Cast your mind back a few years: If your memories of 2020 feel like a rollercoaster whose rickety wooden track just never seemed to end, you’re not alone. It was a wild spin around the sun for all of us—and as the end of the year crept ever closer, another event approach the nonprofit world like a meteor coming to visit its dinosaur buddies for Sunday dinner.
That event, friends, was Giving Tuesday. Here's our take on it—before, during, and after 2020.
Giving Tuesday—the Tuesday falling after Thanksgiving, after Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, and Black Friday, offering people a chance to give instead of consume—is the biggest giving day of the year. And it's primed to become bigger than ever this year as we’re now all locked in our houses.
This Giving Tuesday understandably might feel different from past Giving Tuesdays for many of us in the fundraising world. It makes sense that it feels harder to fundraise in a world where people have less to give than they might have had in years past—acknowledging that you’re going to have to cheerfully ask people to give when they don’t have as much to spare to is a difficult pill to swallow.
But ask you must!
As we get closer to Giving Tuesday, remember the work you do is valuable. And if you’re ever in doubt that you’re doing the right thing by fundraising this Giving Tuesday, just check out this handy cheat sheet featuring five reasons you need to give Giving Tuesday your all this year and every year.
Your mission still exists.
“What’s your nonprofit’s mission?”
Did the answer to that question burst into your mind? Can you recite your nonprofit’s mission statement without taking a breath?
It's time we reminded you of a magical fact you might have forgotten in the midst of your hectic day-to-day operations: each and every nonprofit was founded with the express purpose of solving a problem. And while nonprofits are problem-solvers taking on the world’s largest issues, knights don’t slay dragons without swords and steeds, cars don’t finish road trips without fueling up… and your nonprofit needs resources to solve whatever problem it intends to crush.
If there’s still work to be done, you still need to fundraise so you can get the work done. It’s that simple.
The disenfranchised suffer the most during economic downturns.
One of the most unfortunate truths known to humankind is the fact that the disenfranchised, who typically have the least to do with actual causes of economic downturns, are those who suffer the most when the economy crashes or inflation wracks the financial landscape.
Nonprofits are the world’s first responders to many major crises, including those of the economic sort. Whether you’re working for a food bank, a direct relief organization, a medical volunteer corps, or a far-from-the-frontlines org, your work will be more necessary than ever now that many families need more help than they did before.
You’ll need resources to meet the vast need.
And so! You must fundraise!
Overhead doesn’t disappear during recessions. Inflation makes it worse.
Unfortunately, your nonprofit’s overhead costs won’t disappear simply because the economy has entered into a recession. You’ll still have to pay rent on your nonprofit’s office. Office supplies won’t suddenly become free simply because we’ve entered a downturn. And, of course, your nonprofit will still need to pay staffers’ salaries—sure, they’re working for a good cause, but they still have bills of their own!
Like it or not, running a nonprofit costs money. Running any sort of operation, be it for-profit or nonprofit, takes resources—and that won't change, even if everything else has.
It’s best to face this fact head-on: you and your team are going to need to fundraise. Knowing that you have the funds to continue operating, to continue paying your staffers a living wage, and to cover operating expenses will encourage you to keep fighting the good fight.
Your supporters are waiting to hear from you.
There's no way around it: 2020 was rough for everyone except billionaires. And while it’s hard to ask people who are hurting to give to your cause, the problem your nonprofit was founded to solve likely still exists. One part of the solution lies in the supporters who enable nonprofit unicorns to work your mission-based magic.
Giving Tuesday is a big enough movement that many, many people mentally add it into the Thanksgiving holiday week with Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday (how's that gonna work this year?) Donors may not be all a-twitter waiting for Giving Tuesday to arrive, but they know giving season is coming up and they need reminders for those big moments to give. Don't let them down... especially when all it takes to bring it home are an email, a social post, and a donation button.
Allow more time so donors can budget for giving
2020 may have felt like a real-life series of unfortunate events, but before you write off 2020 as a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year, consider that 60% of donors gave in response to COVID-19... and they're likely to give again. You just gotta give them some time—so now is the perfect time to follow up!
Use Funraise's Giving Tuesday Toolkit to plan your campaign and give your supporters as much notice as possible. When they can budget for Giving Tuesday and the end-of-year giving season, they'll give. But it's up to you to sound the bell early and often.
The Giving Tuesday Toolkit offers
- Useful tips to launch a funding awesome campaign
- Step-by-step campaign calendar so you can stay ahead of the game
- Pre-written emails, social posts, and text messages proven to work
- Official press release template... because who has time to write that?
- Tip-top tips for combining an event, P2P, or campaign site into your current Giving Tuesday plans
- Secrets of successful Giving Tuesday campaigns (with examples!)
Build your Giving Tuesday campaign with consideration for your donors' budgets, and, oh, the places you'll go!
Fundraising is what we do
Your ability to fundraise is integral to the health of your nonprofit.
Having the funds you need to operate your organization and to care for the communities you’re dedicated to serving is a necessity, not a luxury. And if you can raise a good chunk of what you need to support your future activities on Giving Tuesday, that’s just one less worry you have to bring into the New Year.
If you have any doubts about fundraising this Giving Tuesday, put them aside post-haste. Think about your nonprofit’s mission, its long-term goals, and the people who depend upon it. Think about the resources you’ll need to keep going. Think about the fact that you can raise much of your next year's budget in a single day—that day, of course, being Giving Tuesday.
And once you’re done thinking, download the Giving Tuesday Toolkit. We’ve established you need to fundraise this Giving Tuesday; now, you need the tools to make your fundraising efforts a success. Funraise has compiled everything you need into a handy-dandy guide: from press releases to emails to a calendar, we’ve got you covered.
Have a blast this Giving Tuesday and every Giving Tuesday—and remember; giving is for the greater good.