements in their fundraising this year.
David Sorge is the digital strategist for the Arkansas Children’s Foundation. He says this year, the organization hoped to receive more donations than years prior by using better marketing strategies.
“I think our biggest goal was to increase our visibility within the state of Arkansas to make sure that when people were thinking about making their gift on giving Tuesday, that we were top of mind,” Sorge said.
While Sorge could not give exact numbers on how much the foundation raised on Tuesday, he did say it was a big success. The donation volume is around three times what it was last year.
Sorge credits the organization's greater use of social media and Google ads as some reasons why this year’s Giving Tuesday was a success. The foundation started planning their marketing strategies in June.
Centers for Youth and Families, a nonprofit that provides services that promote emotional and social wellness for children and families, had a fundraising goal of $2,000 this year. While they did not quite make the goal, they did come close and raised around $1,500. This is an increase from what the organization raised last year.
Melissa Hendricks, the director of the Centers for Youth and Families foundation, also credited use of social media and outreach as a reason for this year's boost in donations.
“I would think that our efforts to promote Giving Tuesday through social media, through direct mail and through our e-newsletter… and promoting that way of giving to our board members probably made a difference, got the word out a lot better than it did last year," Hendricks said. “It seemed like a lot of nonprofits were doing a lot to get the word out in a bigger way this year.”
The Arkansas Foodbank used Facebook fundraisers for the first time to raise money. Between the organization’s fundraiser and fundraisers from staff, the foodbank raised $8,500. That’s 40,000 meals from Facebook fundraising alone.
The foodbank raised enough money for 155,000 meals on Tuesday. While this is a slight dip in their donations, last year’s total was a record for the nonprofit.
Tyler Lindsey, communications director for the Arkansas Foodbank says this time of year is the foodbanks’s busiest for collecting donations. The nonprofit collects about 50 percent of its annual donations in the last quarter of the year.
“Everything is very very important for us. Especially even just on a Giving Tuesday like today. It really helps us out, not only through the holidays, but donations drop off in January and February,” Lindsey said. “Those are typically our two slowest months of the year. So, to be able to end on a high note always helps us carry onto the next year.”
Though Giving Tuesday is finished, that does not mean the giving season is through. According to Sorge, this is not even the foundation’s largest donation day of the year.
“It’s really our second biggest day of the year. Our biggest day of the year, believe it or not is the last day of the year. But, this one’s becoming a close second. We’re going to have a hard time beating what we did yesterday at the end of the year,” Sorge said.