The days after Thanksgiving have become holidays in their own right. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, so much so that sales begin long before these days arrive. During this time, nonprofits need to cut through the noise of commercialism to be heard and address the real reason for the season, giving.
In 2012, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in New York City did just that when they came up with Giving Tuesday. Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this day is devoted to giving back through volunteering and charitable donations. Giving Tuesday is on December 1st this year. Although fairly new, this movement is far from grassroots. Over 30,000 organizations participate in this event including big names like UNICEF, Microsoft, and Google.
Participating in this movement at the local level is easy. All that is required is that the cause being supported is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with a designated initiative. Giving Tuesday’s official website has free resources that both businesses and nonprofits can use to promote their events. Social media has helped this movement take off. In the spirit of hashtag activism, this event has even had a hashtag created for it, #givingtuesday, used by participants to promote posts related to their Giving Tuesday celebrations.
Ways that businesses and nonprofits can celebrate Giving Tuesday are just as diverse as the causes supported by it. Every cause from education to hunger to animal rights is represented. Often, businesses and nonprofits will partner to benefit both parties. For example, a portion of a business’ sales for the day will go to a chosen cause increasing both sales and donations. To truly give back the day, businesses and nonprofits can hold volunteer projects in keeping with the true meaning of this event.
When deciding on an initiative, nonprofits need to consider how to appeal to their donors. First, organizations must figure out who these donors are, where they are, what motivates them and how to reach them. This takes a lot of time and research but the impact on your organization will be worth it.
No matter how you choose to give back, Giving Tuesday is a great way to promote your organization and gain support for your cause.