Though it feels like we just said goodbye to summer, believe it or not, #GivingTuesday is right around the corner.  Slated for December 1 this year, #GivingTuesday is the nonprofit answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday – a chance for consumers to give back during a time that is usually filled with selfish spending. Now a national movement, organizations of any size can and should take advantage of #GivingTuesday to help raise funds.

But what exactly does participating in #GivingTuesday look like? How can you harness a single-day, social-media focused event to make a real impact for your organization? Start with these five tips for creating a campaign and making a splash:

1)    View it as more than a 24-hour event.

While organizations can benefit from one day of focused altruism, think bigger than just a single-day push. #GivingTuesday falls strategically in between the start of the holiday season and the year’s end. Look for ways you can tie your #GivingTuesday campaign into your existing holiday campaigns or use it to launch your end of the year push. For example, one client of ours is running an interactive holiday campaign empowering supporters to fundraise for the organization in lieu of asking for Christmas gifts. Each week, a new themed story is released, with one strategically falling on #GivingTuesday. Rather than just pushing for donations in a vacuum, they’re able to use the momentum of the campaign to tie into this larger national event.

2)    Create a theme.

If you’re pressed for time, there’s nothing wrong with piggybacking on the #GivingTuesday theme, but think about how much more meaningful and effective your campaign could be with an innovative, branded campaign.

Brainstorm a compelling campaign theme that invokes emotion and tells the story of your work. You might also want to consider focusing on a specific need, project or cause. The easier and more tangible your ask is, the more likely people are to say yes – especially new donors who might be giving for the first time!

Be sure to name your campaign and create branded graphics to help stand out from the rest of your general appeals.

3)    Set a goal.

People are goal-oriented and love to be a part of measureable results. Consider setting a (realistic) goal for your #GivingTuesday campaign, such as raising $10,000 to build a school. Announce the goal and keep your followers updated on progress as the day goes on. You’ll be surprised how people come together to make sure you achieve it.

4)    Tell a story.

#GivingTuesday is about more than fundraising; it’s also an opportunity to gain exposure and awareness among new audiences and to build relationships with existing followers. If you only make requests for donations, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to tell your story and introduce your cause to the world.

Be sure at least half of your posts talk about who you are, not just what you need. Share mission statements, photos, videos, stories of impact, stats and infographics to show not just how but why people should give to you.

5)    Get social.

#GivingTuesday is largely a social media focused event. It has grown organically, with the hashtag dominating the brand and the conversation, which makes it a great opportunity to have some fun with donor development, join a larger conversation and reach younger audiences.

You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to harness the power of your followers. Where social media is more of a conversational and relationship-building tool and not an avenue for hard asks, this is the one day where you’ll get a free pass to ask away! Still, keep in mind that many of your social media followers are not yet donors, so keep it fun and community-focused; ask people to share, tell stories of impact, show how every little bit makes a difference and give people something to get behind. Be sure to build buzz and tell a story leading up to #GivingTuesday, so when you start pushing your campaign on the day itself, it doesn’t seem like you only care about money. And of course, rock the #GivingTuesday hashtag!

There’s no formula or one right way to approach #GivingTuesday, so most importantly, be yourself! It’s up to you to get creative, tell your story and take advantage of the opportunity, generosity and social consciousness the day creates.

Have you participated in this national day of giving before? What has worked for you on #GivingTuesday?

Giving Tuesday Toolbox

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