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Is #GivingTuesday Worth It?

It’s a question we’re asked a lot, especially as more and more nonprofits and charities turn to online fundraising to support their overall budget—is #GivingTuesday worth it?

Not surprisingly, it seems the answer to this question is a lot more complicated than a simple yes or no. There are, of course, pros and cons to every fundraising technique. And, in general, specific giving days are a great way for organizations to supplement their income. But is it right for you? That all depends on your current needs.

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Let’s dive into the topic a little deeper to help you determine if #GivingTuesday will benefit your nonprofit or charity.

“Specific giving days are a great way for organizations to supplement their income. But is it right for you?” tweet this

You Have A Specific Need

For most organizations, a single-day fundraiser can’t produce nearly enough to cover the annual budget (that’s what annual campaigns are for!). So what good is a day of giving?

We’ve found that many nonprofits use a one-day drive to support or fund a specific, impact-focused goal. Instead of saying “we need to raise $100,000 to pay program costs for 2019,” it’s vital to fundraise for your exact need.

“We need to raise $10,000 to fund our new ‘Healthy Kids’ initiative, which will serve 150 at-risk kids in the community” sounds a lot better, right?

That’s because this goal is impact based with a definite plan. When you only have 24-hours to make your case for giving, this is absolutely necessary.

Go For It: #GivingTuesday is worth it if you have a clear-cut, specific aspect of your organization you want to fund.

You Already Have A Strong Year-End Push

If your donors have come to expect a strong year-end fundraising campaign, then it’s best to be strategic when it comes to #GivingTuesday.

By running a #GivingTuesday campaign in conjunction with a separate year-end campaign, you run the risk of losing some donors along the way. On the other hand, most #GivingTuesday campaigns are run primarily online. Therefore, you may also get in front of a new group of donors simply by participating. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to broaden your donor base.

Decisions. Decisions!

Weighing the pros and cons is important in this situation, but that’s not all you can do. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Using #GivingTuesday as a kickoff to the year-end campaign
  • Fundraising for a specific impact on #GivingTuesday and then following up with a separate year-end campaign in December
  • Not fundraising on #GivingTuesday. Instead, using it as a day to get in front of your supporters in a different way, such as a story-based social media campaign or a day to say “Thanks” to your donors.

Go For It: If you have a plan in place and the resources you need to do one or both campaigns to your best ability.

You’ve Never Dabbled In Online Fundraising

#GivingTuesday is the perfect time to try fundraising online, even if you’ve never done it before. Through the power of social media, it’s easy to promote your campaign and rally your supporters throughout the day.

Planning your campaign is the first step. Decide whether you’re interested in a crowdfunding or a peer-to-peer fundraiser and then set up your online fundraising website. If you’re not sure, check out this post: Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Right For My Nonprofit?

Don’t forget to use all your resources, including the GivingTuesday.org and the pool of CauseVox-based resources. These guides will help you craft your online campaign, engage and rally your donors, and product results during the course of the day.

Go For It: If you’re not afraid to try something new or if you’ve already experienced the awesome, invigorating power of online fundraising.

You Want To Build On Those Strategic Relationships

#GivingTuesday offers a number of benefits: you raise money, you engage your supporters, you get in front of a new online audience. But those aren’t the only great things that happen during a day of giving.

It’s possible to enhance all sorts of relationships of #GivingTuesday, including those with your corporate partners, sponsors, and major donors. Talk with your strategic partners about what they’d like to bring to the table, such as:

  • Providing a matching grant or gift
  • Combining forces with a local business for a “Day of Impact” where employees and the community volunteer their time
  • Working with other local nonprofits to maximize the size and scope of your #GivingTuesday campaign marketing efforts.

Go For It: If you’re looking for a way to grow your strategic partnerships, go for it.

“If you’re looking for a way to grow your strategic partnerships, go for it.” tweet this

The Bottom Line

Is #GivingTuesday worth it? In most cases, the answer is “most definitely!”

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to tap your donors or overextend your organization to get results. When you lack the resources to give #GivingTuesday your all, instead just take this day as an opportunity to say “thank you”, reach out to your partners, or simply share impact-based stories.

No matter what, try to get in front of your audience so your organization stays top-of-mind going into year-end.

For more information on #GivingTuesday, check out these helpful resources:

This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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