Giving Tuesday series week 1: How to make 2019 your best year yet

Giving Tuesday series posts (1).png

Before we dive in, let me say this: You are doing a great job! The fact that you are here, reading about Giving Tuesday which is still eight weeks away, means you are thinking ahead and planning. Unfortunately, this is not all that common. Often, I see nonprofits just throwing out a social media post or two, maybe an email, and winging it when it comes to Giving Tuesday. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Giving Tuesday is held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year on December 3, 2019. The global celebration runs for 24 hours and begins at midnight local time.

Any nonprofit can participate in Giving Tuesday and last year, more than $400,000,000 was raised in the US alone on Giving Tuesday. Like anything else, maximizing the results for your nonprofit just takes a little strategy and planning. That’s where I come in. Through this eight week series, I’ll share tips for how you can take advantage of this movement and raise more money for your nonprofit. While every strategy may not work for every nonprofit, my hope is that you will find something that helps you move forward more strategically. At the very least, the ideas you find here are going to get you thinking ahead and might even be adaptable to future campaigns.

Here are three things you can do before October 15th:

  1. Start brainstorming about matching gift opportunities. Make a list of companies, foundations, or major gift prospects that might be willing to match the gifts you receive on December 3rd. If you could tell a donor that when they give $100, someone is going to match it dollar for dollar, it just might give them the incentive they need to donate. Your matching donor might need to set a cap (or maximum amount they can give) and that’s okay. This strategy, when executed well, will literally double your donations on Giving Tuesday. Isn’t that worth exploring?

  2. Educate your board members now. Look at your calendar and identify your next board meeting date. Now, make a note to add Giving Tuesday to the agenda. You’ll need to educate your board on what Giving Tuesday is, why it matters, and let them know you’re going to need their help. Ask them to put it on their calendars, too. We’ll be talking more about how to get them involved later in the series but starting the conversation with them can happen now.

  3. Set a goal. You should already have a 2019 fundraising goal and some plan about how that goal breaks down (event revenue, direct mail, etc.). Look at what’s remaining to achieve that number (how far away you are) and set a realistic goal for how much you can raise on December 3rd to get you to the larger goal. Once you have the number, start putting ideas on paper about what that amount would mean to your nonprofit.

In other words, people don’t care about your number goals; they care about what you are going to do with the money. How is it relevant to them?

Those three things should keep you busy in the next seven days. Grab your schedule and make room to work on them. Next week, we’ll get more specific about the plan you’ll need to carry you from October 15 through December 3rd.

I’ll see you right back here next week! Until then, keep making a great first impression!


P.S. Did you hear the news? I’m launching a brand new digital course for nonprofits, all about raising more money through smart email marketing. This course provides a roadmap to help you set yourself apart and learn how to unleash the power of email marketing for the upcoming giving season. Through short lessons that you can binge watch in a day or spread out over a few days, we’ll uncover critical steps to writing emails that move readers to action and help you transform your fundraising results for 2019. Head over the Coming Soon page to be notified when the course launches AND receive a promo code to save $10 off the course registration fee.

If you liked this post, you might like some of my previous blog posts…