Everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the twin consumption crazes that kick off the holiday season, but far fewer know about their charitable counterpart, a day meant to encourage seasonal giving.
This December 3rd will mark the 2nd annual #GivingTuesday. Launched in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, the UN Foundation, and numerous partners, the inaugural #GivingTuesday was hugely successful, fueling a dramatic increase in charitable giving. Blackbaud reported that it processed $10 million in online donations during the first #GivingTuesday, marking a 53% increase in donations over those received on the same day during the previous year.
Endorsed by celebrities, politicians and thought leaders alike, the initial campaign received 2.5 million social media impressions, with the #GivingTuesday hashtag trending nationally and ultimately being mentioned 185,000 times online. In light of the enormous response since its launch, the movement’s organizers created a new website this year – a move aimed at doubling the number of charities participating in the event. And given last year’s success, participants are eyeing even bigger results this year.
If you want to join the ranks of the organizations participating in #GivingTuesday this year, read on for tips to maximize your own one-day campaign.
1. Set Clear Goals
Before you embark on your #GivingTuesday campaign make sure you do some planning. As Beth Kanter recently advised, nonprofits should start by setting the measurable goals and targets they would like to achieve on the actual day. Clearly mark them out, whether you are looking to drive more total donations, build brand awareness, engage supporters, increase your average donation, or acquire new donors. Not only will this push you to really focus your efforts, but it will also motivate your team to achieve your goal.
2. Try a Micro Peer-to-Peer Approach
We’ve mentioned before that a small scale peer-to-peer campaign can be a great last minute way to capitalize on a period of increased giving, and #GivingTuesday is no exception. By getting a handful of staff members, passionate volunteers, or social media evangelists to create fundraising pages specifically for Giving Tuesday, you can outsource most of the actual fundraising work. Launch a quick campaign and let your supporters get out there and ask for donations on December 3rd. You can sit back and focus on recognizing your fundraisers and donors through social media.
3. Integrate Your Larger Narrative
Rather than isolating your #GivingTuesday fundraising and awareness-driving efforts, you might try integrating them into your existing holiday fundraising campaigns. For example, the added exposure that comes with #GivingTuesday might make it a good day to kickoff a year-end campaign that you’ve already planned. Whatever you decide, as always, seek to establish an emotional and personal connection with your audience by connecting them to your overall mission and story.
An article in Chronicle recently mentioned that Africare, an organization devoted to development aid for Africa, linked its #GivingTuesday efforts last year to one of its larger campaigns. The organization already had a campaign going on asking people to post what they were thankful for on a special Twitter account and Facebook page. By plugging its #GivingTuesday effort into this existing campaign, the organization was able to use the attention of the day to boost to its larger holiday campaign.
4. Get Social
Reach out to your social media evangelists to help drive your online presence and promote any special #GivingTuesday content you might prepare for the big day. Encourage all of your social media fans to retweet and share updates, using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Also, make sure you use your social networks to share progress updates, photos, thank-yous, and other concrete visual media to highlight your campaign and what #GivingTuesday means to your organization.
5. Try Matching Gifts
Because #GivingTuesday is an emerging national movement, it makes the perfect time to find sponsors and donors who are willing to match gifts. Donors love to know that their contributions will have a larger impact. Try to find matching donors that align well with your organization to help excite your base on #GivingTuesday; consider local banks, businesses, private foundations, or even your own board members.
6. Follow Up
Now that #GivingTuesday has brought you in contact with a whole new pool of supporters, it is crucial that you thank your donors and partners, and share the results of your #GivingTuesday campaign. Let everyone know how they helped create momentum for your larger holiday giving efforts and invite them to participate in whatever is coming next!
Photo Credit: meddygarnet