Giving Tuesday: Tips for Success

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The signs of fall are quickly fading and being replaced by the sights and sounds of another holiday season. The first major shopping frenzy gets rolling the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday and continues three days later with Cyber Monday.

This time of massive consumerism and materialistic pursuit takes a sharp turn with Giving Tuesday. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday (commonly stylized with a hashtag and without a space: #GivingTuesday) is an international day of focusing on the needs of others.

Conceived and launched in the U.S. in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the U.N. Foundation, this day of generosity is touted as “the world’s largest giving movement.” Using social media and hashtags, nonprofit organizations worldwide now host fundraisers and events on this day. The money raised has been staggering—from $10 million in 2012 to nearly $400 million in 2018, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Technology is the key to organizational success. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are major fundraising platforms. In 2018, donors brought in more than $125 million through Facebook (a 177 percent increase from 2017’s total of $45 million). In addition, Facebook and PayPal together offered organizations a $7 million match (up to $20,000 per donor and up to $250,000 per organization). According to Facebook, that match was gone “within seconds” of being available.

Organizations of all sizes can harness the generosity of others to support causes. Even nontech types can find success by using the vast array of free templates and tools. Here are some websites that offer ideas and resources to launch your own #GivingTuesday campaign:

Even during the charitable holiday season, donors are likely to do some research before giving. The first stop is usually an organization’s website, so make sure you have a Donate Now button that’s easy to find. Your site should provide information about your mission, programs and services, as well as stories of success (share messages that touch donors’ hearts). Also make sure your site is mobile friendly. Figures from MobileCause show more than half of nonprofit emails are read on mobile devices and 60 percent of donors who research an organization before donating do so on a mobile device.

#GivingTuesday 2019 will take place on December 3. Start planning now to make the most of the 24-hour online donations and awareness movement.

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