What’s up with those red and green chocolates nestled among the remnant Halloween candy? Why do I keep hearing the word “layaway?” Oh. It’s apparently the holidays. Time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and… Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday — scheduled for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, 11/27 — is an initiative by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation to symbolize the beginning of the season of giving. It got some early buzz, and we’re guessing that thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, even if your E.D. hasn’t heard of it yet she’ll email you that morning asking, “What are we doing about this?”
With that moment in mind, we put our creative heads together to share a few tips on how to take advantage of this opportunity.
First, a note of caution: This whole thing is as-yet-unproven. It wouldn’t be the first highly-touted charitable social media campaign to crash and burn (remember when all those Twitter celebs “died”?). Also, people rarely give to an email because it’s a special designated “day” (Organic Quinoa Day, Lisp Awareness Day, International Day of the Puppy). Instead, they give because there’s an urgent need and you’ve made a compelling case for giving. So it’s a risk to do something for Giving Tuesday that would replace tried-and-true EOY strategies or push down that case for giving. Whatever you do should work in conjunction with your campaign, not distract from it.
Without any further ado, here are our tips for how to incorporate Giving Tuesday into your strategy:
Be social. Giving Tuesday is about creating a social movement of generosity, where friends and neighbors are inspiring each other to give to charities. For this reason, we’re going to be prioritizing social media efforts over email. The fact is, most of your list is not likely to know about Giving Tuesday, and mentioning it is not likely to be as compelling as the reasons you always give them to donate. On social media, though, you’ll be reaching new ears through social sharing, and your supporters are more likely to evangelize because they’re already on a share-happy platform. Plus, inboxes are already going to be crowded during this time, and you’re probably focused on writing a kick-butt end of year campaign anyway! Be sure to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in your tweets that day.
Inspire. Of course, you’re already posting inspiring images to Facebook and Pinterest. Save a few up for that Tuesday, and post them in a little series with an ask to give in the caption. (Bonus points if you can put a text-to-give number right on your images!) On Pinterest, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday and re-pin one or a few of these images. On Facebook, you can tag your images or other posts with the official Giving Tuesday page to show people it’s a movement. Hey, maybe they will repost your ask!
Ask. Consider putting up a lightbox or a regular homepage promotion asking for donations or promoting a holiday gift-giving program if you’ve got one. People could be coming to your site that day because they heard about Giving Tuesday somewhere else and thought of your organization, so you want your homepage to validate that and connect to the reason they came.
Reach out. Consider ways to reach beyond your current base of supporters and connect with new Giving Tuesday supporters. Consider buying Google Ads on keywords like Giving Tuesday or #GivingTuesday. On social media, ask your supporters (or at the very least, your own staff) to share a post about Giving Tuesday linking back to your organization. And of course, there’s always a good old fashioned press release to try to get in on some of the media coverage that may be happening.
No matter what you plan to do between now and November 27, you should sign up to become an official partner organization with Giving Tuesday. They’ll provide you with a free toolkit and even more ideas.
Just remember to give people a reason to donate that’s more compelling than just pointing to a day on the calendar.
What are your plans for Giving Tuesday? Any other ideas or tips? Let us know in the comments!