Following the holiday shopping sprees of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s GivingTuesday—a day that offers everyone the opportunity to carry out random acts of kindness, to pay it forward, and simply give back to the charities and causes they believe in. The next GivingTuesday falls on November 27th, 2018—mark your calendars!
Whether it’s your first time, or if you’re a seasoned GivingTuesday pro, here are some helpful tips to get you set up for what is truly the most wonderful time of the year:
1. Boost your campaigns with GivingTuesday You don’t have to launch a brand new campaign just for GivingTuesday. If you’re already working on a few, GivingTuesday could simply be the time to garner some extra support for your areas of greatest need. Running a capital campaign? Use GivingTuesday to do launch or to secure a one-day match donor to kick-start your fundraising. Launching a new development program? Create a short social media video series to explain the need for the program, and consider a social media sharing campaign to build awareness. Are predictable monthly donors what you need most? Focus your GivingTuesday campaign on turning one-time donors into regular supporters. It’s a great plan! At CanadaHelps, we see year-over-year new monthly pledges spike on GivingTuesday by 564 per cent across charities.
So, what are your charity’s goals or key initiatives? It’s important to ask this question and have the answer on hand—your supporters will want to know! Identifying some of your organization’s main campaigns, and getting specific about your funding or volunteering needs, could help inform a donor’s decision on ‘why’ and ‘how’ to give.
2. Make a memorable introduction Don’t be shy—reach out and let others get to know you better! Gather your team to brainstorm some interactive ways to introduce your organization. Hosting an open house is a great way to break the ice, especially for new charities. Round up some volunteers and staff to help out with planning and running things on the day of. You can even make it a “work” event with volunteer teams heading out to serve your clients in ways that will make a real difference. For example, if your charity serves the elderly, your team could go out to do yard work, repair work, or junk removal they may struggle to do themselves.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative. However, try to tie it in with what you stand for, and keep it simple enough that you don’t overwhelm your team. The main goal would be to give your charity some good exposure to the public, and offer people the chance to experience what you’re all about, if they haven’t heard of you before.
3. Add a donation form to your website Having an online donation form is a convenient way to make and accept donations. It is especially helpful to have one ready for GivingTuesday, in order to maximize and achieve your fundraising goals. Whether you’re displaying it on the home page, linking to a multi-step form for the day (if you’re running a fundraising campaign), or regardless of what type of campaign, ensure you have a strong call-to-action “Donate Now” on every page.
To get a donation form specifically branded for GivingTuesday, visit givingtuesday.ca. Good-to-know: besides increasing your charity’s chances of getting donations, a donation form is a useful way to collect donor information for sending out future appeals and Thank-You emails.
4. Create a challenge and make it fun Everyone loves a good challenge! Organize an event where everyone can get involved for the cause and raise funds. From races and food drives, to bake-offs, neighbourhood clean-ups, and even social media movements like the #UNSELFIE challenge—the possibilities are endless! When it comes to getting your community, family, friends, and social circles involved, this is your time to spark some fun, and for others to earn bragging rights while making positive change.
5. Offer volunteering opportunities Not everything about GivingTuesday has to do with fundraising and getting donations. The “reason for the season” (or day) is simply to give back in whatever way, shape, or form—this includes giving one’s time. As we know, besides donations, charities rely on the dedication and support of volunteers. These are people in your community who believe in your organization’s values and who would step in to help ensure that your doors stay open, to continue serving its beneficiaries.
Volunteering is one of the best ways for people to participate in GivingTuesday. With this in mind, offer others the chance to get involved with your charity by educating them about the organization, and ensuring that they have all the tools they need.
6. Look out for great partnerships Lastly, it always helps to have some support from corporate partners and sponsors. These are companies that would be willing to match donations, offer funding for certain initiatives, strengthen your cause, or can be asked to provide resources (i.e. employee volunteers). Spend some time doing research on potential partners, and put together a sponsorship package that gives ample information about your organization.
Securing a partnership for GivingTuesday is very helpful for a one-time fundraising event, but it could also potentially lead to a long-lasting relationship down the road. So be sure to take the time to scope out companies that might align with your charity’s values, and would make great corporate partners.
Let us know how you’re taking on GivingTuesday! Whether it’s getting your website ready, adding your profile and charity highlights to the GivingTuesday site, engaging on social media through #GivingTuesdayCA and @GivingTuesdayCA, or spreading awareness via blog posts—we’d like to hear about it and help amplify your efforts!