#GivingTuesday Predictions: Search Is Down, Hope Is Up (news)

2022 Giving Tuesday Predictions: Search Is Down, Hope Is Up

Whole Whale, the publishers of this newsletter, predict a record-setting $3.2 billion will be donated for Giving Tuesday this year. The prediction is the result of an analysis based on an adjusted linear regression, trends in Google Search terms around “Giving Tuesday,” and national giving trends. This method predicts an 18% or $500 million increase over 2021’s total amount raised. While this is an optimistic prediction, several negative indicators might give nonprofits more caution heading into the season of giving, including decreased Giving Tuesday search volume, narratives around inflation and economic pains, a public drained of giving after an election cycle, and a potential return to post-pandemic giving patterns. Yet, elections can lead to heightened social engagement, and online shopping trends continue to be strong despite economic worries. (2022’s Black Friday set a record for online giving.) Whatever the final tally of donation revenue comes in during #GivingTuesday, remember to thank your donors!


Rough Transcript

[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit News Feed for November 28th. This week we, uh, we have our big day, the day of the Tuesday of Giving, giving Tuesday. We’re excited to talk about this and what’s going on. Nick, hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed family time. I know you had a massive amount of, uh, of humans eating Turkey.

[00:00:26] We had a massive amount of humans eating Turkey. Multiple turkeys I should say, but it was super fun and happy giving Tuesday. George, I sorry I didn’t get you anything. Um, but what I do have for you is some predictions. Uh, we are starting out with our 2022 Giving Tuesday predictions, and we’re going with the headline.

[00:00:51] Search is down, hope is up. We’re seeing some. Conflicting factors. So Whole Whale, which is US , we write the nonprofit newsfeed, whole letter, uh, newsletter. And we as in you predict a record setting $3.2 billion to be donated for giving Tuesday this year. And our prediction is the result of an analysis based on an adjusted linear regression.

[00:01:17] But we also take a peak at things like Google Search terms around giving Tuesday and broader. Giving trends. So using this method, we have officially predicted an 18% or 500 million increase over 2020 ones total amount raised. So this is an optimistic prediction, but there are several negative indicators, uh, that could potentially, uh, be pushing down this increase in including headlines regarding, uh, inflation and economic pains.

[00:01:53] We just came off an election cycle. Maybe folks are tired of giving, um, and we’re potentially returning to kind of a post pandemic social engagement. That being said, we’re seeing online shopping trends from Black Friday set new records. So it seems that even though we’re all talking about the economy, the consumer, uh, sector, particularly on Black Friday did real well.

[00:02:21] So, George, what’s, what do you make of this as the, the, the predictor himself? The, the Chief Guesser and Chief Waer? Yeah. I am excited. 10 years of giving Tuesday. I mean, this is the 10 year anniversary, uh, of how it’s come up and, you know, it is pretty steadily in terms of donations, uh, increased at a, at a decent clip.

[00:02:45] One of the things though that I am seeing, and this is tough cause there’s some lagging search data when I’m pulling it up, but right now, um, it, it is, it, it’s trending behind. Um, Uh, call it 10 to 20%. It’s hard to pin it down exactly year over year, but it is certainly not exceeding previous years of giving Tuesday.

[00:03:09] And if you look at this trend for the past five years of, uh, giving Tuesday in search, why I care about it is that I’m hoping that it becomes a regular recognized holiday on par. The other major players, you know, Halloween of, you know, black Friday, of things that you will see in terms of increasing search.

[00:03:33] And, and frankly, over the past five years, it has been, um, it’s peak, it’s peak in terms of search related trends and, uh, questions in the United States being asked and has decreased. And this is seemingly continued into, into this year. And. One of the things that you need to happen for a holiday is continued awareness.

[00:03:58] And part of that awareness, and this is a proxy, but part of that awareness is the number of people putting in related queries to, to giving Tuesday in and around the holiday. And, you know, hopefully this isn’t, uh, fatigue setting in, but we’ll see it, um, we’ll see the results in terms of, of dollars and maybe, uh, maybe it’s just one of those.

[00:04:20] That finds, uh, finds its level of awareness, but a different level of giving. So I’m, I’m still optimistic about the giving cuz as you mentioned, people are, are still spending despite threats of recession, uh, looming overhead. And hopefully that continues. And, you know, we, we’ve been telling people to check their, check, their real time analytics to pay attention to look.

[00:04:42] I think it’s an important time also, as you are looking and reviewing, like, okay, how did it go? How’s our donation form? Like this is the kickoff to giving season, but also this is the last year. This is the last year that your current universal Google Analytics will work. We’ll show you conversions. We’ll show you where donors are going.

