Kerrin and Tim sat down with Woodrow Rosenbaum, the Chief Data Officer for Giving Tuesday, to talk about how he has been able to leverage his history in growing consumer brands to drive expanded growth within the Giving Tuesday movement. Woodrow’s role was initially to collect data and create benchmarks and key metrics of the growth of Giving Tuesday as a movement, but it became more than that as he and his team dug in. As Woodrow states:

“ we began to collect data in order to get that job done, we ran into the same problems that the nonprofit sector has been facing for a long time - lack of data, it's siloed, it's opaque, and we had to solve some of those problems in order to get measures of this distributed and open source movement. By solving those problems for ourselves, what we ended up with was assets for the whole sector. And so now this effort goes beyond just what is going on, on Giving Tuesday, which is still really fascinating and a useful research opportunity. But all but much more broadly, ’what are the motivators of generosity?’”

Woodrow continues to talk about how, coming out of the pandemic and lockdowns, the impact that had on everyone was that generosity is multifaceted, multidimensional and prolific. Without a larger data set, this wasn’t as clear, but as they pulled more data they saw that there are more dimensions to generosity, more than the transactional nature of giving to a charity or non-profit. There is a relationship that exists between people who give - Woodrow illustrates the “really enormous gap between what generosity actually is and what motivates it and what the impacts are from the things that we have been measuring historically.”

Woodrow talks about how he was able to leverage his extensive experience in commercial marketing to uncover challenges and data strategies for the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP). As Giving Tuesday started generating new data, they were able to answer many questions they couldn’t have done before. However, they needed benchmark data to compare that with, which FEP had - clean, stable data from 20 years back - which help with benchmarking and uncovering trends.

Read the full article about giving trends by Tim Lozier at Fuxx.