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Why Should Your Nonprofit Participate in Giving Tuesday 2019?

Giving Tuesday is the biggest giving day of the year around the world. Participating gives nonprofits the opportunity to attract new donors and raise more money.
Why nonprofits should participate in Giving Tuesday depicted by a group of volunteers handing out supplies to children with the Giving Tuesday logo overlaid.

Giving Tuesday is the biggest giving day of the year around the world. Your nonprofit should participate because it gives you the opportunity to attract new donors and raise more money.

People come together to make an impact in their communities on Giving Tuesday. Social media and human connection fuel the conversation around this day. Giving Tuesday is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, starting the holiday-driven charitable season.

Some nonprofit boards do not yet fully understand the benefits of participating in Giving Tuesday. As #GivingTuesday continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to take part and create a powerful fundraising campaign.

That’s why we were excited to take part in a webinar organized by the Giving Tuesday Organization themselves. Data from previous years shows that Giving Tuesday is beneficial for charitable organizations. It also sheds light on how organizations can succeed with their #GivingTuesday fundraisers. Here is a recap of what I learned from the webinar and how it can help you.

Giving Tuesday is growing fast in the United States and around the world

Since 2012, online giving has increased a significant amount in the United States.

The US increased online donations from $10 million earned in 2012 to over $400 million in 2018.

That’s an average increase of $65 million dollars in donations every year. Meaning, each year there are more donors and dollars floating around to attract to your own organization.

Giving Tuesday has quickly crossed borders and is celebrated in countries around the world

Since its launch in 2012, Giving Tuesday has crossed many borders as well. It’s reached Canada, the UK, Mexico, and Brazil by 2013 and continues to cross into new countries each year. Currently, Giving Tuesday has over 50 participating countries. A large number of countries involved means international organizations have even more of a donor-base to choose from.

Positive interaction, not guilt, inspires the people who donate on Giving Tuesday

We learned that 75% of donors who give on Giving Tuesday have made a contribution in the past, while 25% are brand new donors. This presents a rare opportunity for NGOs to connect with broader audiences of potential donors. Usually, these opportunities only arise when something catastrophic happens.

The biggest drivers of social media conversation surrounding fundraising in the US in 2017 were:

  • Hurricane Harvey
  • The Las Vegas mass shooting
  • Giving Tuesday

Of these three, Giving Tuesday is the only one that wasn’t driven by a disaster or tragedy. Donors who give in the event of a disaster sometimes experience pressure to donate out of guilt. On the other hand, Giving Tuesday encourages a sense of joy that’s brought from making a difference.

In order to inspire donors to give on this one giving day, it’s important to create a positive and fun campaign. Use the positive outcome of your Cause to inspire new donors and returning donors. There are plenty of competing organizations asking for money on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Your fundraiser needs to be unique and creative.

Giving Tuesday reflects the identity of the community in which it lives

In the US, most organizations generally execute Giving Tuesday fundraising in the same way. Usually, campaigns are aimed at giving back after a weekend that’s built on the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Other countries around the globe focus on Giving Tuesday in the ways that best fit their local culture. This powerful movement changes, adapts, and molds to best suit the needs of the community.

In Liberia, for example, Giving Tuesday fits into the community with volunteerism instead of financial giving. Organizers invited a group of homeless individuals to volunteer at a local hospital where the group was fed and clothed. The focus was on how anyone can help others despite their own financial standing.

One of the most incredible aspects of Giving Tuesday is how it encourages all people to become givers, no matter the situation.

Many countries experiencing social or political crises use Giving Tuesday as a way to drive these initiatives as well. Areas in crisis use the day to build on democratic principles and opportunity for reform. These countries see the benefit that a Giving Tuesday campaign has for growing cause awareness.

Think about the community surrounding your own organization and your local area. What inspires them to care? It’s not a question of what inspires them to give, but a question of what they care about. What makes your cause affect them personally? In the United States, social standing motivates people. So a fun challenge-a-friend campaign might fit well.

Nonprofit leaders learn more, share more, and make a bigger impact through collaboration

Those participating in Giving Tuesday have adopted an open source ideology. There is a sense that information can and should be freely available for everyone. This atmosphere has produced a “global innovation lab.” Leaders of this movement communicate with one another at all times. They share ideas, challenges, triumphs, and goals with each other, which facilitates creativity.

An excellent example of this collaboration is an interaction between Taiwan and Chile. Taiwan hosted a crowdfunding campaign to build a logo for its Giving Tuesday campaign. Unfortunately, they decided not to use the logo that won. Instead, they shared it in the Global #GivingTuesday WhatsApp group. This is a place where several leaders from around the world connect to collaborate. Chile shares the same flag colors and liked the design, so they asked if they could use it. Taiwan agreed and the logo was repurposed.

You might feel you compete with other charities participating in Giving Tuesday but teaming up with them will help. Together you can produce more robust ideas and create better fundraisers. Your collaboration may even inspire other businesses or citizens to collaborate in giving back as well.

Giving Tuesday is community-driven and has recognizable branding

Where Giving Tuesday is celebrated, there is a spirit of connection, joy, and love. Countries around the world have decided to celebrate Giving Tuesday by using the heart icon in their campaigns.

The full original #GivingTuesday logo gave birth to many other country-specific logos with varying heart designs.

The organizers of Giving Tuesday don’t place many restrictions on logo or branding usage. The only rules are generally that you do not modify, reproduce, or create your own derivative of their logo. Their terms of use page has more information. The varying logos from each country are official #GivingTuesday logo variations. They have all been approved by the organization.

Use the Giving Tuesday logo in your own Giving Tuesday campaign materials alongside your organization’s logo. Or you can create your own Giving Tuesday design, but make sure it isn’t the same as the organization’s and uses none of their trademarks. Calling attention to your Giving Tuesday campaign with the logo makes you more likely to get the attention of different kinds of donors.

Understanding and adapting to technologies is a challenge for fundraisers

There are many challenges that nonprofits and fundraisers face when integrating technology into their giving campaigns. Giving Tuesday collaborators support one another to work through these obstacles but for individuals and small organizations, this challenge can make or break a fundraiser.

Understanding which technologies are best for a particular organization’s needs can be daunting. Deciding how to implement them only adds to the complexity of it all. The good news is that there are many resources available supporting Giving Tuesday participants in every aspect of developing a campaign.

Our own Giving Tuesday section has resources to help you from planning to follow-up. This page is full of tools, tips, tutorials, and downloadable content to help anyone achieve a successful Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is less than six months away. Start thinking about your campaign now.

Giving Tuesday is on December 3, 2019. It’s time to start planning for this year’s campaign! Six months isn’t long when it comes to preparing, planning, and developing a solid fundraiser.

The Giving Tuesday resource section is a great place to start thinking about how to plan your campaign. They’ve provided everything you need to get started with promoting your fundraiser. Here’s what they have and how you can use it:

  • Planning Workbook: Use this workbook at your kickoff meeting to plan and brainstorm with your team.
  • 6-Week Communications Timeline: Make sure you launch your campaign before the timeline begins. Use this to send out announcements, asks and more.
  • Press and Media Toolkit: This complete toolkit helps you prepare press releases. There are also steps to request local support from your town leadership.
  • #GivingDays Calendar: Every month of the year, the Giving Tuesday Organization releases a Giving Calendar. Use this to generate ideas for social media content.

With more and more causes participating each year, we’re sure to see an even bigger Giving Tuesday this year than ever before. Start planning now using our Giving Tuesday Workbook.

Go to the Giving Tuesday Workbook

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