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What Is Your #GivingTuesday Strategy?



Our client, North Star Reach, a camp for children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges in Pinkney Michigan, raised nearly $50,000 in their first year of promoting #GivingTuesday. They realized that #GivingTuesday presented a new opportunity for donors to support their cause. Even with just a month of planning, their strategies proved to be effective. We are excited to highlight these best practices to inspire you to launch a #GivingTuesday strategy for your organization.

“We have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now #GivingTuesday – a new tradition for giving back. North Star Reach is honored that our supporters celebrated the day last year by generously giving gifts to help send kids to camp. We are excited to bring back the campaign this year for donors who want to support our mission as we look forward to opening in 2015. We hope folks find a way to support the cause they feel passionate about on this day and to tell others to do the same,” said Doug Armstrong, CEO and Founder of North Star Reach.

What is #GivingTuesday?

On Tuesday, December 1st, 2015, charities, families, businesses, and communities around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give. It inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support, and help create a better world.

Why your organization should be involved    

#GivingTuesday presents an opportunity for your organization to reach new donors, increase annual giving, and be a part of a high-profile movement.

1. It’s becoming a large-scale movement with rapidly increasing brand recognition. An estimated 470% increase in donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since its inception in 2012.

2. It attracts new donors to your organization, while not cannibalizing gifts from your existing donors. A survey of 356 organizations that participated in #GivingTuesday in 2012 and 2013 showed that more than 63% experienced an increase in new donors.*

3. It provides your organization with a unified call to action for people to make charitable giving a part of the holiday season.

How to get started

Upon launching a #GivingTuesday campaign in 2015, we recommend following these best practices:

  • Utilize a matching gift. A matching gift can double the total amount raised and provide a proven incentive for a prospective donor to give knowing that the gift will be matched. To secure the match, start with existing business and major donor relationships and present the case that their gift will be leveraged for an even greater impact. Also, in some cases, a previously secured, yet undesignated commitment, could be purposed as a match for #GivingTuesday.
  • Incorporate #GivingTuesday into your end-of-year campaign. Have it be a primary component to kick-off the holiday season of giving, while still sending out the usual messages in December for your annual campaign.
  • Use multiple vehicles to promote your #GivingTuesday Campaign. In our example, North Star Reach leveraged a multi-channel campaign using email, social media, and their website to promote #GivingTuesday. With even more planning, direct mail can boost the results as well.
  • Recruit people to share the message for you. The holiday season is a particularly good time to ask your supporters to share a message of good will with their friends and family. #GivingTuesday provides a specific message to share with peers.
  • Utilize the free resources on the #GivingTuesday site. It is full of template messaging, graphics, and statistics to help articulate your campaign.

Rarely does a national movement come along where any organization can join and receive direct benefit. With its low risk, #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to boost your organization’s seasonal campaign. Try it out and let us know how it works for you!

*Data Sources: Donor Perfect’s Jon Biedermann and the 92nd Street Y

Laura MacDonald has earned a national reputation for her dedication to the nonprofit sector. She is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) with decades of experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and philanthropy. In 1999, she established Benefactor Group to serve the needs of those who serve the common good.

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