Boston (November 19, 2015) – In the wake of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is #GivingTuesday. Harnessing the power of social media, #GivingTuesday is asking shoppers to observe the season of giving in a different way: by first donating, then sharing their giving stories using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Yet, when it comes to online giving, a sizeable gap still remains between what Americans say they will do, and what they have actually done, according to the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study.

Although 65 percent of Americans said they would make a donation online, only 35 percent have actually done so over a 12 month period, presenting an opportunity for organizations to better harness the power of social media to raise awareness and funds. With more than 15,000 nonprofits and 20,000 partner organizations that participated in #GivingTuesday last year – a number that is likely to grow in 2015 – it will take a lot to stand out. Organizations looking to get Americans to put down their shopping bags and open their wallets for a cause should focus on what motivates individuals to support social and environmental issues online.

American’s top drivers to online participation in social or environmental efforts include:

  • They believe participation will make an impact (79%)
  • There is an urgent need for immediate support (79%)
  • It is easy to participate (77%)
  • The issue is personally relevant (74%)
  • The content triggers an emotional response (68%)
  • The appeal allows participants to show their social networks what is important to them (57%)

“Americans’ hearts are in the right place, especially during this season of giving. But for organizations to close the gap between good intentions and actual behavior, they need to move beyond the standard ‘Donate Now’ call-to-action,” says Alison DaSilva, Executive Vice President, CSR Planning & Insights for Cone Communications. “Organizations looking to break through need to share why the issue is personal enough to care, urgent enough to act and how each donation is making meaningful difference.”

Available experts for quotes and interviews:

  • Alison DaSilva, Executive Vice President, CSR Planning & Insights – Alison is responsible for tracking and identifying trends to keep our clients on the leading edge of CSR and social impact. For the last 17 years, Alison has led the development of Cone’s groundbreaking research, exploring the attitudes and behaviors of global consumers towards corporate involvement with social issues and responsible business practices. She regularly serves as strategic counsel to many of Cone’s corporate and nonprofit clients.
  • Kiva Starr, Vice President, CSR Strategy – Kiva is a global CSR expert with over a decade of experience in developing and activating award winning programs for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and leading nonprofits.

Cone Communications experts are available for interview or byline requests for those interested in information about digital activism and online engagement around social or environmental issues.

To schedule an interview or receive a copy of the 2014 Cone Communications Digital Activism Study, please contact Whitney Dailey, [email protected], 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 corporate social responsibility, cause marketing, nonprofit marketing, corporate communications and brand marketing – 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.