[00:05:05] This is it. This is the last December you. With the old version of Google Analytics. So just for funsies, take a look if you haven’t already at GA four, Google Analytics four. It’s the upgrade that Google is forcing all clients to move onto. Mid next year, in July of 2023, take a look at what it looks like in terms of your donation tracking and flow, because that’s what you’re gonna have this time next year.

[00:05:35] I mean, this won’t be the last time I talk about it, but this is your last season, so this is a good time to be taking notes of what you, uh, what you may need to plan for next to your next season. But right now, pay attention, make sure donation forms are working and doing your best with your email messaging.

[00:05:52] Get people in the door.

[00:05:55] Yeah, George, those are great points. We’ll wait to see the final numbers, but if you’re listening to this today, make sure you check your forms and something we say at Whole Whale is always remember to thank your donors as well. Um, and if you follow the newsfeed, you can see some links to some best practices around fundraising, thanking your donors and all that good.

[00:06:17] Right. I can take us into the summary now. And this is an article from Non-Profit Technology. Uh, news was reposting from, uh, KOMO News, KOMO news uh.com, which talks about. In Seattle, Washington, um, a Seattle based nonprofit called Housing Connector has part partnered with a local technology firm, Zillow, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, to help more than 3,700 people.

[00:06:48] Homeless people move into affordable housing, and this was over the past three years and. I’m gonna guess, George, that we put this in here because we love a good public private partnership. It seems here that housing connector had a system for seamlessly connecting landlords to qualified homeless tenants eased the friction in that process.

[00:07:15] Of course, with anything administrative. Um, it, it’s really significantly harder for folks experiencing homelessness. And in addition, uh, with assistance from Zillow, we’re able to get homeless folks into housing. Um, cuz we are experiencing a housing crisis in these United States. So this is just a real cool example of tech and public private partnerships creating real results, at least in Seattle, was.

[00:07:44] This is exactly right. Their, their housing connector. They’re talking about the efficiency that it gives case managers at the tip of their fingers, like the alternative here. The alternative here is that, Communities, municipalities pony up for incredibly expensive databases to manage and and maintain really cuz you need live data.

[00:08:08] And the truth is, the public market has already created this. They’re paying for it. Zillow’s doing just fine because of their knowledge of, uh, real estate networks. And this is the a type of partnership that creates efficiencies and really, Focuses resources on affordable housing, which if you pull the thread on so many societal ills in the United States, so many of them, that thread leads right back to affordable housing in areas that have access to resources, solve that.

[00:08:44] Um, and so I love seeing Zillow being a part of this and hope other. Other districts to take a look at this, uh, this housing connector versus, you know, the question of like, wait a minute, we have to build everything internally and go this, um, go this other route. So, uh, yep. I like highly and stuff like this.

[00:09:05] Yeah, I absolutely agree. It’s a, a cool story. We hope more of this happens.

[00:09:10] The moment you’ve been waiting for George. Our next story is from Market Watch, and the title of this story is Charities funded by Sam Bankman, freed of the infamous FTX fame, has been asked to return donations to nonprofits that Ft X’s fund had given money to. So the background on this is Fdx is a cryptocurrency exchange created.

[00:09:37] Sam Bankman Freed and the whole system collapsed a couple weeks ago in. What was a liquidity crisis that essentially created a digital bank run. And it’s much, much more complicated than that. But anyway, uh, this exchange collapsed, but its founder was a very public proponent of the effective altruism movement, um, potentially to.

[00:10:03] Market himself and, uh, divert attention away from other potentially illegal, if not, uh, morally questionable actions. Um, but anyway, the funds that the foundation has given to nonprofits, um, there’s a potential that in an effort to repay, um, folks who have debt in, in ftx, there might actually be clawbacks essentially.

[00:10:29] Uh, Through the, the process nonprofits might have to give some of the funds that they got donated back to the foundation, um, which is devastating to these nonprofits. And it seems that a, a couple of people might be stepping up to kind of, you know, provide cover for these non-profits, so it doesn’t happen.

[00:10:50] Um, but, but Jordan, I mean, this is, this is terrible. And, uh, I have, I have more thoughts, but I wanna, I wanna get your thoughts on this. Well, this is just, you know, watching one, one shoe drop after another in terms of the, the level of fraud, which frankly is not the first time we have seen in crypto, or frankly in financial markets in general.

[00:11:17] You don’t need to have that long a memory to realize that yes, this was in the level of a 16 billion fraud, but there was a level of 60 plus billion by Bernie Madoff also. A very well known philanthropist and clawbacks actually happened in that case as well. Which is just an important note to, to nonprofits receiving some of these donations, which is just brutal for them.

[00:11:42] You know, you’re making plans, you’re hiring, you’re saying, Hey, finally this capital plan strategically done is gonna happen. And suddenly you’re, you’re now dealing with, uh, potential, you know, pullback of funds and that, you know, over a hundred nonprofits, I believe in the days of Bernie Madoff and that crash, uh, received such clawback notices.

