Is #GivingTuesday Worth My Nonprofit's Time?

#GivingTuesday is just around the corner! With more than 30,000 participating partners in 68 countries, chances are you’ve already heard about this day and perhaps have even seen promotions for the upcoming event. As we gear up for the 2015 charitable season you might be thinking to yourself, “Is #GivingTuesday worth my time and can I still jump on board?” The short answer is, yes!

#GivingTuesday celebrates philanthropic causes and encourages individual donors and corporations alike to give back on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The concentrated effort successfully helps nonprofits around the globe reach enormous funding goals. In fact, the amount of donations raised on #GivingTuesday has increased year over year, with an estimated 240 percent increase since the movement started in 2012. Last year alone, nonprofits raised an estimated $46 million.

Realistically, not all nonprofits will raise $100,000+, and the ones that do can probably attribute that success to a lot of pre-planning and marketing.

“But, we only have two weeks!”

It’s OK. Participating in #GivingTuesday can still be an awesome way to join together with other organizations, promote your cause to a larger audience, and finish the year with a successful fundraising campaign. To get started, pick a project your organization would like to accomplish in 2016, set a realistic funding goal needed to make that happen, and then follow some of these tips to maximize your #GivingTuesday time.

1. Secure a Matching Donor

Everyone likes to see his or her money stretch a little farther, so why not turn a $100 donation into a $200 donation! Before you announce your campaign, secure a large donation that can be used to “match” all donations, or donations up to a specified amount, that come in on #GivingTuesday. This is a great way to incentivize an annual donor, board member or sponsor to make a financial commitment ahead of the game. The limited amount of time available to participate in the match also creates urgency for the smaller donors.

2. Combine #GivingTuesday With Another Campaign

Approximately 20 percent of all U.S. donations take place in the month of December. The reason can be attributed toward factors such as the end of the tax year, the joyous attitude of the holiday season, and the global #GivingTuesday movement. If your organization is already planning a holiday gala or end-of-the-year fundraiser, combine efforts and create a way to integrate #GivingTuesday into your existing campaign!

3. Get Social

If #GivingTuesday were a fire than social media would be the fuel that strengthens and spreads the flames! Last year there were approximately 32.7 million Twitter impressions and more than 750,000 hashtag mentions! Social media provides supporters with the ability to share their generous deeds with their networks and influence them to do the same. In past years different organizations have come up with various hashtag campaigns, videos, infographics and testimonials to help their projects go viral. Get involved in other trending campaigns that day and don’t forget to include “#GivingTuesday” in all your posts!

4. Spread the Word

Prior to #GivingTuesday, reach out to your list of supporters and let them know you are participating! There are many awesome organizations seeking donations that day so make sure you stay top of mind. Some ideas include communicating with your board, sending an email to friends and family, highlighting #GivingTuesday in a newsletter, or running a social media countdown!

5. Raise Funds On Gladitood

#GivingTuesday as a movement does not require nonprofits to collect donations in any specific manner. A software that processes donations through your website is one way you can manage this process online. Another popular route is to use a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits, such as Gladitood.com. With Gladitood, it is easy to get your project started, and setup only takes a few minutes. Nonprofits choose their timeline so you can fundraise for just the day or extend the project into the New Year. What’s more, donations made through the platform are automatically processed so you get to keep what you earn, even if you don’t reach your goal.