There are a lot of holidays to plan for throughout the year. Whether it's winter holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or summer holidays that include fireworks and grilling out – one special day of the year are about giving back. Known as Giving Tuesday (or as one word – GivingTueday), this holiday celebrates giving back. We'll take a look at what it is and how to plan this year so that everything is a huge success.
What is Giving Tuesday?
If you're not familiar with this day of the year, we'll go right to the source to give you insight on what it is. According to the Giving Tuesday site:
GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
It is a day that is special for a number of reasons. It was started back in 2012 by a couple of groups – the United Nations Foundation and 92nd Street Y, which is a a cultural and community center in Manhattan.
The reason it was started is to offset some of the rampant consumerism and commercialization around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The creators use the power of social media and technology to make viral campaigns that reach out on a global level. This level of giving reaches far past its inception and reacts with every person around the globe.
Why is the Date Near the Holidays?
The Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States, with Cyber Monday following close behind. As mentioned, this global day of giving was made possible to balance out some of the spending around the holidays and make the world a better place at the same time. The dates vary since it depends on Thanksgiving and which date it falls on but the date range is always around that time with it being five days after Thanksgiving. – November 27 to December 3.
What Happens on Giving Tuesday?
According to their site, the donations have increased quite a bit – a huge 69 percent from 2016 to 2017 with around $300 million in donations.
People have a variety of ways that they give and it's not always donations. People are encouraged to donate, of course. Yet there are other things such as donated time or becoming an advocate in your area. People donate food and goods or commit small acts of kindness. And for those who have it, money is donated as you can tell from the numbers above.
How to Plan Your Giving Tuesday
Whether you are a business, church, non-profit, or an individual who wants to help, there are a few steps that help you prepare and plan your Giving Tuesday. For this article, we'll focus on faith-based organizations.
Start Well Ahead
No matter who you are or how you want to participate, you should start early. If you want to inspire others, you have to give them time to prepare. Do things like setting goals for your fundraiser, choose the people you can trust that will participate, check out your own resources like time and budget, and create a fundraising page if possible so that many people are able to see it and have knowledge of the reasoning behind what you want.
Check Out the Site's Resources
Whether you need inspiration, ideas, or just want a guideline, the best place to get started is the Giving Tuesday website. There, you'll find plenty of resources that help you implement your plan. There are online tools, updates, support, and a host of resources that you can use to make sure everything goes as planned.
How to Inspire Giving at Church
There are quite a few Bible verses that you can use to give inspiration to others about the joy of giving. These are often used during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays since this holiday season is about being thankful and giving. Here are a few you can use to get your members excited about taking part in this Giving Tuesday event.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
While these are just a few examples, they are a good starting point during the holidays and when referencing Giving Tuesday.
Try New Things
Sometimes in order to inspire someone else to take part in giving, you have to be creative. Some people are naturally giving and will participate. But in order to ensure your campaign's success, it has to be inclusive and make sure that everyone feels participatory. That sometimes takes a bit of creativity and passion.
For instance, here are a few examples of how to create interest.
Use Social Media
If your church has members who are active on social media, get their engagement by using this. And of course, it's not just younger members who love to use Facebook or Instagram. Create a hashtag campaign, use Instagram stories, go live on Facebook and invite members to watch and share your campaign. Seriously, social media is one of the best ways to get any story or cause out there where it can potentially be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
And never underestimate the power of social media. As discussed by an expert on Forbes:
According to Pew Internet Research, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by Americans who are online. Facebook constitutes 79% of American internet users, Instagram constitutes 32% of users, Pinterest 31%, and LinkedIn and Twitter constitute 29% and 24% respectively.
In fact, a viral campaign can be seen by literally millions of people.
Make an Event Happen
Some people love participating in an actual in-person event and this can bring in donations from other people as well. Have a walk-a-thon where people donate. This allows members to share the event and get donations from their friends and family who may not even go to church at all.
Have a special meal planned for the public where members donate their time. Each plate can be sold for a certain amount and the guest will know that the money is going towards your church's Giving Tuesday campaign.
These are just a couple of event ideas but they do allow for more than just your members to participate.
There are a few examples at the Giving Tuesday site that are focused on faith-based organizations. In one example, a church in Chicago had what they called a Giving Tree. Members were able to un-decorate the “tree” with wish list items from needy children. It didn't stop there, though. They held a wrapping get-together on the actual day of Giving Tuesday so that the presents could be delivered on time.
Another church had a different kind of idea that worked well for them.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day gave individuals and families around the world the oppor-tunity to #LightTheWorld on GivingTuesday. Organizers placed 5 large, red “Giving Machines”in Salt Lake City, Gibert, AZ, New York City, London, and Manila, Phillipines. A variety of items were available to purchase, including food, clothing, eyeglasses, medicine, hygiene supplies, wheelchairs, sporting equipment, and livestock, which would benefit global charities like CARE, UNICEF, WaterAid, Water for People, Eye Care 4 Kids, Utah Food Bank, and Utah Refugee Con-nection. The machines were available through the Christmas season.
Use Church Donation Management Software
One way to increase the donations in your Giving Tuesday campaign is to use church donation management software.
NewFire Giving has created an innovating church giving software solution. Through NewFire Giving's platform, you can:
- Receive donations online, via mobile app or text, or from a giving kiosk (aka an “ATM for Jesus”)
- Create donation categories, organize giving campaigns across multiple campuses, and generate giving reports each quarter
- Develop custom church branding (studies show donors are 42% more likely to give when the donation page matches the look/brand of the church)
- Ultimately surpass your church's funding needs
Use Your Own Ideas
Putting your own spin on things is one of the most organic ways to approach Giving Tuesday. One organization arranged to help build a tent school in Syria. Choose a cause that speaks to you – even if it's for your own church's needs. Maybe you've had an idea for a fundraiser for quite some time but didn't know how to approach starting it. Giving Tuesday is the perfect avenue to base your ideas on.
It's Who You Know
Sometimes you can raise more money based on who you know. If you have influential friends who can spread the word as well, by all means, use that to your advantage. This isn't taking advantage, it is something that can be reciprocated when you are needed. Besides, asking to spread the word isn't asking for donations but if you have friends or acquaintances who can help, all the better.
This is another area where match incentives may work well for you. If you can get “match” donors, it really helps your members want to give more as well when they see the number of donations rising.
Get the Word Out
Your members won't be aware of your campaign unless they are fully aware of it; so you need a plan. Plan to start around the beginning of November. But keep in mind that the week before is the most pivotal time in making sure it is a success. This is the time that the campaign needs to be shared the most and talked about the most.
There are plenty of tools at your disposal. People love shiny objects, so to speak. Using graphics and colorful infographics on your website or page is harder to ignore than text. And never ignore how powerful word of mouth is. Make sure your members are sharing what you have planned. Whether it's through social media, spoken word, or however else – keep it fresh in everyone's minds and spread the word constantly. With a little insight, planning, and steadfast determination, you can make this year's Giving Tuesday work for you and be a success.