By Jack Brooks, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation What is your Church’s plan for “Giving Tuesday”? Most are familiar with “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving that has become the largest shopping day of the year. The Monday after Thanksgiving is now known as “Cyber Monday” and has become the biggest online shopping day of the year. Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday for the younger generation), is the movement to create an international day of giving at the start of the Christmas season. This began in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving rush. The generosity numbers for “Giving Tuesday” are impressive. From an estimated $10 Million in 2012 it has climbed. 2013 $28 Million 2014 $45 Million 2015 $116 Million 2016 $177 Million 2017 $247 Million Certainly impressive growth! (Numbers are from news reports and are rounded) Participating non-profit organization have established a plan, campaign, and goal around the public awareness of “Giving Tuesday”. They do the following: They establish a funding goal for the day. They share stories of how meeting this goal will impact the organization. They share the impact Giving Tuesday had on the past year. They promote Giving Tuesday to all donors by mail, email or flyer. (check your own mailbox and inbox this month) They personally call the best donors to see if they will take part this year. They ask a lead donor if they will offer a “matching gift” to encourage others to participate that day. They communicate with every donor who participated in Giving Tuesday the prior year to see if they can count on them this year. They also remind repeating donors of the gift level they participated at in the prior years. They make giving easy with a special donation link on the organization’s website. They quickly confirm all donations with the donor. They thank the donor for the gift by letter. They add the donor’s contact to a newsletter or email list for ongoing communication. Churches are really the envy of other non-profits. The non-profit industry knows one-third of all financial giving in America is to religious organizations. They wish they had 52 contacts with supporters on a face to face basis each year. They wish they had the ability to tailor each donor presentation knowing the donor, the donor’s family, and the donor’s high level of organizational participation. They would like to present opportunities for annual giving, capital projects, and lasting legacy gifts when the opportunity is present in a natural conversation like after worship. Too often a church never considers how unique a position our church family is in. As Christians we are abundantly generous. Generosity faithfully appears each week our doors are open. Perhaps this is why few churches make an extra effort to participate in “Giving Tuesday”. I only suggest this. If God is calling your church family to fund a new mission or ministry perhaps the day to begin is Tuesday… “Giving Tuesday” November 27th. I just can’t think of a better day for you to start. For more information please contact the Foundation at 800-828-9093 Ext 1008 The Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation, A CEFEX Certified Fiduciary caring for church assets.