After the shopping mania of Black Friday and the online madness of Cyber Monday comes a heartwarming event that reminds us all of the importance of participating in acts of kindness. Instead of just wondering what we can get, Giving Tuesday inspires us all to conceptualize just how much we can give to make our world a better place.
After shattering donation records in 2016, Giving Tuesday enters its sixth year fueled by the power of social media and collaboration to bring about real change. It does so by directing donations of time, resources, and talent at local challenges. This year's event on November 28 represents an opportunity to strengthen end-of-the-year charitable giving.
Harness the Power of Social Media for Your Giving Tuesday
To realize the maximum benefit, organizations need to understand the importance of using social media effectively to raise funds or encourage participation. This involves building an entire strategy that capitalizes on the publicity surrounding #GivingTuesday. Some organizations develop a sub-hashtag such as #GivingBloodDay or #GivingShoesDay to strike a chord with their audience.
Before the event, your plan should involve using #GivingTuesday or a custom hashtag early and often on Twitter to start creating interest. Build on the #UNselfie hashtag with a catchy picture or event update and share it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to get more people involved. Then, ramp up your Facebook presence with quick posts about your participation in the global day of giving.
Don't forget to write a Giving Tuesday blog for your organization's website. Be sure to promote the blog on your Facebook page and Twitter feed. Ask your audience to comment or share it with their family and friends, and send it in to the Giving Tuesday website to increase your exposure.
LinkedIn is also a great tool to share updates with your contacts and colleagues. Post your article to your LinkedIn news feed, and look at what influencers you may have in your network who can help amplify and share your mission.
Another really strong way to get your story out is to capitalize on the sight, sound, and emotional power of video. Put together short videos that quickly explain what you do and share your #GivingTuesday message. Post the video on YouTube, Facebook, and your website, and let local media outlets know it is available.
Your social media calendar for the first weeks of November should include several posts and updates each week. On Giving Tuesday itself, be prepared to go big. Keep your potential donors updated with regular messages and updates on Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook Live.
Make sure to stay in touch with the business crowd by including plenty of lunchtime and after work posts. Include pictures and videos if you've got them. After it's all said and done, you'll want to use your same social media streams to thank your donors and your community. Have a plan in place to create donor retention this year, and then get ready to start planning for next year's event!
#GivingTuesday Success Stories
- International Rescue Committee (IRC): Last year the IRC provided a clear giving message, "Give a girl a year of school," which let supporters know exactly what their money could accomplish.
- The Enoch Pratt Free Library: This Baltimore library capitalized on #GivingTuesday by challenging the Cincinnati Public Library to a competition based on the outcome of a Baltimore Ravens/Cincinnati Bengals football game. Using the hashtag #BookBowl to promote their campaign, the Pratt Library alone raised almost $40,000, while both libraries built a larger social media following.
- The Tulsa STEM Alliance: The Alliance used the popularity of the #GivingTuesday movement to run a book drive for the book Hidden Figures and provide girls with an opportunity to learn more about careers in science and math. Over 250 books were distributed as a result of the campaign.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: (ASPCA): Last year the ASPCA presented powerful visual images that showed the tear-tugging faces of animals benefiting from donations. They also provided a resource for animal welfare professionals seeking involvement.
With a thoughtful and well-executed social media plan, Giving Tuesday can be a great day for your nonprofit fundraising. For more assistance building your #GivingTuesday strategy, your organization can get involved in a global day of building hope by registering at the Giving Tuesday website.