The #GivingTuesday initiative is an innovative movement to encourage philanthropy at all levels across America. Specifically, the project aims to “create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season” and “it celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

Similar to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday harnesses the momentum of the holiday season to encourage giving back to nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes in a concentrated effort during the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Started by New York’s 92nd Street Y and promoted by the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has now become a catalyst and incubator for a variety of philanthropic initiatives across the country.

Recently, the Philadelphia-based blog Generocity partnered with local philanthropic thought leaders, including Evans Consulting Group, to launch #GivingTuesdayPHL, the Philadelphia-based initiative to encourage charitable giving to the region’s nonprofits on Tuesday, December 3rd.

 

We encourage all of our clients and friends to get involved with #GivingTuesday, both locally and nationally. To help nonprofits make the most of this exciting event, we’re offering our Top Three Tips to make the most of #GivingTuesday2013:

Tip #1: Create a Defined #GivingTuesday Goal

#GivingTuesday offers a distinct touch point and event that nonprofits can use to rally their supporters around a centralized goal, similar to a matching gift campaign or event-based fundraiser.

Unlike the somewhat amorphous annual appeal, whose calls to action can stretch from September all the way to December, #GivingTuesday has a distinctly finite window of opportunity.

To make the most of this opportunity, we recommend that nonprofits define a specific target goal for the day: to raise $10,000, collect 250 backpacks, mobilize 100 volunteers, etc.

With a defined goal, supporters will be able to see the immediate impact their support will make. If employing this tactic, nonprofits should set aside staff time on that Tuesday to keep supporters updated in real-time via social media and on their website.

Tip #2: Communicate the Event with Stakeholders

Because #GivingTuesday is still a relatively new initiative, most nonprofits are going to need to educate their stakeholders about the basics of the movement.

Including links and blurbs within monthly newsletters and creating a multi-channel push in October and November will ensure that once December 3rd rolls around, constituents understand why they’re being asked to give.

The date can be especially well-utilized within an e-blast push and a direct mail effort. Nonprofits can solicit donors to give a gift by December 3rd within a hard-copy appeal that emphasizes the national and global reach of the initiative, and reinforce the date by sending a “final chance” reminder the morning of #GivingTuesday. Messaging and branding resources are available on the #GivingTuesday website and can be used to create name-recognition among supporters.

Tip #3: Utilize Social Media

Mobilizing supporters online is a critical component of #GivingTuesday. The name itself is a play on a Twitter “hash tag,” a word or phrase on Twitter that is preceded by a pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a certain topic or theme. It is important to note that online giving is becoming an increasingly big touch point for donors.

According to the data, Blackbaud processed over $10 million in online donations on #GivingTuesday 2012, which represented an astounding 53% increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2011. Plus, DonorPerfect recorded similar increases: a 46% jump in online donations and the average online gift increased 25%.

Milestone trending was seen on Twitter when more than 50 million people around the world championed #GivingTuesday in 2012. Simply put, nonprofits cannot afford to miss out on this considerable momentum.

For those nonprofits with active Twitter feeds, #GivingTuesday is regularly utilized throughout the year to promote charitable giving on a more consistent basis. Giving a shout out to other nonprofits, highlighting donors that give on Tuesday, or creating mini-goals and giving events throughout the year is a great way to increase awareness of the initiative on various media channels.