Small Businesses Could Win Giving Tuesday This Year, According To A New Survey

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When Black Friday became entrenched in retail tradition, a few innovative nonprofits developed the idea of Giving Tuesday. Instead of door crasher deals or online shopping, charities asked people to make donations on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. This tradition continues today, but like all things it will be a bit different with COVID. However, it seems the pandemic might actually create a win for small businesses this year, according to a new survey. 

Piplsay did a survey on Giving Tuesday and found that 37% of Americans want to give directly to local charities. Far fewer people expressed a desire (17%) to donate to big national charities. 

The report stresses, though, that it won’t all be about money this year, saying “The drastic lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic may not only affect monetary donations but may also see many personally reaching out to help those in need, either in kind or through volunteering work. Even the concept of virtual volunteering seems to have picked up the pace, with people sharing useful skills or assisting others with their online activities.”

The data backs up the report’s preamble that this year won’t only be about money. Only 20% of people say they will donate money directly. But 42% say they will either donate food and essential goods (28%) or do community service or volunteering (14%). So while local charities will be in the spotlight, unfortunately the cash may not flow as freely this year. 

When it comes to what causes people support, the top of the list is food and shelter at 24%. From there, children and youth, health and safety, animals and wildlife, and religion round out the top five. 

Source: Piplsay survey on Giving Tuesday 2020

Small businesses are also going to get a piece of the action this year. In last year’s survey, there was little mention of small business support. This year, things are different. The pandemic seems to have pushed people to consider supporting small businesses as part of their charitable giving. In responses, 24% say they plan to donate directly to vulnerable individuals or small businesses. A further 22% say they plan to donate to frontline workers or associated groups. 

Unfortunately, this focus on small business comes at a cost to charities. In last year’s survey, 72% of respondents said they’d be donating to local charities. On the other hand, 19% said they wanted to donate to large or national charities. So while only 17% are planning to donate to large charities this year, it seems the energy moved from supporting local charity to supporting local business. That’s not all bad, since small businesses are typically very generous and give back to their community. However, the shift means local charities stand to receive not only less general focus but also a year with more focus on non-cash donations.