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Recently, TechSoup presented GivingTuesday and Year-End Fundraising Strategies, a webinar aimed at helping organizations integrate #GivingTuesday into their end-of-year fundraising campaigns.
What is #GivingTuesday? In 2012, New York's 92nd Street Y, in tandem with the UN Foundation, started #GivingTuesday as an event to be observed on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we shop for gifts to give to people we care about. #GivingTuesday inspires us to give to causes that we care about.
Our webinar speakers were Melissa Cronin, director of special initiatives at the 92nd Street Y, and Wendy Harman, director of information management and situational awareness at the American Red Cross.
Melissa Cronin gave us some background on the event she helped start and pointed us toward resources we could use in our campaigns.
She characterized #GivingTuesday as a call to action that celebrates giving and encourages more, better, and smarter giving. It's an organizing principle that encourages the energy and creativity of people to work together for good. In 2013, in only its second year, 10,000 groups in 40 countries participated.
Melissa encouraged organizations to get creative and make #GivingTuesday their own. Some of the ways she mentioned are:
An especially popular activity is creating "unselfies." These are photos of yourself doing good or pledging to give back and tweeted with hashtags #unselfie and #GivingTuesday.
The GivingTuesday.org website provides tools and resources for getting started, like ideas and examples, logos and web banners, and toolkits.
Wendy Harman told us the story of her organization's approach to #GivingTuesday.
The Red Cross pretty much plans all year for its year-end giving campaign. It has a holiday giving "catalog" that includes items like military comfort kits, vaccinations, hot meals, and blankets. For last year's #GivingTuesday, the Red Cross emphasized thanking donors. But it also featured catalog items in two-hour bursts throughout the day. For each item, staff and volunteers posted in social accounts how they had interacted with the item and how it had made a difference.
Staff and volunteers also thanked people who talked about giving blood, made a financial donation, or otherwise contributed to the Red Cross mission. The Red Cross also recruited celebrities like Josh Duhamel to post photos thanking donors. (Smaller organizations who use this tactic might consider local celebrities like mayors or newscasters.) The Red Cross art department created cute, funny thank-you graphics to send.
The presenters agreed that for most organizations, starting in November will allow plenty of time. If you already have a year-end campaign planned, you can make #GivingTuesday the launch. What if you are a volunteer with an organization that doesn't have a plan? You can be a social media ambassador, as shown in the #GivingTuesday toolkit, or use unselfies to raise awareness.
In 2013, according to Melissa Cronin, the overall volume of donations increased 270 percent from the same Tuesday in previous years. Why not see if your donations can do the same?
Do you have a success story about #GivingTuesday? Log in to share it in the comments.
Image 1: Giving Tuesday / Some rights reserved
Image 2: Giving Tuesday
Image 3: American Red Cross