Should your nonprofit participate in #GivingTuesday?

September 11, 2014

Should your nonprofit participate in #GivingTuesday?

A social media effort to encourage charitable contributions, #GivingTuesday, is an organization-neutral movement that focuses on giving back. The group's website highlights the broad-based nature of the event, which occurs around the Thanksgiving holiday as a response to consumer driven periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Nonprofit organizations can encourage participation in any number of ways, from standard one-time donations to ongoing pledges, as well as non-monetary contributions such as the commitment of volunteer hours and other resources. The flexibility allows many different types of nonprofit organizations to tailor the event toward their specific needs.

The holiday season has long been recognized as a time of increased giving, so participating in this wide-ranging event can have some significant positive impacts. Calling attention to the good work done by charitable groups and providing potential contributors with a reminder to participate during a time of increased consumer spending is a good way to tap into the feelings of the general public. Encouraging those who participate to share their experiences with the #GivingTuesday hashtag allows for nonprofits to organically increase awareness through the social media posts of contributors. This approach also gives participants a little bit of well-earned attention from their peers, something the majority of contributors will appreciate.

The Nonprofit Marketing Blog pointed out that nonprofits can use a variety of methods to get the most out of #GivingTuesday, based on individual needs and desires. There are some overarching best practices that can be used, such as kicking off an end-of-the-year campaign with a #GivingTuesday effort, but the type of contribution requested is left entirely up to individual organizations. Reviewing yearly goals and using #GivingTuesday to shore up some low numbers, whether through a focus on increasing total donor numbers or social media followers, can be a great approach.

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