[00:12:04] And so coming back to this character, Sam Bangin Fried, uh, the damage is, is still being calculated. Um, and, and albeit less money, there was his deep, deep connection and association with the effect of altruism movement. And there is some soul searching that needs to be done. And part of that is that when people.

[00:12:30] Make pledges, especially those that are in the public spotlight, that are seeking investment, that are seeking to build and effectively pay for a, a moral cause. Washing a official stamp from media and investors alike, that I am one of the good guys. I am one of the people out there making positive change.

[00:12:52] You can trust me with your funds, which by the way, he was gambling. Overtly with customer funds. That’s not a legend. They can see that now. Um, and this was clearly paying the price to, in the same way he, he bought a stadium rights right in Miami, the Fdx arena. He was buying the movement of effective altruism to burnish his reputation.

[00:13:18] And now even beyond. You know, the, the call of effective altruism is using data and research and logic and making the best possible decision to solve the causes you care about. It’s aligned with a bit of utilitarian thinking that even if I do, uh, morally corrupt jobs, questionable, and this is coming directly paraphrased from a.

[00:13:44] In a paper written by one of the main philosophers behind, um, McCaskill, William McCaskill, one of his papers, talks about taking morally questionable jobs because somebody else will do it anyway, as long as you promised to make large donations in line with effective giving effective altruism. This is a very tough moral justification.

[00:14:12] To play, especially when you play it at scale. And the fact that teacher pension funds were actually somehow rolled up in this as well and now are, are left empty. Um, all for the, the grand total of pledges that Sam Bankman free made. Yes, there was some money made, uh, and donated, but that money is now even being clawed back.

[00:14:35] I want to say it as many times as as possible, but when you. A millionaire billionaire making a pledge. It’s called pr. They’re making pr. They’re not making donation. They’re not changing society. They’re making pr, public relations. I want to look good for something I haven’t done. I think everyone’s red flags.

[00:15:00] Red cards tie in some World Cup should be high, high. When we see pledges, they’re worth the paper they’re written on and maybe even less. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating. Uh, net net, this is not going to end crypto philanthropy in the same way that Bernie Madoff to end family foundations and, and fiat giving.

[00:15:29] Um, this is not gonna end effective altruism, though. It’s gonna push for some soul searching and, um, A lot, a lot more questions about, well, how morally bankrupt can I be and still make that tithing at the end.

[00:15:45] The church did this a while back. Look up the history of tithing. It’s quite interesting. It doesn’t go well. Alrighty.

[00:15:55] I mean, more ran ranum, but uh, you know, it’s. It’s good to, to turn around and look at the power of, you know, billionaires in philanthropy, um, and the detriment, um, that can, uh, can be cost. Yeah. George, I, I really appreciated that. For our listeners, maybe they’re just this year they’ve started experimenting with crypto donations.

[00:16:21] Maybe they have a way to donate, uh, cryptocurrency to your organization. I think this situation has led to a crisis of trust coming from a lot of different directions. If you are a small made or large size nonprofit, how do you instill trust for people who follow this and maybe a little jaded by the whole thing?

[00:16:49] How do you as a nonprofit communicate trust?

[00:16:52] So you’re saying for like, if you’re accepting crypto philanthropy, crypto donations through your site, there may be questions of how, you know, like this is all a fraud, right? This is the, the top line banners one. You know, remember that roughly 40% of millennials actually have and own cryptocurrency. , um, and are able to, to sort of use it and, and I would say some of those parallels to, just because Enron existed doesn’t mean that the entire equity market was a sham, that you shouldn’t accept stock donations.

[00:17:27] The truth is when you accept crypto, uh, it is, if you’re used at least the giving block, full disclosure, whole. Um, manage that manages with them as a client. They’re a client of ours. Uh, but once that donation is made, it is immediately liquidated. So I don’t care if you are getting some sort of animal coin or a Bitcoin or Ethereum, whatever it may be, once it hits that donation form, it is processed into fiat Hold onto your dollars type of things.

[00:17:58] One of the questions, however, is, as with any other donation, is that if it was I begotten and it is of high, It there could be suspect to clawbacks if there are legal proceedings. So maybe that is actually one, maybe large takeaway that when you receive a large donation, um, don’t, aren’t counting those chickens, um, just yet and making sure that that is money you can hold onto.

[00:18:23] But, uh, I would say keep going and it is, um, it is a minor setback and if you really parse into it, you’re like, oh, I. Crypto was all on the blockchain and it was all transparent. How, how could this level of fraud be is, is because this was a classic Ponzi scheme of centralized control over these assets.

