End-of-Year Giving: Google Search Trends Show Big Opportunities for Nonprofits

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From looking up the “final score of Saturday’s football game,” to researching the “top colleges to attend for business majors,” Google seems to have the answer to all of our questions. Today, Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries every day. So why should nonprofits be paying attention to Google search trends? It’s simple; you can learn a lot about your donors by examining their online behavior. By analyzing Google search queries you can identify trending search topics, as well as the time of year particular topics are trending. This insight into user behavior provides an invaluable opportunity for nonprofits to stay ahead and better engage with today’s donors.

Let’s take a look at two search queries that hit peak popularity in November and December of 2015 and what that means for you as a nonprofit organization.

1.Extend #GivingTuesday

As you well know, #GivingTuesday is the kick-off the event for your end-of-year campaign. 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City, founded #GivingTuesday – a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Not only has #GivingTuesday participation grown significantly since its inception in 2012, but its search popularity has grown tremendously year after year with last year’s “Giving Tuesday” search hitting peak popularity between November 29th and December 5th. Your donors know about #GivingTuesday and they want to be a part of this impactful movement so you put so much time and energy into preparing for it and in the blink of an eye it’s over… or is it? Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by thinking you have to wait an entire year to capitalize on the next #GivingTuesday. You can extend your #GivingTuesday success by:

  • Using your #GivingTuesday results to gather behavioral data about your donors to make more effective asks in the future
  • Applying your #GivingTuesday social media tactics to your other fundraising campaigns
  • Converting your #GivingTuesday donors into avid supporters with a solid follow-up strategy

Check out our recent webinar, Avoid the post #GivingTuesday Blues.

Google search results for “giving Tuesday”:


2. Accept Stock Donations

While a few of today’s trending searches include, “Wrigley Field,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Chipotle,” you might be surprised to hear the search topic that topped the list in mid-December: “stock donation.” In 2015, “stock donation” hit peak popularity between the dates of December 13th and the 19th. You can expect the same search trend to occur this December. To take advantage of this opportunity, run a stock campaign as a part of your year-end giving this year. Educate your donors on the key benefits of giving stock such as a current-year tax deduction for the fair market value and no capital gains taxes paid on the sale. Accepting stock generally gives donors the opportunity to give something a little bigger than they would have been able to give otherwise. It’s a win-win situation for the donor and the nonprofit.

Google search results for “stock donation”:


3. Listen to your donors

The Google search trends for year-end are loud and clear. Your donors want to participate in a viral philanthropic movement like #GivingTuesday and they want to give stock, especially at year-end. Your donors are eager to be a part of your nonprofit’s journey and it’s up to you to unlock generosity and make it possible for them to make a lasting impact in new and innovative ways.



post #givingtuesday

Ray Gary

Ray's experience in launching, building and helping businesses succeed spans nearly 3 decades (though he doesn't look a day over 28 years). Around the office, Ray is well known (and dreaded) as someone who wants the product to be “just perfect” – it might be what he calls a good time. Ray’s experience includes various leadership positions in technology companies and as President of the Venture Capital group of Koch Industries, the nation’s largest private company, where he oversaw numerous technology investments.

December 5, 2016

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