The benefits of Giving Tuesday and why your nonprofit should be involved

In 2012, a New York-based nonprofit called 92nd St. Y launched a campaign to inspire a day dedicated to charitable giving. The organization called it Giving Tuesday and spread the word using a special hashtag on Twitter.

The introduction of the effort last year resulted in a 53 percent increase in online donations. As an added benefit, the average gift size correspondingly increased by 25 percent. After seeing the boost to contributions across a wide variety of charitable foundations, participating in the event has become an enticingly lucrative option for nonprofits hoping to take advantage of the seasonal generosity.

"We've seen the holiday's effectiveness in our donor base and only expect it to grow across all nonprofits – even internationally," said Cheryl DeBruler, gift catalog specialist for nonprofit World Vision.

Getting involved with the Giving Tuesday movement comes at no cost to nonprofits, so enjoying the benefits of the day is as easy following these tips:

Set clear objectives
Designating a specific day to donate is an exciting way to encourage a considerable spike in contributions, so ambiguity in what your charity hopes to get out of the day should be considered the enemy. To justify the day's significance, be sure determine and then publicize your organization's objectives for the day. For instance, you might set a giving goal that you hope to meet by the day's end.

Engage socially
There are a variety of channels through which your nonprofit should be interacting with donors, but none is more crucial in having a successful Giving Tuesday than social media. Using the plethora of platforms freely available online, your charity can encourage contributor engagement on a peer-to-peer level. What's more, you can use social media as a means to generate interest by holding a public contest. It can center around a specific hashtag on Twitter or a small prize auction on Facebook, assuming your organization can accept online donations.

Tell your story
While Giving Tuesday is a campaign to foster a more generic and universal sense of giving, the day can also be used as an excuse to showcase the work your charity has done. Contact local press, loyal and prospective donors, use every avenue and outlet available and tell people your story. Let them see what your nonprofit is really about and why they should choose to give to you.

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