Giving Tuesday is one day dedicated to nationwide participation in donating money, resources, and volunteer time to nonprofit organizations nationwide.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday: they’re all about savings, sales, and business. In 2012 Giving Tuesday started as a way to remind people to do more for others than simply buy, buy, buy. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving and is a nationwide day dedicated to donating; it can be monetary, it can be donating items, or it can be volunteering. The idea behind it is to simply give to a cause that you believe in, and help others. In 2016 alone there was a total $177 million in just monetary donations, not including gifts and volunteer hours. Giving Tuesday is an easy way to increase awareness of your organization while at the same time bringing in donations.
As a non-profit, Giving Tuesday needs to be on your radar, it’s a great way to kick off your end of the year fundraising. This is the time of the year when organizations receive the most in charitable donations, and it’s important to have a well thought-out plan for the big day. We’re 100 days away from Giving Tuesday, and it’s not too late to start planning your success.
Step 1: Make a Plan
First things first, who are you targeting? You want to start out with previous donors, but you want to have a plan to also capture new ones.
You need to decide if this is going to be a fundraiser to go toward a quarter/annual goal, or if this is going to be a standalone event that has an independent goal. Either is good options, but you need to have this decided before you can start planning your campaign.
While still in the planning step, take time to plan an engaging social media campaign that encourages people to share. Depending on your resources, consider seeking graphic design help to create custom content. Tell your existing audience your goal and show them what their donations will be used for. Try to inspire them so that they share without being asked. You can also use this time to find companies who chose a charity to donate to during the holidays, encourage and inspire them to choose you and focus on your goal of Giving Tuesday.
If you need help thinking of a theme, check #GivingTuesday on social media to see what campaigns worked in the past and how you can make it your own. Fundraising event ideas are available through Charitynet USA, or you can also check out GivingTuesday also has some toolkits that are available for participating organizations.
Step 2: Roll Out Your Campaign
Mid to late September is a great time to announce your campaign. You want to start slow and work your way up to frequent posts so that your audience doesn’t get ad fatigue. Social media is a great way to announce your Giving Tuesday campaign, but if you have a local team you should think about an in-person effort. Getting fliers made to explain who you are and your goal is a great way to help get local awareness, support, and maybe even volunteers for an event. While having a local backing is great, it’s not required, so don’t worry if you can’t organize something.
October is when you want to really start to ramp up your fundraiser awareness. Use whatever resources you have: if you have a local presence then send out invitations in the mail, or email your list. Never underestimate the power of a well-written press release, this not only brings awareness to your fundraising efforts, but also to your organization and their cause.
This is the peak time of year for donations, so keep doing your other events and fundraisers for your organization, but keep handing out information for Giving Tuesday. The more events you can do, the more people you can reach organically.
Step 3: Report Your Results
You didn’t make a big deal about this goal just to leave your audience hanging! Let them know, did you meet your goal? Show or tell them what you plan on doing with their help, and thank them for their contributions. If you didn’t make your goal, that’s okay, but your instructions are still the same. You want to thank and show.
Now that you have their attention, it’s a great time to have an event set up as a follow-up way to give. Ask for volunteers or attendees if you’re doing something in person. You can also have an online drive set up where you ask for participation.
Giving Tuesday is a huge day, and being prepared with a plan is the first step in a successful fundraising day. People are wanting to donate money, time, or goods to a good cause, and having your organization active and asking is a great way to increase donations and awareness.