Crowdfunding, Online Giving Changing Holiday Donations

More Americans are giving online throughout the year instead of just during the holidays, according to new Cone Communications research
Nov 25, 2014 11:45 AM ET

BOSTON, November 25, 2014 /3BL Media/ – With the holidays fast approaching, all eyes are on #GivingTuesday, the red kettle and other calls to help those in need. Yet, holiday giving is anything but traditional this year.  Digital has forever shifted the paradigm, changing not just how but when and where donations are made. According to the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study, in the past 12 months, more Americans gave via digital channels, such as online (27%) or via mobile device (11%), than by regular mail (23%).

Americans are no longer waiting for year-end fundraising campaigns to inspire action. When it comes to giving online, it is less about the time of year and more about the urgency and relevancy of the request. Individuals are most likely to give online at various times throughout the year (29%) or following a major disaster that needs immediate support (24%) versus around the holidays (12%).

With the advent of grassroots crowdfunding campaigns, online social good boutiques and digital cause marketing, Americans also have new ways to focus their philanthropic dollars. Although the leading recipients of online giving remain nonprofit organizations (47%), nearly one-in-five Americans would prefer to give their money directly to an individual in need (18%) or to a corporate campaign raising funds to address a social or environmental issue (12%). When deciding which organization to support, impact trumps brand recognition. More than half (58%) of Americans say it’s more important to be able to have a tangible impact on the issue than be familiar with the organization they are supporting.

“Social media and digital engagement are radically changing the way Americans interact with social issues throughout the year,” says Alison DaSilva, executive vice president at Cone Communications. “Armed with smart phones and tablets, individuals are in the driver’s seat to support who they want and when they want. This seismic shift is game-changing for the nonprofit sector and corporate fundraising efforts.”

Digital Marketing Experts Available for Media Interviews

For more information on how digital is transforming philanthropy, a copy of the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study or to speak with a digital marketing expert, please contact Whitney Dailey,, 617-939-8376.


About Cone Communications
Cone Communications ( is a public relations and marketing agency known for igniting brands with high-impact strategies and programs based in deep insights, unique subject matter expertise and innovation. Focusing on key areas such as consumer product media relations, social media, cause branding and marketing, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit marketing, corporate communications and crisis prevention/management – the agency is positioned to help clients achieve both business and societal outcomes. Cone Communications is a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

About Diversified Agency Services
Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (, manages Omnicom’s holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.