Help your organization find its Giving Tuesday (or Wednesday, Thursday or Friday)
As you are probably aware, ten years ago the idea of Giving Tuesday began as an answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday following Thanksgiving in November. Originally, I loved the idea that we would focus on the nonprofit community and help organizations raise more money. Well, that is no longer the case. I encourage clients, organizations and colleagues to get away from the noise of Giving Tuesday.
It isn’t that I am opposed to supporting nonprofits or raising the needs of the sector. Actually, I feel like Giving Tuesday has had the opposite effect. So many organizations are vying to get attention and a few dollars that we are inundated with emails leading up to Giving Tuesday, never mind the overwhelming number on the actual day. I also know that some organizations hold gifts so that they can report larger numbers to their leadership and others.
I’d like us to stop making development about the competition for the gift and go back to what we are trying to do, get more people to care about the work. In short, make it relevant.
Here is an example that I like to share. I am a proud alum of the University of Florida. For years, if you went to a football game at Florida Field, you would look for an elderly guy in a yellow shirt, orange and blue tie, a whistle and a few signs. He was Mr. Two Bits.
After Mr. George Edmondson jr. passed away a few years ago, UF decided to honor him in a special day. They created their own giving day and called it Stand Up & Holler. Alumni were mailed information and sent a tie decal (see below). The results on a day where no one else was competing for the attention of the Gator Nation: 16,993 gifts totaling $23,585,379. Now that was a Giving Thursday!
Find your day that makes sense and make it meaningful to your community and your supporters. I am sure your donors will appreciate a bit less noise come November.