Takeaways from Giving Tuesday | City of Ideas

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Posted 12/06/2017 by Amanda Holm, Nonprofit Effectiveness Manager


Last Tuesday, November 28, nonprofits and donors around the world, including many of you, generously celebrated #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to uplifting volunteerism and giving. Launched in 2012 as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration that, this year, resulted in $247 million in donations to nonprofits, the highest yet for this annual event.  

But what should you take from that, as a donor or a nonprofit?

Giving Tuesday 2017Giving Tuesday 2017 stats

If you serve on a nonprofit board, particularly for a smaller organization, this annual event can serve as a lab for experimentation, whether the organization is engaging in social media fundraising for the first time, hosting an open house or launching a monthly giving program. As you and your families donate your time and treasure to local nonprofits, you may be a part of conversations around whether Giving Tuesday is a good use of an organization’s time to participate, or, for example, how digital storytelling strategies, tested on #GivingTuesday, can be applied year-round. While data show #GivingTuesday provides a net lift to charitable giving, it also serves to spark important conversations that can inspire nonprofit staff, donors, board members and volunteers to become more effective year-round ambassadors for the causes and organizations you care about.

For the third year, the Boston Foundation lent its support, using its GivingCommon.org platform to highlight Massachusetts nonprofits, cover credit card processing fees for donations, and even awarded small unrestricted grants to lucky nonprofit organizations (see below) whose up-to-date profiles are featured on the site. But we realize not everyone had the time to donate on #GivingTuesday, or hold a mini-grantmaking session at the dinner table (although that would be fun), so we encourage you to visit the Giving Common anytime to research nonprofits by geography, budget size, mission area, keyword etc., and learn how your donation can turn into real impact for community. There are 1,200 local nonprofits on the site (and growing), so whether you are seeking comprehensive information about a neighborhood homelessness prevention program, data on an immigrant legal services initiative or how to direct resources to elder meal delivery, the Giving Common can help. If you cannot find just what you are looking for, or, if you would like a custom report about nonprofits in your interest area, simply reach out to the Giving Common staff.

Please join us in congratulating our Giving Common #GivingTuesday nonprofit prize winners below and make sure to click to view their Giving Common profiles to learn more about their work.

$1,000 unrestricted grant winners

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

Cotting School

FamilyAid Boston

MAB Community Services

Victory Programs

$500 unrestricted grant winners


Girls Rock Campaign Boston

Quest Adventures, Inc.

More Than Words

Boston Lyric Opera

Cape Ann Museum

Central Square Theater

Adolescent Consultation Services

Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry

Families First Parenting Programs, Inc.

Jeremiah Program - Boston

Stand for Children Massachusetts

Second Chances, Inc.

South Boston Neighborhood House

Springwell, Inc.

Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Inc.


Boston Tax Help Coalition

SpeakOUT Boston

Mass Audubon