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What is your plan for “Giving Tuesday”?

I can’t help but notice the advertising began early this season for “Black Friday”. I sense retailers are hopeful for strong year end revenue to move the company’s profits from red to black during the closing weeks of the year.

Is your church going to end the year in the red or the black? Here are a few last minute suggestions to communicate your needs, bolster giving, and close out 2023 by becoming more aware of Giving Tuesday campaigns. While it may be too late to make a major Giving Tuesday appeal this year, these methods will help you build a strong culture of generosity in 2024.

Giving Tuesday started as a movement to create an international day of giving at the start of the Christmas season. This began back in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in a response to commercialization and consumerism and the focus on “Black Friday” and the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush.

The generosity numbers for Giving Tuesday’s growth are staggering. From an estimated $10 Million raised in 2012, it has climbed to a major campaign for nonprofits.

2013 $28 Million
2014 $45 Million
2015 $116 Million
2016 $177 Million
2017 $247 Million
2018 $363 Million
2019 $502 Million
2020 $605 Million
2021 $2.7 Billion
2022 $3.1 Billion

Certainly impressive growth!  (These are supported from news reports and are rounded)

Today many nonprofit organizations have established a plan, special campaign, and fundraising goals around the public awareness of Giving Tuesday. Perhaps you have been reminded of the date from some organizations you support. I know I have!

As a student of fundraising campaigns and educator of how they work, I have noticed several similarities in Giving Tuesday appeals that can work in a variety of campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1.  There is a funding goal for the day.
2.  Stories are shared of how meeting this goal will impact the organization in the new year.
3.  They recap the impact Giving Tuesday had on the past year.
4.  Giving Tuesday is promoted in multiple ways. (Check your own mailbox, inbox, or voicemail this month)
5.  They call past donors to see if they will take part this year.
6.  A “matching gift” may be encouraging all to participate now.
7.  An early reminder is sent to repeat donors of the gift level they participated in during prior years.
8. ​​​​​​ Donating is made easy with a special website donation link or QR code on the organization’s mailing or email.
9.  Confirmation is sent to the donor immediately upon the gift receipt.
10.  A phone call or personal thank you note is sent by leadership.

Are churches participating in this movement?  My search among our clients indicate few do. This is interesting to me because churches are often the envy of the non-profit world. The non-profit industry knows 1/3 of all financial giving in America is to religious organizations. They wish they had 52 contacts with supporters, face to face, each year. They wish they had the ability to tailor each donor presentation really knowing the donor, the donor’s family, and the donor’s high level of church participation. They would love to present opportunities for annual giving, capital projects, and lasting legacy gifts when the opportunity is present in a natural conversation like after worship or Bible study.

Too often a church never considers how unique a position our church family is in. As Christians we are abundantly generous. Generosity faithfully appears every week our doors are open. Perhaps this is why few churches make any extra effort to participate in “Giving Tuesday”, but perhaps we are missing a great opportunity.

If God is calling your church family to fully fund your church, a new mission, or outreach ministry, perhaps the day to begin your 2024 planning is Tuesday November 28th. I can’t think of a better day for you to start.

For more information and resources please contact the Foundation.
www.midatlanticfoundation.org
888-341-3299

Jack Brooks
Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation

 

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