9 Simple Steps to Plan for Giving Tuesday

9 Simple Steps to Plan for Giving Tuesday

While some nonprofits may wonder if Giving Tuesday is really worth their time: it is. Giving Tuesday, which began as a way to celebrate philanthropy in New York City, is now a global movement. #GivingTuesday highlights organizations and giving through the use of online and social media platforms.

According to Blackbaud, self-proclaimed as “world’s leading cloud software company powering social good,” what started as a $6.6 million online donation event in 2011 has become a $60.9 million dollar campaign in just 6 years. Clearly, Giving Tuesday is a one-day event that nonprofits should leverage.

If your organization is still deciding on whether to participate in Giving Tuesday, it’s not too late to join this community of generosity! Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Set Your Goals

Your goal sets the focus of your content, your ask, and your gameplan for the few days before Giving Tuesday. Even if you don’t have a detailed campaign this year, you can still be on the receiving end of this year’s giving. The following questions may help you decide your goals for this upcoming day of generosity:

  • Do you have a number in mind for donations?

  • Would you like to sponsor more families?

  • Does your organization need more monthly sponsors?

2. Prep Your Non-Profit Social Media Channels

Social media is a powerful outlet, especially if you have a vocal audience that likes to share what your organization is up to. When you’re looking to boost the donations for your nonprofit, you need to consider how to best share your story, your goal, and your nonprofit’s results. In some cases, it might make sense to have a different spokesperson than usual. Ponder the following options:

  • Who’s the best person to share your nonprofit’s message?

  • What’s the impact of the giving?

  • Do you have a clear call to action for viewers?

3. Use Available Resources for your Non-Profit

Your nonprofit isn’t the only organization to jump into planning for Giving Tuesday at the last second. GivingTuesday.org offers resources for nonprofits who start planning, whether in January or the middle of November. Organizations can find different types of tool-kits as well as suggested timelines. Other possible resources include the following:

  • What did other nonprofits do in the past year that was successful?

  • Are there aspects worth repeating?

  • Can you work with sponsors?

4. Login with Harness for Non-Profits

Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to have your donors connect with your nonprofit through Harness giving. If every one of your donors committed to giving their loose change to your organization, yearly numbers would surely skyrocket. Loose change adds up. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Are your donors' social media and app-savvy?

  • How can you encourage donors to start using Harness to donate to your nonprofit?

  • Do you want daily donors rather than just one-time givers?

5. Exercise Creativity with your Social Media

This one-day event is perfect for trying something new. Brainstorm with your team to see what kind of out-of-the-box ideas may be available. Giving Tuesday receives a lot of online engagement. Here are a few questions to inspire some creativity:

  • How could you make online engagement into real-life engagement?

  • Would you include donors in your story for thank you shout-outs?

  • What fun things (pay it forward, serenade an unsuspecting barista, balance a spoon on the nose) could you encourage followers to do in real life on Giving Tuesday?

6. Notify Your Donors

You already have this audience. They support your cause, and they are the perfect place to start when you’re gearing up for Giving Tuesday. Let them know what your nonprofit is going to be doing on Giving Tuesday, and then remind them again. Here are a few tips to keep your donors in the know:

  • Schedule out email messages for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday

  • Encourage donors to connect on social media

  • Explain to your donors how they can help get the word out

7. Join the #GivingTuesday Conversation

On Giving Tuesday, the hashtag #GivingTuesday will be trending. Jump into the conversation and add to it, not only promotes your nonprofit but interactions with others. Stick to the tone of your nonprofit, but don’t forget to have fun. People are attracted to authenticity. Prepare for the day with the following:

  • Be sure that someone is monitoring social media

  • Prepare to help people donate if they face errors

  • Ensure you have an easy donation option

8. Meet and Greet

If your organization has an accessible location with a nice space, maybe throw a party to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Use social media to build the expectation of a possible party and then send out invitations to donors in the area. An open house might be the easiest style or schedule a dessert party at the end of the day. Details to consider follow:

  • What’s the purpose of your party?

  • How can you make it easy for people to attend?

  • Who is your target audience?

9. I Want to Thank…

Non-profits often have the thanking process down. And people like to be thanked. You can use your normal routes of thanking or you can try different ways. Social media shout-outs, donor highlights in an email, or surprise delivery of cookies are just a few examples. How you thank people for supporting your organization can set your nonprofit apart.

  • What thanking strategies are successful for other nonprofits?

  • Have you asked your donors how they’d like to be thanked?

  • What are the best ways to contact your donors?

Giving Tuesday, although still a young concept, continues to help non-profit organizations throughout the world. If your nonprofit isn’t ready for Giving Tuesday, you still have time! Even a small campaign can help increase year-end giving for your organization.

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