Annual charitable giving has traditionally spiked around the holiday season, making it an opportune time for nonprofits to make holiday fundraising pushes. That’s why philanthropists decided to turn this trend into a fully fleshed-out movement in 2012: Giving Tuesday. The day has since been celebrated globally.

But what is Giving Tuesday, exactly? And what makes it so special?

Celebrated on the heels of big-name shopping bonanzas like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday presents consumers with an opportunity to direct their funds away from shopping and toward supporting charitable endeavors. In nearly a decade, this annual event has enabled some nonprofits to realize greater year-end contributions than they might have otherwise. Even organizations that see only a slight fundraising bump on Giving Tuesday have the chance to leverage the occasion to raise awareness of their missions, reach new audiences, and make stronger community connections.

From the consumer’s perspective, Giving Tuesday offers a gentle nudge to commit a random act of kindness (financial or otherwise.) I know Giving Tuesday always reminds me to think of the nonprofits I support, including Phoenix ProgramsHorses Without HumansAngels of America’s FallenLove INC, and the Heart of Missouri United Way. When I see Giving Tuesday hints online, I automatically ask myself how I can assist these organizations again soon.

Giving Tuesday Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

Whether you’re at the head of a brand new nonprofit or one that’s been around for generations, don’t let Giving Tuesday — which takes place on Dec. 1 this year — pass you by. The pandemic has affected the donating cycles for many altruistic organizations, which makes getting involved in Giving Tuesday campaigns more essential than ever.

Consider the following Giving Tuesday ideas to maximize this year’s event and increase end-of-the-year donations:

1. Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Your nonprofit is probably using at least one social media account — whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all three! Be sure to include the hashtag #GivingTuesday on all applicable posts leading up to the big day. This helps you capitalize on the event by increasing the likelihood that people searching for #GivingTuesday charities will stumble upon your page.

2. Make online donations a breeze. Everyone’s busy during the holidays. Don’t make supporting your nonprofit another difficult task. Instead, put your donations page front and center on your website to make donating online easy. Accept several forms of payment, from PayPal to credit cards. The fewer steps supporters have to take, the more apt they’ll be to open their real or virtual wallets.

If you’re not looking directly for monetary donations, as is the case for some nonprofits that serve to encourage others’ actions, be clear in your language. Your job is to help consumers understand how best to help you achieve your nonprofit’s vision.

3. Create specialty content around Giving Tuesday. Your Giving Tuesday tool kit should include a calendar of proposed content. Anything from social media videos to fundraising emails can be mapped out between now and the end of the year. Even after Giving Tuesday ends, you can make use of the name and hashtag to drive engagement.

What should your Giving Tuesday content discuss? You could generate a real-time Giving Tuesday ticker to display donations as they roll in. Or you might want to highlight standout volunteers or projects from the past year. Your content will inspire and rally current and new advocates.

4. Download complimentary Giving Tuesday resources. Still a little stumped on how to participate in Giving Tuesday? The organization behind the movement has plenty of resources available for download. You may even want to gather together a Giving Tuesday committee to meet safely on Zoom and discuss the best ways to use the free Giving Tuesday templates and other items. Just make sure to assign tasks to a point person for maximum accountability.

Give your supporters every opportunity to lend a helping hand by participating fully in Giving Tuesday this year. If you want to see how I’ll be helping out, feel free to follow along on my Facebook page.

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