GIVING TUESDAY | Let the Girl Guide Motto, Guide Your GivingTuesday

publication date: Oct 18, 2023
author/source: Sarah Lyon

Are your fundraiser senses tingling?

There is a coolness in the air, the leaves have changed colours, and the emails - oh the tippety tapping happening on keyboards across the country - can be heard in the distance.

Yes, my fellow fundraising friend, it is almost time. GivingTuesday is around the corner.

Before you dismiss this as another GivingTuesday message, let’s get to the bottom line. It’s time to acknowledge that this day is an important part of your fundraising strategy. Now in its eleventh year in Canada, it can’t be dismissed as a fad. The team at CanadaHelps has researched and analyzed charitable giving all year long and found that charities that participate in GivingTuesday raise 412X more on the day of GivingTuesday than non-participating charities. Plus, those charities also raised six times more through December 31st.

As professional fundraisers, we need to take a page from the scouting/guiding world, and follow the “be prepared” Girl Guide motto to be successful on GivingTuesday. Start by setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal. One that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. GivingTuesday data shows that when organizations set a goal, they are more likely to reach it on GivingTuesday, then those that don’t.

For example, “we will post and send emails about GivingTuesday and people will know they can donate” is not a goal.

But, “we will create a fundraising campaign that reaches out to lapsed donors on GivingTuesday, re-engaging 10%,” is.

Goal in hand, start to make a plan

Using the above goal, how will you reach those lapsed donors? Remember to create a multi-channel approach; one social post won’t allow a goal to be met. Organic stories about mission, paid social ads, and yes, emails. Do you think that you won’t stand out? If you have the budget, do a postcard mailout. Have a small number of people you are trying to reach? Figure out how to make it personal with examples like a thank you-thon from staff and board or a video message from the CEO.

Before GivingTuesday on November 28, don’t forget a crucial part of planning by thinking about how will you evaluate if your GivingTuesday was successful or not. Preparing in advance about how you will do this will help you gather the data you need during your GivingTuesday campaign. This will help with reporting, and planning for the next year.

While the above examples are mostly fundraising, you should also consider a GivingTuesday campaign that recruits and/or appreciates volunteers. Data shows that those who give time and those who give goods, when asked, will also donate money.

So, a volunteer goal for your GivingTuesday, will help with your pipeline and therefore, your fundraising strategy throughout the year.

Social impact sector organizations are struggling. Cost of living has greatly increased, staff are facing shortages, and more demand for services is leaving organizations financially stressed, and fundraisers with less time and resources than ever. Use the tools that GivingTuesday has created and ride the wave of marketing that happens around this day to propel you to reach the goal. By being prepared, you will.

Sarah Lyon is the Community Engagement Lead for GivingTuesday Canada. Co-founded in Canada by CanadaHelps and GIV3 in 2013, GivingTuesday has been celebrated by millions of Canadians who have donated, fundraised, volunteered, or have found other ways to support a cause they care about or perform other acts of kindness.

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