Giving Tuesday–Yes, You Should!

Giving Tuesday is just around the corner and you are probably wondering if it is worth it to participate at this late date.  The answer is, Yes.

Now in its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

Visit to learn even more to get tool kits, press releases, and the ever important emails for you to send out.  They have done it all…you just need to go grab it and share it.

Below is a great infographic from Salas lab with just a bit of evidence as to why you should participate.

Take-away: Get busy…it’s really close to giving Tuesday and you don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity.

Strategic Planning for Dummies

How to do organizations create good strategic plans?  The answer is simple…keep it simple.  Strategic plans should be living, breathing, flexible documents.  They should be a benefit to the organization, not a hindrance.  They should be reviewed regularly, and they should be changed.  They are intended to help you grow, not stiffle your organization.

Here is a great simple document that you can use to help you start creating a strategic plan:

Take-away:  After you have created your plan, place your goals in a public space.  This will allow your organization to easily view them, track them, and determine if you are making progress towards accomplishing them.

Top 10 Ways to Kill Your Year-End Fundraising Campaign

It’s time…if you are not already planning your year-end campaign, you better get started.

This year, more than ever, you will need to stand out…everyone is getting it now, so the competition for $$$ is real!

  • They will want to know you are making an impact
  • They will need to be engaged
  • They will need to know it’s worth it

So, let’s help you avoid making some serious mistakes.

1.  It’s not about you!

Make sure you focus on the donor…what is in it for them?

2.  Don’t make a plan.

I’m sure you will remember what you wanted to do in October when December rolls around.  Take a day to actually make a timeline…when are you sending a letter, a postcard or even 2, when are the emails going out, what social media assets are you going to use.  Failure is inevitable if you don’t make a plan!

3.  Be Vague.

It’s important for donors to understand what you need, what you will do with the donation, and the impact it will make.

4.  Use a boring mailer.

Long paragraphs, multiple pages, no white space, and no story is sure to kill a campaign. Another sure-fire killer is using a plain No.10 white envelope.  Consider using over sized postcards..they really stand out in the mail.

5.  Don’t update your web site.

The first place donors considering giving will go, will be your website.  Make sure you have a clear donate now button, and make sure it goes to a page that makes it easy to give to you.  Make sure you share your impact…what have you done this year…why should they give you their $$$?

6. One & done.

As you are planning your campaign, keep in mind that it is a campaign.  That means one mailer or one email is not enough.  One is better than none, but it is not a year-end campaign.  You have to start somewhere, but work to increase your touches each year and adding multiple touch points will help ensure a quality campaign and strong results.

7.  Don’t use social media.


While social media alone does not make an annual campaign,  it sure can boost awareness during that time period.  It can help keep your organization top of mind and in front of prospective donors.

8.  Don’t send your final email during the last two days of December.

The last day of the month is the strongest day of giving for the entire year.  Your year-end campaign needs to have an email component that launches during the last couple of days of the year, and a final push on the last day of the year.

9.  Don’t hand write your thank you notes.

Nothing says thank you like a tax receipt.  A tax receipt is not a thank you.  Make sure you send a hand written thank you.  Enough said!!!

10. Don’t put your hard work to future use.

Most organizations fail to follow-up with new donors and annual donors throughout the year.  Make sure your donors feel like they are a part of the organization even if they only give once per year.  Establish a welcome program and a quarterly campaign that keeps those annual donors in the loop.

Take-away:  Now is the time.  You have a  huge opportunity to grow…MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!