Let’s start with the bad news (to get that out of the way): According to the counter on their website (at the time this blog was posted), #GivingTuesday is only 75 days, 13 hours, and 4 minutes away!

Now onto the good news: #GivingTuesday is still 75 days, 13 hours, and 4 minutes away! So there is still time to plan, organize, and (dare I say?) even get started if you haven’t already. The global giving crusade that started in 2012 has morphed into a full-fledged movement that has engaged over 30,000 nonprofits in more than 70 countries – and maybe most importantly – has raised, since its inception, almost $200 million (according to #GivingTuesday press releases.) That’s pretty impressive for a now four year old grassroots venture.

#GivingTuesday is an opportunity to join forces with the almost 700,000 donors that made a pledge on December 1st last year. It’s an opportunity to have your organization mentioned among last year’s 1.3 million social media mentions related to #GivingTuesday or the 114 billion Twitter impressions and almost 1,000,000 Facebook users reached on and around the giving holiday in 2015.

This year’s philanthropic phenomenon (taking place on November 29) is poised to break last year’s records. In June, Giving USA announced that giving in America in 2015 totaled $373 billion – an all-time high. With giving in America in 2016 positioned to surpass that of 2015, can your organization afford to NOT be involved in #GivingTuesday? Should nonprofit board members be requiring that their organizations develop a creative campaign? Participating in #GivingTuesday provides your nonprofit with a great vehicle to collaborate, in a fun way, with your constituents.

The folks at #GivingTuesday have made it even easier this year to get involved: they have a brand new website (which looks terrific and is quite easy to use), new toolkits, ideas, webinars, and more!  In fact, this is where “the Monday Night Football” (from this article’s title) comes into play. After a little bit of digging on the new GivingTuesday.org, I noticed a section with nonprofit case studies and ideas – highlighting just a few of the creative ideas nonprofits have used to attract attention and dollars – and to give back to their communities. Here’s one I thought was creative:

The Cleveland Library and the Pratt Library in Baltimore came together to have an epic
showdown for #GivingTuesday. Building off of the Monday Night Football game between
the Browns and the Ravens, the libraries kicked off a fundraising challenge to see which
library could raise more on #GivingTuesday. The winner was the Pratt Library in Baltimore,
which raised more than $41,000 for library programs and ultimately got to share a video
of the losing Cleveland Library Director performing Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”
on social media. Together, the libraries raised funds for their respective programs, earned
greater social media followings, and created a new model for collaboration that benefited
both communities.

These organizations built a #GivingTuesday program not just about raising dollars but also around raising their community – something I contend is a crucial part to a well-rounded campaign.

So take some time to browse the new site. Review a case study or two. Participate in a webinar. But, most importantly, don’t miss out on your opportunity to be a part of the biggest and most philanthropic #GivingTuesday yet!  #GivingTuesday is still 77 days, 7 hours and 59 minutes away!