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Give some thought to #GivingTuesday

Posted September 6, 2016 by Virginia Davidson

giving tuesday planning

The end of the calendar year is a busy time for fundraisers. With all the responsibilities you’re juggling, make sure to carve out time for yourself in advance to give some thought to #GivingTuesday so you can harness the power of the day and build support for your organization!

If you’re not familiar with #Giving Tuesday, it’s a day that is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Whereas Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday launches the charitable season at the end of the year. Learn more at

With all that you’re managing at this time of year, it’s understandable if #GivingTuesday feels like just one more item on your to-do list. Instead of thinking of it as something that adds to your workload, think of  #GivingTuesday as a tool in your end-of-year fundraising toolbox. Use #GivingTuesday to augment your other efforts! Think of all the ways that you can use #GivingTuesday to achieve your goals:

Reach donors with incomplete mailing addresses. If you’re mailing an appeal letter but have a number of constituents in your donor database for whom you only have an email address, how will you reach them? Target them on #GivingTuesday by sending them a #GivingTuesday email appeal.

Ask recurring donors for an additional gift. #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to ask your dedicated recurring donors to make an additional end-of-year gift. In your appeal, don’t forget to thank your recurring donors for their consistent support and tell them what can be achieved if they make an over-and-above gift on #GivingTuesday.

Raise money for a very specific need. Use #GivingTuesday to raise money for a specific, concrete need. If you’re a community garden organization, consider asking for funds to build three new raised beds in the new year—and be sure to include how many families that will help feed! If you work for an afterschool program, calculate how much it will cost to provide art supplies to ten students in the new year, and make that your financial goal. With a compelling appeal, you’ll be well positioned to receive #GivingTuesday donations coming in from existing and new donors alike.

Convert social media followers to donors. Likes and shares on social media are great, but think of what your organization could do if each of your followers were a donor. With a well-crafted social media campaign, you can ensure that some of those followers become first-time donors on #GivingTuesday.

Remember, #GivingTuesday isn’t exclusive to giving financially. If your organization doesn’t want to ask for financial contributions this year, you can still participate in #GivingTuesday to build support for your non-profit. Here are some ideas:

Recruit volunteers. Take advantage of the buzz around #GivingTuesday and the holiday spirit and encourage people to give their time to your organization. Build an online volunteer application to make it easy for your prospective volunteers.

Collect stories. Wouldn’t you love to have a library of success stories and photos that you can use to demonstrate the good work of your non-profit? Consider launching a #GivingTuesday campaign to ask stakeholders to share how they’ve been impacted by your mission. Build a webform for this purpose, which will make it easy for stakeholders to submit stories and easy for you to collect and manage them—it’s a win-win!

Give thanks to your donors. Make #GivingTuesday a day of thanking your supporters. Share donor spotlights on social media and make sure your communications are donor-centric. The day is about celebrating all the good that your donors make possible, so connect the donors directly to the impact!

Whatever you decide, remember that #GivingTuesday is a tool for you to use to build support and awareness for your non-profit. Planning ahead and having a clear objective will help ensure that #GivingTuesday gives your organization a jump-start on fulfilling your mission in the year ahead!

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