September 2019 – Lauriane Lebrun, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

This year, #GivingTuesday falls on December 3rd.  Though it may seem like a long way off now, the time is sure to fly by.  Whether you’re a regular participant in the #GivingTuesday movement or just considering getting your organization involved, this is a great time to start planning ahead and preparing your campaign content.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is an annual day of fundraising, volunteerism, and acts of kindness, celebrated in almost 200 countries all over the world.  According to the #GivingTuesday website, “When GivingTuesday launched in the US in 2012, we believed that technology and social media could be used to make generosity go viral.” 

Participation in #GivingTuesday is open to everyone, including individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, religious organizations, small businesses, and corporations.  Getting involved is completely free, and while there is an option to sign up and be listed on the #GivingTuesday Participating Organizations page online, formal registration is not required.

Is it worthwhile?

Give Lively reports that nonprofits raised over $300 million on #GivingTuesday in 2017.  In addition to this awesome fundraising potential, it’s a great opportunity to boost awareness of your organization through hashtag marketing.

How can your organization plan for #GivingTuesday success?

There are countless articles, webinars, and other free tools available online to help you prepare for #GivingTuesday.  I’ll include some links in the recommended reading section below, but here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Download the #GivingTuesday 2019 Complete Toolkit for NonprofitsThis resource kit includes social media tips, a sample press release, a recommended campaign timeline, and more.
  • Consider setting a goal and using a fundraising thermometer to display progress.  According to Donorbox, “When supporters see that others have already contributed to a particular cause, they’ll be far more likely to donate themselves.”  The thermometer model works well because it is a clear visual – as funds are raised, the “temperature” increases.  Seeing these real-time results provides a sense of instant gratification to donors, making the thermometer an especially effective tool.
  • Create a shareable “I donated” sticker.  As mentioned above, fundraising is like fashion – it’s all about the trends.  You can help spread the word that your organization is participating in #GivingTuesday by creating your own “I donated” digital sticker.  This should include your organization’s logo and the URL for your donation page, and be readily available for donors to share on their social media.  #GivingTuesday has a variety of logo files you can download from their website and incorporate into your sticker, as well.  For your supporters, sharing an “I donated” sticker is a way of giving themselves a well-deserved pat on the back for their generosity.  And in doing so, they’ll quite possibly draw new donors to your cause, so it’s a win-win. 
  • Double up on donations with gift matching.  As explained by Mightycause, “By securing a #GivingTuesday matching grant, a funder is agreeing to match a certain amount of money raised online the day of the event, on the condition that the same amount will also be raised in online donations that day.  And donors are easily motivated to give if they know their donation will have twice the impact!”  Possible candidates for providing a matching grant are corporate sponsors, your board of directors, or previous major donors.  You could also reach out to ask about in-kind gift matching from local businesses.  A pet supplies store, for example, might be willing to match every $25 donation made to your animal shelter with a bag of dog food or cat litter.   
  • Stand out with storytelling.  “It’s #GivingTuesday!” alone is not a reason to donate.  Lots of organizations will be asking for donations on this day, so it’s up to you to set your campaign apart with storytelling and details.  Use videos, photos, and testimonials to give your supporters a tangible, specific sense of the impact their donation will have.       

Good luck – let’s get those thermometers heating up on December 3rd!

Recommended Reading:

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