Over the past five years, a normal day in November has risen in the holiday season ranks to rival the buzz of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A communal celebration of generosity, Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to support and champion causes they believe in by giving back. In 2016, Giving Tuesday saw 1.64 million gifts totaling $177 million in donations.
Some assert that Giving Tuesday is largely a gimmick; perhaps it feels contrived to you. Others claim it broadly consumes all potential year-end donors, rushing people to give when they might potentially make a larger investment on a day with less urgency. But if Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been so wildly successful for the commercial world, then can’t Giving Tuesday be another ritual for the annual calendar? Shouldn’t NPOs be involved in a day where organizations, businesses and groups all across the world are celebrating what it means to give back?
Consider your typical food truck. One truck sitting in a parking lot does stand out without competition, but how many people go out of their way seeking it out. Compare it to a food truck park or event, where hungry neighbors gather with the specific purpose to eat at a food truck. Yes, there’s more competition—but there’s also an eager and attentive audience.
It’s true, conversations among NPOs and donors on Giving Tuesday will be louder than ever. With intentionality and effort, your voice can rise above the noise. But first. you must show up.
Here are five reasons you can’t wait any longer to participate:
1. Giving Tuesday is hyper-relevant and timely.
Giving Tuesday arrives as a breath of fresh air on the heels of the two most commercialized days of the year. For a full day, nonprofits have the microphone on a stage that the entire world is watching. The hashtag #GivingTuesday occupies such a large portion of social media space on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that even individuals caring little about philanthropy will see what nonprofits are doing in communities around the world, as long as they’re active on social media. This is a can’t-miss opportunity to share your God-glorifying mission with people looking for causes and organizations to support.
2. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to engage Millennials.
Millennials are increasingly becoming the “magic” demographic that every commercial and nonprofit organization wants. On Giving Tuesday, efforts are focused on social media and online giving, where younger donors are easier to reach than ever and the name of the game is peer-to-peer marketing. As they watch others around them give to causes they also relate to, they are more willing to become involved. Giving Tuesday opens the door to this demographic where they are and where they are most likely to respond.
3. Giving Tuesday can develop one-time donors into recurring givers.
No matter the demographic, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to invite one-time donors to be recurring givers. On a day where NPOs are competing for the spotlight, it means something when a donor chooses your cause. They resonated with your message, and they want to be a part of what your organization is doing. Giving Tuesday donors can be stewarded into recurring givers, and eventually, faithful supporters.
4. Giving Tuesday can expand your volunteer base.
Although the day is centered around online donations, Giving Tuesday is a platform to invite new volunteers into your organization. Giving Tuesday falls around Thanksgiving for a purpose. Leverage the generous spirit of the holiday to connect giving to action. Invite people into your organization’s story by offering volunteer opportunities on Giving Tuesday itself or leading up to it the week of Thanksgiving. While others are methodically asking for donations and measuring success strictly with dollars, set your NPO apart by strategically creating avenues for interested donors to authentically experience the impactful work of your NPO by giving of their time.
5. Giving Tuesday can increase your average online gift.
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to increase your revenue and deepen the impact that your organization is making. Any gift to your organization increases revenue, so the advantage of Giving Tuesday is its exclusivity to online giving. The data available allows you to set metrics and hit new goals. Make increasing your average online gift a goal by using past data to determine your ask in your campaign. Or, set goals like number of gifts, a matching campaign around or crowdfunding a particular initiative.