What you can learn from charities that rocked GivingTuesday 2013

publication date: Oct 28, 2014

GivingTuesday will take place on December 2nd, the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s an international movement that brings together individuals, companies and charities to support the causes that matter to them.  And, it’s an opportunity that no charity should miss.

Last year, Canada’s first annual GivingTuesday, Canadians gave generously, with several donation platforms reporting increases in donations on GivingTuesday of more than 150% versus the same Tuesday the previous year!  There are many easy ways for your charity to take part this GivingTuesday. Taking lessons from some of last year’s most successful campaigns, here are a few noteworthy ideas to get you started.

Integrate with other campaigns

The most successful fundraising campaigns from 2013 highlighted a specific fund and used GivingTuesday as a part of a longer-running campaign.

Last year, Free the Children launched a brilliant fundraising campaign. Carl the Brick, the mascot for their GivingTuesday campaign, called on donors to help construct a new school in a developing community.  In an average 500-brick schoolhouse, the costs of construction break down to $20 per brick. Free the Children told a narrative about Carl the Brick and described the tangible outcome of donations.

Create engagement opportunities

If you prefer not to solicit donations on GivingTuesday, there are still many ways to reach out to your community and ask for support. Think of creative ways to involve your community on a personal and emotional level. 

Art à la Carte, a grassroots charity based in Calgary, organized a creative letter-writing campaign for GivingTuesday. Working with Wellspring Calgary, they reached out to members of their community to write letters of hope to cancer patients, those in palliative care and their caregivers. Art à la Carte received over fifty deeply touching letters of encouragement over the span of two weeks, and people became much more engaged in their mission. The Letters of Hope campaign was featured by Global TV on both local and national TV, and by several local publications.

Share the love!

It’s vital to thank your donors, volunteers and supporters often. On GivingTuesday, let them know how they made a difference this year and how grateful you are for their support.  Consider using all of the tools available to you including social media, email, videos and phone calls.

Pathways to Education created an inspiring video that featured some of their beneficiaries thanking donors and describing how their lives were impacted.

Partner for maximum impact

Ask a corporation aligned with yours to match donations made to your charity on December 2nd.  When donors know that their dollars are going further, they’re more motivated to give. 

The Canadian Women’s Foundation ran an online donation and a text-to-donate campaign to help women build lives free from violence.  CIBC matched donations to a maximum of $10,000, and CWF and CIBC reached that goal.  

Be seen and heard

Physically being present in your community on GivingTuesday will spread awareness of your cause and the GivingTuesday movement. Last GivingTuesday, many charities held successful charitable drives to support their holiday campaigns.

Covenant House Toronto held a coin drive last year at various subway stations to support their programs. The Salvation Army organized a sock and underwear drive for GivingTuesday, and encouraged supporters to let their friends on social media know about the drive.

Planning on hosting an event or a drive? Let your supporters know about it in advance and ask them to share the details with friends and family.

No matter how you choose to participate, be sure to…

  • Become an official GivingTuesday Partner! Visit GivingTuesday.ca and join the movement! Once registered, your charity’s logo will appear on the official GivingTuesday website, which thousands of Canadians and media will visit to learn more and even donate. It’s free and easy to sign up.
  • Join the #GivingTuesdayCA conversation on social! Last year on GivingTuesday, #GivingTuesdayCA trended in 2nd place! This year, be sure to join the national conversation and spread your news using #GivingTuesdayCA.
  • Let your followers know how they can support you this GivingTuesday. Tell them about your volunteer opportunities, GivingTuesday initiatives and fundraising campaigns.
  • Encourage your supporters to share why they give on social media. Last year, the hashtag #Unselfie was a popular trend. People posted ‘selfies’ (pictures of themselves) with a description about why they donate and what causes matter to them.

Last of all, remember to thank your supporters and share GivingTuesday results with them. GivingTuesday.ca will publish this year’s highlights and results shortly after December 2nd.

For GivingTuesday news and ideas, follow the official GivingTuesday Twitter handle @GivingTuesdayCA, and follow us @CanadaHelps and @CharityLifeCA

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