Should we do Giving Tuesday this year?

A development director and I were talking about her end-of-year fundraising.

When we got to Giving Tuesday, right in the thick of everything else, she sighed heavily. “Giving Tuesday was a big washout for us last year. And the Year before. I wish we didn’t have to do it.”

“Then don’t do it,” I said.

She was silent. “Really?” she said, at last. “Is that allowed? It seems like something we should be part of as members of the nonprofit community.”

There’s no should about it. Giving Tuesday may or may not be right for you.

It’s a big fundraising deal for some organizations. They should keep on doing it. They should look for ways to make it even better. More emails? More social media? More noise in general?

At the same time, Giving Tuesday is a nothing-burger for other organizations. They should stop spending time on it completely.

Your decision to be part of the day should be based solely on its effectiveness as a fundraising tool for you.

If you’ve never done it and you don’t know if it’ll work, I recommend you find out. Dip your toe in the Giving Tuesday water with a small campaign. See if your donors leap up and grab the ring, or just ignore it.

If it works, it works. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster; just better than the alternative, which is either some other campaign around the same time, or saving your energy for the last week of the year, which is a big deal for nearly everyone — regardless of their Giving Tuesday success.

You don’t owe Giving Tuesday anything. Like anything else, it’s a tool that might work for you, might not. Giving Tuesday will do just fine — with you or without you.


Comments

4 responses to “Should we do Giving Tuesday this year?”

  1. I only use Giving Tuesday to thank our supporters. A short email to let them know how grateful we are. That on this global day about generosity, we choose to celebrate them. I don’t spend time on it, it’s a nice little warmer and the Xmas appeal emails are delivered a couple of days later. We only communicate with the supporters who have opted in for emails. The donors on our postal mailing list don’t get it unfortunately. With more money in my budget, I would love to send a GT thank you card to my DM list.
    I also do a Facebook post to thank our supporters and to invite our followers to join our team of caring donors by sharing a link to our web donate page.

  2. I only use Giving Tuesday to thank our supporters. A short email to let them know how grateful we are. That on this global day about generosity, we choose to celebrate them. I don’t spend time on it, it’s a nice little warmer and the Xmas appeal emails are delivered a couple of days later. We only communicate with the supporters who have opted in for emails. The donors on our postal mailing list don’t get it unfortunately. With more money in my budget, I would love to send a GT thank you card to my DM list.
    I also do a Facebook post to thank our supporters and to invite our followers to join our team of caring donors by sharing a link to our web donate page.

  3. That is a great idea, Henry!

  4. That is a great idea, Henry!

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.