Giving Tuesday and 10 ideas on how your NGO can take advantage of this day for its own goals

On November 30th of this year a special Tuesday – Giving Tuesday – will be celebrated all over the world. This generosity movement was born in 2012 in the minds of 92nd Street Y staff at the Manhattan Community Center in New York, USA. The idea was simple – to encourage Americans to do good deeds after Thanksgiving Day (immediately followed by grand Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales promotion) and to donate their time and money to social initiatives. A decade after the birth of #GivingTuesday, the day is celebrated around the world and it is being implemented by 75 official and several dozen other unofficial national movements. Even the famous philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates contribute to the development of this initiative.

Every year, Giving Tuesday is celebrated on a different day but it is always the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States. In 2020, $ 2.97 billion in support was raised in the U.S. alone on Giving Tuesday and #GivingTuesday has been mentioned as many as 61 billion times on social networks.

The whole charm of this special day lies in the fact that organizations, communities, and individuals decide for themselves how to take advantage of it to achieve social goals. The Giving Tuesday movement encourages the adaptation of an idea, logo, the main message, and a creative approach – it must be fun to do good deeds! Logos, Canva visuals templates, campaigns examples from all over the world, and practical tips to mark this exceptional day made publicly available on the initiative website will help you successfully create a Giving Tuesday campaign.   

Your NGO is definitely worth joining this global initiative on November 30th to remind donors, beneficiaries, partners, colleagues, and members of the community in which you operate of itself. Here are 10 campaign ideas your NGO can implement during Giving Tuesday:

1. Set up a fundraising campaign. Choose a very specific goal having in mind that it is possible to raise funds in a short period (in one or a few days). If you currently have an active project on the donation portal, the functionality “Become Ambassador” will be the best solution for such a thematic campaign. Create a campaign window for Giving Tuesday, post a thematic visual and a concise description of Giving Tuesday, and announce a special fundraising campaign on your social networks, email your sponsors, and spread the word in other ways. This will not only educate your community about the day of generosity (I’m not gonna lie – so far few people know about Giving Tuesday in Lithuania, so you will achieve the Eureka Effect), but by emphasizing that the campaign will last only one day, you may also encourage to donate those people who kept postponing it.

2. Invite influencers who support you to introduce your organization to their followers. Are there people in your circle of sponsors, supporters, ambassadors who have a lot of followers on their social networks? Share the news of World Generosity Day and the popular hashtag #givingtuesday with them, and ask them to spread the word about your mission, needs, and ways one can contribute to your activity. This can bring you financial support, new followers on social networks, or volunteers.

3. Organize a day of generosity for your beneficiaries. If your NGO provides a day center, non-formal education, employment services, organize a symbolic Giving Tuesday Day and involve your beneficiaries – children, young people, seniors. Do something meaningful together: organize a themed activity or handicraft workshops, watch an inspiring film, and discuss what generosity is all about.

4. Organize support in things campaign. Do you work with the homeless, migrants, people in poverty, or other vulnerable groups in need? During Giving Tuesday, organize a themed campaign to invite people to donate specific items these groups need, e.g. warm bedding, winter boots, etc. You can set up an improvised one-day collection point for items and make tea for everyone who comes there. This is how you will personally congratulate everyone on Giving Tuesday and thank them – the donors will be pleasantly surprised!

5. Invite business sponsors to organize the Giving Tuesday celebration at their company. Suggest ideas to your corporate donors on how to make November 30th a little more special to their team. For example, to organize a mindfight (a team pub quiz-type game where the teams play against each other) on a generosity topic, an auction of good deeds, a volunteering initiative, etc. Take the chance to invite the company to integrate a fundraising campaign into the celebration of Giving Tuesday and donate the funds raised to your organization.

6. Initiate a petition, a campaign to collect support signatures. Take advantage of Giving Tuesday to draw public attention once again to the needs of the social group you represent and the actions required to respond to them in order to ensure human rights.

7. Thank for your volunteers. Set up a thank-you lunch or other themed meeting for your helpers, have tea with homemade cookies, and say “Thank you” for their time and effort for your organization.

8. Attract new members to your community on social networks. The goal of your Giving Tuesday campaign can be new followers on Facebook or another social network. Post text (or maybe even a short video!) that tells why your organization was established, what is your mission, and what changes you’re seeking to make in society. And be sure to ask your followers to invite friends, colleagues, and like-minded people to join your community and share your post.

9. Attract new volunteers. Giving Tuesday is a great day to tell a wide range of people about your activities and invite them to become volunteers. Maybe you can tell senior pupils or students about the organization? Or maybe you can post a message on your social networks that you’re looking for extra help? Depending on the nature of the volunteering activity, take advantage of Giving Tuesday to encourage potential volunteers to become a part of your activity.

10. Thank your donors and sponsors. Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to thank your sponsors, publicly or personally, for supporting you and contributing to your organization’s mission. A perfect solution for that would be a thematic post on the organization’s social networks, a personal e-mail from the head of the organization to each sponsor, and maybe even a phone call if the number of sponsors is small. Your thanks will be a very pleasant and warm surprise.

The slogan of Giving Tuesday – the global generosity movement – sounds like this: unleash the power of radical generosity around the world. Accept this invitation this year!