I know you’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To most, these are revered celebrations of online consumerism and the chance to stomp on strangers for the lowest priced television.
In response to this, but also as a great idea in and of itself, #GivingTuesday has been embraced by the nonprofit and philanthropic world as an alternative to the start of the holiday season of greed.
#GivingTuesday started as an idea of a small New York nonprofit, and now counts dozens of nonprofit partners, communities, leaders and companies among its supporters.
If you work for a nonprofit or support one, there are many ways to get involved.
1) Register your nonprofit to be an official #GivingTuesday partner.
2) Sign up to be a Social Media Ambassador and get points for sharing updates.
3) Join the official #GivingTuesday “Thunderclap” – when hundreds of people tweet and post on Facebook at once.
4) Spread the word on your own through your preferred social media channels – here are some ideas to get you started.
5) #GivingTuesday has been making national news, so your supporters may have heard of it. It’s a day of not only giving, but of sharing and spread the good word of philanthropy and nonprofit work.
Take advantage of this by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag wherever possible and encouraging people to not only donate, but to share their experience and why they participated.
6) Use Instagram to take photos of your donors, you giving online, people that you serve and other great things that you are doing and the impact you are making. Make sure to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday and to tweet and share the photos in other place.
7) Pin photos of your organization and the work that you do on Pinterest – work that wouldn’t be possible without donations. (Make sure to include the hashtag!) Repin photos from other nonprofits doing great work.
8) Tweet on Twitter (don’t forget the #GivingTuesday hashtag) and post on Facebook when you reach a milestone – raise the first $100, the next $100, etc. People like to be a part of a successful campaign. Be positive and enthusiastic! Don’t lose momentum later in the day – give those West Coasters a chance to participate to the fullest!
9) Tag the official #GivingTuesday Facebook page when referencing the day.
10) Make a short video with your web cam or phone about why you are participating and how. Share it everywhere!
The important things to remember:
Don’t give up!
Keep posting on your progress throughout the day.
Use words, testimonials and stories that demonstrate the impact you make in the world.
Use #GivingTuesday as the official, exciting launch of your end of the year giving campaign. Get people excited and talking about it!
Send out brief email alerts with instructions to your online supporters, giving them sample language to tweet, post on Facebook and share on Google+.
Write a short blog post about how you are going to commemorate the day. Include photos.
It is my hope that #GivingTuesday will start trending and that will provide exposure to thousands of nonprofits, causes and the people who love them.
Like the Grinch discovers for himself: “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”
Are you participating in #GivingTuesday? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section or on my Facebook page. Thanks for reading!