How communicators are using Giving Tuesday to raise funds

November 24, 2014

It’s that time of year when retailers begin their incessant ads to lure holiday shoppers to stores during the wee hours of Black Friday. In recent years, online retailers have begun their own shopping day: Cyber Monday.

A few years ago, New York’s 92nd Street Y and the UN Foundation decided that nonprofits needed to get in on the action. As the organizers explain, “We have one day to give thanks, two days for getting deals, and now we have one day to give back.” Dubbed “Giving Tuesday,” this day encourages people to give back by donating to good causes.

We spoke with a couple of nonprofit communications pros about how they plan to promote Giving Tuesday this year. Here’s what they have cooking:

Convert social media fans: Michelle Johnson of Legal Voice, explains that this year she’s going to use Giving Tuesday to help convert social media fans into first-time donors.  She recommends that small organizations use tools from the official Giving Tuesday website to find creative new ideas for social media.

Launch a larger campaign: Using Giving Tuesday as a component of a larger campaign is also effective, says Dawn Bass of PATH. She has done unique campaigns for Giving Tuesday in the past, but says that this year PATH will use email and social media to promote Giving Tuesday as the launch of their year-end fundraising appeal.

Stand out from the noise: With everyone sending pitches on the same day, how do you stand out from the crowd? Michelle explains that she plans to use an identifiable story about her groups work to help cut through the noise and make a compelling case for support.

Think about the long game: Remember it’s not just about a single day. Dawn notes that it’s important to carefully cultivate your donors and prospects over time so that they know and trust you. That way, Giving Tuesday simply becomes a nice excuse to send an ask!

How do you plan to market Giving Tuesday this year?

Teresa Guillien