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Recently Giving Tuesday launched a special contest called “My Giving Story” on Facebook to encourage people to share their most meaningful experience in supporting a nonprofit. Winners of the contest have the chance to win up to $5,000 for their designated nonprofit along with a personal gift card.

In 2012, Giving Tuesday began quietly as a campaign event and has since emerged as a global movement that inspires people to give back and provides a social media based platform for organizations to solicit funds. The event, held the first Tuesday of each December (after “Black Friday”), exploded in popularity among the nonprofit, philanthropic, and social good sectors. Nonprofits use the event in a variety of ways—to raise awareness of their mission, inspire donors to give funds, and connect with other like-minded advocates. Through “My Giving Story”, Giving Tuesday incentivizes people to highlight the value giving back offers.

Smart nonprofits can benefit from “My Giving Story” even if they aren’t directly involved. The stories submitted by “My Giving Story” entrants can be of great value to nonprofits.  They reveal motivations that drive people to give, and nonprofits can search among the stated reasons, identify patterns, and uncover insights. Organizations can then take this information and layer it over their current fundraising strategies and results, hopefully uncovering new opportunities.

If previous years are any indication, Giving Tuesday will continue to grow its popularity among organizations and individuals.  For Giving Tuesday nonprofits can highlight the stories of donors who’ve made a gift. Their stories can shared throughout the day as part of a nonprofit’s special thank-you to Giving Tuesday donors. This recognition can spark other people interested in the mission or moved by the stories to also donate, possibly netting nonprofits extra funds. Also here’s other ideas to help nonprofits best strategize for Giving Tuesday:

  • Organize a volunteer project for the nonprofit. Invite donors, employees and neighbors to get together to celebrate giving by creating a day of service.
  • Consider trying mobile or online giving. #GivingTuesday is a great day to engage a nonprofit’s online community and transform followers and fans into donors.
  • Many nonprofits are rebranding #GivingTuesday for their organizations. From #GivingShoesDay to #GivingZooDay, give a twist to the Giving Tuesday’s name and logos to promote a specific nonprofit’s brand and mission.
  • Integrate #GivingTuesday into a nonprofit’s end-ofyear campaign. Use this day to experiment and try a new strategy to close those end of year gifts.
  • Ask a board member or sponsor to put up a matching gift. Use this to incentivize new or larger donations or to kick-off the end-of-year campaign.
  • Emulate Black Friday
  • Create temporary hand tattoos with the nonprofit’s logo and #GivingTuesday or #Unselfie. Send these to volunteers ahead of time, ask them to ask staff during lunch to collect. These can also be used as incentives for early giving or participation.
  • Have super supporters schedule tweets that say “I gave to @{nonprofit} for #GivingTuesday.” ThunderClap is a great tool for this.
  • Make the donations tangible by explaining whether the money will go toward a new program or needed equipment.

27 days remain until Giving Tuesday begins and the My Giving Story is announced. This leaves nonprofits plenty of time to create their strategy to generate funds and celebrate their donors.

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