Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday—or #GivingTuesday, if you prefer—started last year as a grassroots effort. While results from the first foray weren’t huge, they were promising. The idea itself is very promising: since retailers have the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping season, why not claim the following Tuesday to kick off the holiday giving season?

Started by 92nd Street Y, a New York-based nonprofit, the first year of Giving Tuesday generated donations to about 2,600 participating nonprofits, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A bigger push is expected in 2013, with more nonprofits signing on to the givingtuesday.org site or including the campaign in their marketing efforts.

Should your organization participate? The answer is probably yes. How should you approach it? Here are our suggestions:

  • Let for-profits pay for your R&D: Retailers have spent an immense amount of money to determine optimal Black Friday-related strategy and tactics. Advance marketing, special offers, short-term deadlines… these common tactics are proven winners in retail, and nonprofit-relevant versions of them—such as matching gift offers—are likely to work as part of your Giving Tuesday promotions. Pay close attention to what successful retailers are doing for Black Friday, and borrow winning methods.
  • Start simple: Your first (or second) foray into Giving Tuesday needn’t be a huge effort. This is a movement with lots of potential, but it’s still proving out. Keep it simple and experiment. As you find wins, you can expand outward.
  • Plan ahead: Simple, yes. Off-the-cuff, no. Adopt a strategy with a content calendar to guide your efforts. Be intentional in your objectives and learning goals.
  • Integrate: Use email, social media and your website as primary marketing methods, but consider limited coverage in offline vehicles as well. Integrate across channels to create a consistent experience for your supporters.

As of this date, it’s not too late to get started with your Giving Tuesday efforts… but it’s close. Time to get moving! If you’d like Russ Reid’s help in executing a successful Giving Tuesday strategy, please contact us now.