If you’re involved in fundraising already, you know one of the biggest days of the year is nearly here. Giving Tuesday – it’s happening Tuesday 29th November. Combined with a feel-good holiday like Thanksgiving in the USA, it’s the best time of year to start shouting about your cause. This year, it’s the 10th anniversary of Giving Tuesday, so there will be even more buzz about it than usual. One idea that springs to mind is ‘donate $10 for the 10th Giving Tuesday’… perhaps that will help boost your fundraiser to the right amount.
What is Giving Tuesday?
It’s an opportunity for people to give back to charities and organizations they believe in by donating their time or money, but it’s also a chance for fundraisers to share why people should donate to their cause. It’s seen huge social success over the years using the hashtag #GivingTuesday so be sure to add this to any material you use to promote yourself. A number of people celebrate generously and it is a day that encourages people to spread the word and participate in Giving Tuesday. This national day, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, helps kick off the holiday season.
Get organized with Giving Tuesday
Now, it’s important to understand that just because there is a lot of hype surrounding Giving Tuesday it doesn’t mean everyone will come flocking to your donation page just because you mention it once or twice. If there’s a lot of noise around a topic, you need to be one of the people shouting as simple talking isn’t going to get you heard.
So get prepared. When are you going to post on social media? What times are best to reach people in community groups online? Does your email list respond best in the morning or the evening? If you’re going to host an event on Giving Tuesday, make sure it’s at a time when you can maximize your audience:after work or at lunchtime (make it a long lunchtime, not just one hour). Plan out your entire day and the launch process! Give teasers about what’s to come.
Create a unique campaign for Giving Tuesday
Remember when we said you need to stand out from the noise that’s being created on Giving Tuesday? Well, your campaign is the key to that. No matter what you’re raising money for, you need to do something special for Giving Tuesday. There will be plenty of organizations announcing something crazy, and launching huge campaigns so this isn’t something you want to rush. Get the team together, sit down, and really think this one through.
If you’re struggling in the creativity department, start by thinking about who you are and what you stand for. If you’re a football team, then why not look at hosting a charity game? If you’re a community programme for feeding the hungry, why not look at having a huge cookout? Perhaps you’re trying to raise money for the homeless, so why not do a big sponsored campout? Remember, peer to peer fundraising is a powerful tool – use it. If you’re unsure, check out our peer-to-peer fundraising article.
Set yourself up for success
Whether you’re running a silent auction, raffle or bake sale, you want to be prepared to receive donations in advance of Giving Tuesday. This means getting organized with your online donation page. As we mentioned, you may look at encouraging peer-to-peer fundraising – in which case get your fundraisers to set up their page in advance too.
On your online page, explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it but more importantly, what people need to do to get involved. Everything needs to have a call to action and it needs to be clear. If you’re hosting a cookout, tell people to ‘buy a ticket’. If you’re doing a camp out get people to ‘sign up to take part’. If it’s a bake sale, ask people to ‘donate a cake’ or ‘come hungry’. One call to action per message. Make it simple and clear. While it’s important to tell people why you’re doing it, it’s more important to tell them what you want them to do.
This time of year is incredibly charitable. Many people are in the festive mood for donating, so telling someone they’re doing something great by donating isn’t new information. ‘Donate to the homeless because they need somewhere to sleep, it’s cold, it’s the right thing to do’… Nobody needs to be convinced that helping someone in need is the right thing to do. What they need to know is how to do it, so be direct. ‘Donate $10 to the homeless by clicking this link’. Of course, some of your marketing material will need to include persuasive language, but don’t underestimate the importance of the call to action and how obvious it needs to be to your reader.
Chief Operating Officer
Ben is at the forefront of every project in Givergy, listing and actioning constant improvements across the business. With over a decade of experience in the charity and events sector he brings a deep understanding of what the fundraising industry needs to operate effectively and efficiently.