11/29/2012 09:41 am ET Updated Nov 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Donations Up 61% Compared To Last Year

Thanksgiving may have been a time for excessive eating and spending but according to data compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropyit was also a time for giving.

According to figures from The Chronicle of Philanthropy there was a 61 percent increase in online donations over Thanksgiving week. Not only that, the number of donations rose 16 percent, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Numbers were drawn from charitable gifts Network for Good processed from over 8,700 nonprofits in both 2011 and 2012, according to

The rise may be attributed to donations to Hurricane Sandy relief, Katya Andresen, chief operating officer at Network for Good told She also points to the growth of sites like Crowdrise that use social media to bolster fundraising efforts.

Similar results appeared earlier this month in an American Red Cross survey. According to the survey, 78 percent of those who gave to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts said it wouldn’t affect their year-end charitable giving. Social media also played a role -- 24 percent said they were influenced by causes they saw on social media.

"I think that during this time of year, people have generous hearts and there is a time period of giving," Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer with the American Red Cross told "Whether that's giving back to the local community, giving back to others or giving to family and friends, people are often inclined to continue to give."

Even the notion of holiday giving has gone mainstream online. November 27 marked the first Giving Tuesday campaign -- where over 2,000 nonprofits and businesses joined forces to encourage a day of charitable giving.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an interactive graph of online year-end donations with data from Network for Good. Learn more here.



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