Increase Your Organization’s Impact on Giving Tuesday
By: Danielle Cookish, NEFED Advisory Board Member
Giving Tuesday was first introduced in 2012 in New York City from a single idea to do good. Since that time, Giving Tuesday has exploded into a global movement of radical generosity. From major nonprofit organizations to one person offering a kind gesture to a neighbor, Giving Tuesday strikes a chord for compassion, inclusiveness, and good will toward each other.
Giving Tuesday is a special opportunity to open the doors to your organization and celebrate the important work you do for the animals and people in your community. 2021 trend reports in nonprofit fundraising show a uniform downturn in charitable gifts after a significant spike in monetary and in-kind support at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Including Giving Tuesday in your annual fundraising plan gives your organization an additional chance to shine on a globally-recognized day of giving.
Tips for a successful Giving Tuesday
Take the time to create a plan for what your Giving Tuesday will look like. Brainstorm on a theme that tells the story of your organization and the important role it plays in your community. Look to your mission statement and organizational principles for inspiration. With millions of people using the same channels to talk about Giving Tuesday, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Creating a cohesive message, graphics, and storytelling package will help your organization stand out on Giving Tuesday.
Posting often to social media, creating a Facebook event, a blog, and preparing Giving Tuesday marketing emails and print mailings are great ways to get off the ground a few weeks before the big day arrives. Being present and consistent with your audience ahead of Giving Tuesday keeps your organization familiar and in the minds of those who support you. Avoid waiting until Giving Tuesday has already begun before pushing your message out there.
Beginning in the early hours of the morning, the Giving Tuesday hashtag begins to trend, the logo starts to appear across social media, and the solicitation emails roll in with an increasing speed and urgency as the day goes on. How can my organization stand out in the crowd when everyone is talking about the same thing? Do something weird. Don’t be afraid to reach into a creative space and dream up concepts that could catch the attention of your existing and prospective supporters. What does your audience want to hear from you that isn’t a simple ask for support? Sometimes, the strange ideas are the ones that carry a nonprofit organization to the top of the fundraising ranks.
Celebrate your work
Looking back, your organization has done some amazing things this past year. Harness the power of those stories and share them with your audience on Giving Tuesday to make a big impact. Opening your doors by telling real stories (not just the ones with happy endings) and letting your supporters in on the day-to-day reality of work in animal welfare draws people closer to your organization because of the honesty in your storytelling.
Bonus tip: Create suggested donation amounts on your donation web page and in print mailings and assign each one a real-world impact. (e.g., $20 feeds 20 animals)
Use Social Media to your advantage
The task of drawing and retaining traffic to your social media pages and website on Giving Tuesday can be intimidating, but social platforms offer tools to help you get there. Try a live broadcast on Facebook with a tour of your facility or an exclusive, inside look into one of your programs in action. Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag consistently on social media throughout the day and plan to change all of your social media and website banners to match your theme.
Strengthen your fundraising
In addition to your efforts, include the potential for partnership with influencers, local media outlets, and matches by donors in your early planning stages. These steps have the potential to double your organic fundraising efforts, adding more funding to support your organization’s programs.
Visit the official website for Giving Tuesday for more information on planning and a free social media toolkit to get you started.
Show your appreciation
At the conclusion of Giving Tuesday, don’t keep your supporters hanging — thank them! Share additional stories to paint a picture of what a donor’s monetary support has accomplished for animals in their times of need. Send an email of thanks and express your gratitude on social media. Include totals of how much was raised to support your organization into the new year and beyond.