Fundraising 101

Giving Tuesday–Should we, or Shouldn’t we?

Giving Tuesday is one of the most stressful times of year for fundraisers. We often get pressure from outside sources to implement a campaign that may not tie into our annual fundraising plan. This usually comes from a good place. Board members hear about other organizations who raised tens of thousands of dollars in one day. How exciting! I can understand the desire to jump on this bandwagon…but not so quick!

The question today is ‘Should You’ or ‘Should You Not’ perform a Giving Tuesday campaign?

This time of year at Giving Tree Associates, we get more calls about Giving Tuesday than anything else. The answer isn’t always simple; each nonprofit is different.

Giving Tuesday is just two weeks away. To assess if Giving Tuesday is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a plan for Giving Tuesday in place?
    • If you’ve already been planning and have a strategy, goal and collateral in place, go for it! You’re on a good path!
    • If you haven’t started planning for Giving Tuesday yet, keep reading and ask yourself the following questions to make the decision.
  • Do you feel pressure to do a Giving Tuesday campaign because other nonprofits are?
    • All fundraising campaigns should be planned, have a goal, and be well executed.
    • Peer pressure isn’t enough of a reason to run a campaign. Keep in mind, every campaign – no matter how big or small – takes time and resources to execute. If you choose to do Giving Tuesday, you are likely diverting resources from something else that may be more thought out and/or profitable.
  • What do you want to receive on Giving Tuesday?
    • Are you looking for money? Volunteers? Donated goods and services? A connection to friends and potential donors? An intro to social media followers?
    • Giving Tuesday doesn’t only have to be a financial ask. There are many ways to support… and it’s not always money.
  • Do you have a year-end appeal in the works?
    • If yes, ask yourself if you can tie Giving Tuesday into that appeal.
    • Can you overlap your messaging? Can Giving Tuesday be a vehicle toward raising funds for your end of year appeal?
    • Does the tie-in seem forced? If it seems forced, it won’t be genuine to the donor.
  • When was the last time you contacted donors en masse?
    • If you have not reached out to your donors in some time, do not ask them for anything on Giving Tuesday.
    • Soliciting donors after not talking to them for some time will feel disingenuous.
      • Being thoughtful goes a long way.

If you are on the fence about Giving Tuesday — I recommend using this time to think about 2019 outreach, communication, and fundraising goals instead. In your planning, consider adding Giving Tuesday to your 2019 plan to give yourself ample prep time to make the campaign a success.