[00:18:46] There are abilities on the blockchain to have your own wallet the same way that you have a wallet in your pocket with $20 in it, and you’re like, as long as I hold this, as soon as you hand that over. To a Lehman Brothers and they start leveraging the heck out of it. And you’re like, I know I can get my $20 whenever I want.

[00:19:06] That’s where the centralized trust comes in. And this particular company was based in The Bahamas with no regulation, oversight, financial responsibility, board members, or, um, frankly, asset back checks involved at all. And so when that happens, that’s, you know, that’s just human. Error that is, uh, human fallibility.

[00:19:29] It’s hard to say, like, alright, you don’t give that diri to anybody asking, but I I’m hoping that this isn’t a knee jerk reaction of like, oh, we gotta pull our crypto off because it is all a scam. It’s like, it is not, scams get perpetrated on top of it as, as they do with every other financial market. And this will set probably, uh, the crypto space back.

[00:19:51] Um, they’re saying, you know, a year or so, um, as there’s ripple on effects. But, um, the underlying my confidence in underlying technology, uh, remains and people are still building on it. George, I think that’s a great synthesis of all the different kind of threads that nonprofits should be considering, and I’m sure we’ll talk more about this in the next couple weeks, months.

[00:20:13] Um, as we do follow the crypto philanthropy space, I should say, we’ve got a, a webinar coming up with care two, um, I don’t know when you’re listening to this, but on. I should know it off the top of my head. December. I’m gonna say first December 1st. So check out, uh, that webinar. It’s uh, hopewell.com. Um, you can find it on our webinars section there.

[00:20:36] That is an awesome reminder. You get to listen to us live, not me. Um, but you , you. I don’t wanna do that. You do that. . Well, George speaking. Uh, wealthy philanthropists. Um, we wanted to highlight, uh, someone who is skeptical of them. Uh, our next article, um, comes from npr and the title is Pablo Eisenberg, A Fierce Critic of Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

[00:21:11] Critical out of fierce love, I guess you can say. Um, has died at age 90. Um, so Eisenberg, who was someone I didn’t know until I read this article. Um, Is a professor, nonprofit leader, a social justice advocate, just really, really cares about, um, issues of equity and justice, and apparently was somewhat famous for kind of sticking it to the stayed old, outdated.

[00:21:43] Um, however he perceived it kind of traditional philanthropy space. Um, it says here, chastising prosperous donors for giving disproportionately to Ivy League schools, rich hospitals, and well endowed museums all while getting tax breaks. Um, so it seems like kind of a, I don’t know, sticking out for the, the little guy in the, the philanthropy space, but seems like a titan nonetheless, within the, the philanthropy.

[00:22:10] Yeah, I mean, I put this in here also, uh, because I think you know this as an outspoken critic. Um, you know, often said of mega billionaires out there, um, that pledged, there’s that word pledged, red card pledged to donate the majority of their wealth. Uh, were not spirit desire. He, uh, he criticized them for not giving away more of their fortune immediately.

[00:22:35] If you have it, give it away. Do the work, do the work now, and gets even more frustrated watching these towering offices be, be built, um, around giving away this money as opposed to doing the work. Uh, so I do, here’s what I would say. I, I do believe when you’re giving away that level of wealth, you must probably be very careful, um, about giving it away in ruinous ways.

[00:23:00] Um, I, I like the sentiment in there.

[00:23:02] I like it too. I think this guy deserves a movie. . I’d watch that movie. I don’t know how many other people full would, it was a little niche, but I’d watch that movie. Uh, maybe Netflix. Netflix is at a documentary budget for that, for sure. All right. How about feel Good story? George, what have we got? This one comes from Ktv Q.

[00:23:24] Dot com and it is about an organization called Adult and Teen Challenge, which is a faith-based recovery program for men and women that suffer from addiction. And they are selling live Christmas trees to raise money for program costs, to help teens and other young adults experiencing addiction and needing recovery.

[00:23:46] And we do like a good seasonal article, and I don’t know what says. Seasonal fundraising, um, like a Christmas tree sale, nothing. Not to like here. Yeah, it’s, it’s great. And I also love these earned, uh, earned models, um, that usually can be program related, but certainly around the season when people are buying you, if you have the ability to, to match a program to something that can be purchased is a way for you to generate some earned revenue, which can be put to good causes.

[00:24:20] It’s great. All right. Got a, got a question for you. Oh boy. Yep. What should an unwell non-profit Twitter campaign do? An unwell non-profit. Just not, well, not feeling great, not feeling great Twitter campaign. Oh man. What did they do Nick? They should, uh, get treatment. Oh my. Oh, oh my. Look, they’ve made it to the end of this podcast.

[00:24:48] They deserve that. All right, have a good one. Happy given Tuesday. Happy Giving Tuesday.