As Thanksgiving approaches, many consumers and retailers are thinking about the days just after the feast. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are synonymous with deep discounts and holiday shopping. But in recent years,has Giving Tuesday stepped into the spotlight as an online movement that kicks off the end-of-year giving season.
“Back in 2012, there were already these two well-established days that brought together the retail community under a single umbrella. We wondered, what if the philanthropic community could unite in a similar way,” explains Jessica Schneider, Director of Strategy & Collaboration, Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, 92nd Street Y.
“We launched very quickly just a few months before #GivingTuesday and set a modest goal of 100 organizations participating our first year. Ultimately, 2,500 partners ran #GivingTuesday campaigns and several giving platforms reported that online giving was up more than 50 percent over the previous year.”
This year #GivingTuesday is November 27. Whether you’re new to the campaign or a seasoned pro, here are a few tips to make your 2019 campaign a success.
Register your organization
Signing up isn’t required, but it is beneficial. Once your nonprofit is registered, it will be listed as a participating organization and those interested in giving will be able to find you in a public, searchable database. You’ll also receive email with resources and recommendations to help you have a great campaign.
Learn from others
Not sure how to secure donors? Need ideas for your campaign ASAP? Take a look at one of the many case studies.
“There is no need to reinvent the wheel — get inspired by what someone else has done! One of my favorite stats from our last partner survey is that 82 percent of participants use #GivingTuesday to try something new at their organization,” says Schneider.
The case studies highlight work done by local nonprofits, national nonprofits, global NGOs, religious organizations, and higher-education institutions. Thinking about partnering with a local business or corporation? There are case studies for that.
Get the word out
“It is really powerful to see people discuss their giving on social media, and to see how that online conversation can drive donations and other forms of giving,” says Schneider, who has worked on this initiative since it began. “On #GivingTuesday, everyone is talking about the causes they support — you want to tap into that. Last year we trended ahead of #CyberMonday on Cyber Monday!”
For the best results, make sure people know about your participation before November 27. Announce it in your upcoming newsletter. Send a press release to local media (there’s a template on GivingTuesday.org). Prepare a social media kit you can share with people in your circle.
“Think about who in your network you can call on to serve as ambassadors,” Schneider advises. “Don’t be shy about asking your community of volunteers, staff, donors, board members, etc. to talk about why they support your work.”
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Think beyond the dollar
What are the other ways people can support your organization throughout the year? If you need volunteers for upcoming events, mentors to work with your youth, or someone to donate meeting space for future programs, encourage people to get involved during #GivingTuesday. Have your sign-up lists and applications ready to go.
“Remember that your campaign doesn’t need to be centered around fundraising,” says Schneider. “There are so many ways to give — people give their time, their voice.”