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October 11, 2019

Giving Tuesday is coming up! This day of giving is popularized on social media, and comes just after the busy shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Almost 1/3 of Americans plan to participate in Giving Tuesday, so it can be a big day of fundraising for nonprofits who choose to participate.

Over the coming weeks, we'll be sharing a series of blog posts to help your organization prepare for Giving Tuesday. We're kicking things off today with an explainer on Giving Tuesday and why your nonprofit should consider a campaign. Are there topics you'd like us to cover? Share your questions about Giving Tuesday, social media, and fundraising, in our Nonprofit Partners Facebook Group. Not yet a member of our Nonprofit Subsidy Program? Apply here.

When is Giving Tuesday?

This year, Giving Tuesday will fall on Tuesday, December 3rd. Giving Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But as you probably already know, the holiday shopping season starts sooner than ever -- you’re probably already starting to get emails from brands about holiday offers, and it’s only October! Fortunately for nonprofits, with increased shopping activity comes increased charitable activity, too. More donations are made at the end of the year than any other time of year. So while Giving Tuesday is one specific day, many organizations feature it as a key date in winter campaigns that can run for weeks or months.

Giving Tuesday

What is Giving Tuesday? Who can participate?

Giving Tuesday is not as old as you might think. It was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, as a hashtag and social media movement based on the theory that there might be interest in giving back after several days of big-spending. And they were right -- it went viral in its first year. It’s still growing every year. Giving Tuesday reports that $400 million was raised online for Giving Tuesday 2018 campaigns, with an average online gift size of roughly $100, engaging small donors at the grassroots level.

Giving Tuesday is open to any organization or nonprofit. As described by Vox, “The 92nd Street Y developed the hashtag, marketing advice, and resources, and released them all for any nonprofit to use. They made a point of not including any branding for the 92nd Street Y itself, in order to make the event more universal.” This universal spirit continues today. You can visit Giving Tuesday’s official website to download logos, toolkits, and find case studies and inspiration for your own campaign.

Bottom Line: Is Giving Tuesday worth it?

Should your nonprofit try a Giving Tuesday campaign? If you are hoping to close out the year with a donation drive or engage with your donors in a new way, Giving Tuesday could be a good opportunity for your nonprofit. In particular, it’s a good way to engage with individual donors and remind donors of your nonprofit during the busy holiday season. You can make it a featured day in your holiday giving, or start a campaign just for Giving Tuesday.

We recommend picking a goal, and using Giving Tuesday as a way to focus your efforts. The goal can be external, like a certain amount of dollar raised, or internal, like engaging lapsed donors. If you haven’t done fundraisers on social media before, Giving Tuesday is a good opportunity to try things out, because there are so many free templates and resources online to help you get started.

We’ll be sharing our top picks for resources and some guides for how to plan your first Giving Tuesday campaign. If you have your own suggestions, we’d love to hear them! If you’re a member of our Nonprofit Subsidy Program, you can post in our Facebook group. Otherwise, please apply here.

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