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GivingTuesday Is Here - Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

Here are five ways your nonprofit can get ready for GivingTuesday.

For most people, November is a time for shopping, decorating, and preparing for the holidays. But for nonprofits, November signals the start of the year-end giving season — and it all kicks off with GivingTuesday.  

 

On GivingTuesday, nonprofits launch their end-of-the-year fundraising campaigns and engage in various activities to rally support and encourage donations from their community of donors.  

 

This major fundraising event is celebrated every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, GivingTuesday falls on November 28. To help you make the most of this opportunity, we’ve compiled a few tips to help your nonprofit prepare a GivingTuesday campaign. Before we get into that, though, let’s talk about where GivingTuesday came from and why you might want to participate in the first place.  

History of GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday was initiated in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City. It began as a response to consumerism after Thanksgiving, urging people to give back to their communities instead. The movement rapidly gained traction, involving thousands of nonprofits, businesses, and individuals worldwide.  

Why is GivingTuesday important for nonprofits?

GivingTuesday has gained popularity worldwide as a day when individuals, corporations, and foundations come together and donate to charitable causes.  

 

As a result, nonprofits often see a surge in donations on GivingTuesday. A global impact report revealed that, in 2022, nonprofits raised $3.1 billion in donations on GivingTuesday.  

 

This one-day event brings in around 4% of nonprofits’ online year-end revenue. Perhaps more importantly, the momentum and visibility gained on this day can help kickstart year-end fundraising campaigns, which are often critical for nonprofits’ annual budgets. 

5 ways to participate in GivingTuesday

While GivingTuesday presents valuable opportunities, it’s also a popular event among nonprofits, and the competition for donor attention can be fierce. It’s important to plan and execute your campaigns strategically if you want to stand out. Below are five creative ideas for your GivingTuesday campaigns:  

1. Create a personalized giving campaign

Create a personalized giving campaign that allows donors to choose the specific impact they want to make. For instance, on GivingTuesday, World Wildlife Fund offered an “Adopt a Species” campaign that allowed donors to symbolically adopt various endangered animals. You can do the same by letting donors select from a list of different projects or initiatives and allocate their donations accordingly. This approach gives donors a sense of ownership and makes their contributions feel more meaningful. 

2. Collaborate with other nonprofits

For example, several different nonprofits focused on disability services might collaborate on GivingTuesday to raise funds and awareness for their shared goal of helping people with disabilities live healthy, fulfilled lives.  

 

By collaborating on GivingTuesday, nonprofits can pool their resources — including marketing budgets, staff expertise, and fundraising capabilities — in order to execute more effective campaigns. These GivingTuesday collaborations can also lay the foundation for long-term partnerships that benefit everyone involved.  

3. Host an online workshop or class

Host online workshops or classes related to your organization’s mission or expertise. For instance, a day program provider could host an art workshop or an adaptive yoga class tailored to individuals with different abilities. An employment services agency could host a class on job search skills, such as resume writing, interview techniques, and job search strategies. Consider charging a registration fee or requesting a suggested donation amount for participation.  

4. Sell festive merchandise

With the holidays coming up, consider creating holiday-themed merchandise like handmade cards, ornaments, or candles, and selling them to supporters. Proceeds from the sales can go directly to your organization’s cause. This approach offers donors a chance to give while also receiving a meaningful holiday keepsake. 

5. Issue a social media challenge

Create a fun and engaging social media challenge for donors to participate in on GivingTuesday. A good example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. While not specifically a GivingTuesday campaign, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral and raised millions of dollars for ALS research.  

 

You can copy this campaign’s success by encouraging participants to post videos or photos related to the challenge, tag friends to join, and make donations to support your organization. Catchy hashtags can help further increase your campaign’s visibility and reach a broader audience. 

Download the free Disability Events calendar

Creativity and innovation are key to standing out on GivingTuesday. Think outside the box, experiment with new ideas, and make use of social media to amplify your message and reach a broader audience. And for more disability-related events and observances you can participate in all year round, download our free Disability Events Calendar. 

Free Resource: 2024 Disability Events Calendar
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