What Is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 as a way to counter the consumerism encouraged by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales. Founding organizations included the United Nations Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, Skype, Mashable, Phoenix House, Starwood Hotels, Microsoft, Case Foundation, Aldo, Sony, Cisco, and Heifer International.
Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and represents an international day of giving that allows nonprofits, charities, and causes to push for a big boost to year-end fundraising. The intention is to create a new, unselfish habit of donating to charitable causes at the end of the year. In just a few years, Giving Tuesday has exploded in popularity, generating $274 million in donations in 2017. This year, it’s sure to be even bigger, and your organization shouldn’t miss out.
Giving Tuesday Ideas
Your organization can join the fun at GivingTuesday.org. Most organizations take to social media to promote their Giving Tuesday campaigns using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Designate a point person within your organization who can round up volunteers from your network, spearhead the fundraising efforts, and collate the results with lessons for next year. Then get creative with some of these ideas to make the most of your 24-hour fundraising drive:
- Ask each person who donates to tag five friends and ask them to donate. People are more likely to respond to a personal appeal from someone they know and trust – that’s why the Ice Bucket Challenge was so successful. Amplify your fundraising power by asking each donor to challenge specific friends to participate, too.
- Start your campaign early. With Black Friday sales starting earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, it’s fair to start your Giving Tuesday event on Monday night.
- Promote the event on social media. Don’t be afraid to use hashtag power to get the word out. Use a platform like Hootsuite to schedule posts. Use YouTube or Facebook Live to run a traditional telethon event, announcing new donations and interacting with donors. Make things exciting – put your CEO in a dunk tank, show a progress meter, or hang donor’s names on a wall of giving.
- Encourage supporters to use the hashtag #Unselfie to identify them on social media. If you’re having a brick-and-mortar event, use temporary tattoos with your logo, or some other identifying mark that supporters can photograph and post on social media.
- Match gifts. Offer to match gifts given within the 24-hour timeframe to incentivize donations.
- Collaborate with other organizations. Find out what other organizations or local businesses you can collaborate with to promote your Giving Tuesday event. Perhaps a local business can help you match donations, or contribute prizes to give away to lucky donors.
- Perform challenges. Your staff can celebrate campaign milestones by performing challenges, such as posting a silly video of employees singing and dancing, jumping into a frozen lake, or getting an interesting haircut.
- Ask supporters to donate the price of a morning coffee. Lots of people buy a coffee on the way to work. Ask supporters to donate the price of their drink, and when they get to your fundraising page, use price anchoring to encourage a larger donation.
- Make Giving Tuesday a regular affair. Now that Giving Tuesday is becoming more established, many organizations are extending the holiday into First Tuesday, a monthly day of giving. Encourage donors to commit to a regular, monthly donation.
Giving Tuesday gives charitable and nonprofit organizations a chance to ramp up year-end fundraising numbers. It’s the perfect time to celebrate an international day focused on giving to your favorite causes and organizations. Don’t miss out on the fun! Last year, supporters gave $274 million, and they’re sure to give even more this year.
Is your organization ready to rake in some year-end donation dollars? Who will you be donating to this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.