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Is Giving Tuesday Worth It?

Giving Tuesday

Ahhhh late November - It seems like you just recovered from summer and early fall fundraising efforts. And, let’s face it - fundraising this time of year is hard, people are out of town, then kids start school, donors may be unresponsive, their funds tied up in back to school and recovering from summer vacations. Additionally, you have probably been planning a kick butt end of year campaign.

You have likely been busy writing an appeal, searching for a narrative, and trying to stand out on social media amid a sea of other organizations. Then BAM! Giving Tuesday planning drops like a bomb. Is this international day of giving really worth your focus with so many other things on the horizon?

The short answer is probably not.

This day of giving can be great for organizations that are nationally or internationally recognized but the truth is, if you are a local organization the time may be better spent focusing on engaging donors with your end of the year efforts.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the day completely. Read our recommendations below to make Giving Tuesday a hit without taking time away from your end of year planning.

Set a Goal but... Keep it Small

Realistically for a small to medium size organization your goal should be no more than a few thousand dollars, and that’s only if you have something compelling to plea for and a strong social following or email list. Do you need a new piece of equipment that is around $2,000? Well now might be the time to ask for contributions.

Launch Your End of Year Campaign

Chances are your direct mailer is in the hands of your donors by Giving Tuesday or at least on its way. Why not use this opportunity to announce it on social media and start to build excitement? Start telling your story now and send donors to your end of year web page or platform. Let them know what your goal is and what you hope to achieve by December 31st.

Monthly Givers? Yes Please!

If you have a monthly giving program Giving Tuesday could be a great time to promote that. Set a goal. Maybe you want 20 new monthly donors at a $25 dollar level, why not promote that? Let the public know what a phenomenal impact monthly givers have and publish your goal. Keep excitement up through the day by thanking each new donor on social media and announce where you are in meeting that monthly giving goal.

Engage Volunteers

If you aren’t completely confident about your ability to raise funds in one day, plea for volunteers instead. Set your Giving Tuesday goal at attracting 50 new volunteers. Focus all of your social media around the difference that volunteers make within your organization and share testimonials from existing volunteers. Allow people to sign up via Messenger and update throughout the day on your progress.

Money is Great… But…

Can your organization benefit from in-kind donations? Consider setting up a donation drive via social media and let your followers know exactly what they can donate and where. Provide an Amazon wish list so that they can order goods to be directly shipped to you. Remember to post photos of any goods that roll in.

Find a Match

Even a small corporate or individual match can do wonders for your ability to raise funds. If you are able to secure such a match, now might be an ideal time to promote it. Any match should be pushed out to followers via social media and email. Consider allowing it to continue for the entire week as long as it doesn’t interfere with your year end plans.

Get Social

Whatever you decide to do for this international day of giving, please remember that it is meant to be social. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on every related post and join in on the conversation. If you don’t have a social media manager or if their time is better spent elsewhere simply ensure that your name gets out there with some pre-scheduled posts with the hashtag #GivingTuesday and a link where folks can donate to your cause.

Last Word

Giving Tuesday isn’t going to make or break your fundraising, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Use the occasion as a way to get the word out about your organization on social media. Pick some great photos and develop 3 - 5 solid social media posts that tell your story. When all is said and done, your time and money is better spent on End of Year Giving and planning for any local giving days that might be coming up quick in the new year.

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Learn more about #GivingTuesday here

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