Get Motivated and Mobilized for Giving Tuesday

Kathleen O’Donnell

When the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation organized the first ever Giving Tuesday in 2012, they probably had no idea it would turn into a phenomenon helping organizations worldwide exceed their annual fundraising goals. Last year, #GivingTuesday campaigns raised approximately $274 million for organizations and institutions ranging from small local organizations to nonprofit giants and universities.

Among the numerous unexpected successes of Giving Tuesday has been the combined force of the private and public sectors. Retail giants and online marketplaces like eBay as well as financial service companies like PayPal have gotten in the game to strengthen and promote campaigns. Now in its seventh year, Giving Tuesday has truly transformed from a grassroots movement to a “global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”

“Giving Tuesday is a special movement,” says Chelsea Coffman, Manager of Cause Marketing & Individual Giving at DC-based nonprofit KaBOOM! “The founders recognized the appeal to consumers of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and capitalized on this time of year.” KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that helps communities build playgrounds, relies on individual giving to make a difference in the lives of children across America and benefits from a well-planned #GivingTuesday campaign each year.

This year, Giving Tuesday is November 27, 2018. Coffman, who believes in the spirit behind Giving Tuesday and the power of individual giving, shares her best tips for getting involved.

Donate, donate, donate!

Coffman: “Give to the causes you care about on that day to help them reach their goal. Individual giving powers most non-profits. Quite literally, individuals have the power to change the world by donating to the cause that they care about. People may not think that their $5 or $10 gift is able to make much of a difference, but truly every dollar counts. Your $5 gift comes together with others, and eventually that money snowballs into helping solve our world’s most crucial problems.”

Mobilize your nonprofit

Coffman: “Plan ahead! It’s never too early to start thinking about how your organization can make Giving Tuesday unique for you. This year, we started planning our campaign in July. It’s a marathon for individual giving programs from Giving Tuesday through December 31st, so the earlier you can plan ahead, the better.

I would also encourage organizations to think about how you can make Giving Tuesday unique for you and your donors. Although awareness of the movement is wonderful, it can become a bit of a double-edged sword to think about how you’re going to stand out in someone’s inbox, mailbox, or on their social feed. Spend some time thinking about why your organization or this year’s campaign is special, and run with that.”

Share the message and challenge your circles

Coffman: “Spread the word on social media. After you donate, encourage your friends and family to do the same by posting on social media that you donated, and tagging the non-profit(s) you gave to.

Start a peer-to-peer campaign. Encourage some friendly office competition, or even a competition amongst your friends and family. See who can donate or fundraise the most on Giving Tuesday. The winner could get a prime parking spot at the office for a week or treated to dinner. Make it fun and engaging.”