Black Friday Sales. Cyber Monday Online Bargains. What’s the Deal with #GivingTuesday?


With all the hubbub around shopping during November and December, it’s enough to make you wonder if we, as Americans, have lost sight of what makes the holiday season special. The spirit of the season is about MORE than shopping, buying and getting a bargain, isn’t it?!


Initiated by 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit community out of NYC, the #GivingTuesday campaign takes the spotlight away from shopping and re-applies the focus on philanthropy. This year, a wide range of nonprofits and advocates for charitable-giving are teaming up; pronouncing the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving as a day to celebrate the spirit of giving. (For 2012, that means Nov. 27th.) #GivingTuesday markedly kicks off the Year End fundraising season with a bold call to action for both constituents AND consumers – GIVE BACK.

Needless to say – the last months of the calendar year are critical to nonprofits’ fundraising revenue. For many organizations, approximately 40% of annual donations are received during Year End. Meanwhile, the marketing palooza behind commercial sector’s Black Friday ($11.4 billion spent in 2011) and Cyber Monday ($1.25 billion) makes for stiff competition. Simply put, it’s jeopardizing your donors’ attention as well as their dollars!


On one hand, you have the GivingTuesday.org coalition, a partnership of several commercial entities, registered nonprofits, media channels, and individual supporters driving the campaign and its coverage. On the other hand, the concept itself stands alone with a refreshing marketing mix — a marriage of social media, social movement and social change. Given the rise of social networking, a loss of faith in the economy and general mystification with domestic and international politics – #GivingTuesday illustrates a movement that empowers people to seek out the civic responsibilities that matter most to them. (And of course, ACT on it – whether through dollars, volunteerism or advocacy.)


The fact of the matter is #GivingTuesday is HOT. It’s a dialogue you and your organization WANT to be a part of. With fresh, enlivened press coverage and a young, digitally-savvy audience, the campaign offers a host of beneficial opportunities whether or not you’re an official GivingTuesday.org partner. So, the question is – how can your organization ride the wave…?

  • Realize that #GivingTuesday is not a Year End strategy in and of itself – BUT it can be one element of your broader campaign.
  • Coordinate your #GivingTuesday promotional outreach with your Year End plan. Let the organic momentum help kickoff your Year End season.
  • Cultivate #GivingTuesday press coverage opportunities before Nov. 27th. A terrific chance to showcase your organization’s story!
  • Send an eAppeal to your email file explaining the concept and asking for their #GivingTuesday gift.
  • Tweet the hashtag with a link to your donation form.
  • Get a dialog going on your Facebook page. A great engagement opportunity for your Fans to learn about and discuss the context of the campaign – with the added bonus of donations!
  • Create visibility of #GivingTuesday on your website and/or blog. Feature a #GivingTuesday banner on your homepage that links to a donation form.
  • If resources allow, implement a one-day lightbox/splash page that pops up on your site with a link to donate.

Interested in more like this?

The Strategic Consulting team at Charity Dynamics is dedicated to mulling over current trends, fleshing out recommendations and vetting new opportunities in the digital nonprofit world. Partner with us and gain insight into what’s new, what’s worth pursuing and what your organization can do to change the world.