#GivingTuesday: The Marketing of Philanthropy’s Biggest Day

November 20, 2018 Rachel Schulties

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday serves as a global philanthropic event, inviting individuals to continue their gratitude through end-of-year, giving to their desired nonprofit organizations.

November 27 marks the seventh year #GivingTuesday has been tacked onto the Black Friday weekend, inspiring donations and giving throughout a weekend when many consumers already open their wallets.

Founded by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City, #GivingTuesday works to connect individuals to their communities and the world around them through service and giving back.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media as nonprofits ask for donations and gifts through networking sites, using Facebook’s “Donate Now” button and GoFundMe links. Last year, #GivingTuesday encouraged $274 million worth of donations. Of that, $64 million was donated through PayPal and $45 million of through Facebook. Online donation processing saw an increase of 42% from the year prior. In 2017, the average online gift was $134, showing a growth of 6% from 2016.

Many nonprofits develop marketing strategies dedicated solely towards raising funds on #GivingTuesday and for year-end giving. Here are three of our favorite campaigns.

giving tuesday girl scouts

Girl Scouts — Invest in Girls. Change the World.

This year, the Girl Scouts of America is using a simple initiative to inspire giving. With a tweet portraying how the organization can aid young women across the nation, the Girl Scouts ask for donations as small as a dollar. The organization’s #GivingTuesday promotions include a link to their donation page, where individuals can donate to the national organization or neighborhood troops.

During #GivingTuesday, Girl Scouts also invite their followers to enroll in sustained giving, a more fulfilling alternative to a one-time donation.

Save the Children — Donating The Right Gift

Save the Children — Donating The Right Gift

Save the Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources for children in need all around the world, provides a gift catalog every year to welcome generous donations.

To leverage this day of giving, Save the Children provides their audience with a catalog for the extended holiday season that allows donors to gift on behalf of others and to choose the right gift for those in need. Save the Children also encourages their donors to register for recurring giving, which helps provide children in need with resources year-round.

By spreading the knowledge of their catalog, donors can fund appropriate and much-needed gifts throughout the holiday gift-giving season. On #GivingTuesday specifically, all donations up to $150,000 will be matched by a generous donor.

Habitat for Humanity — Partnering with The Property Brothers

Habitat for Humanity (HFH) paired up with everyone’s favorite HGTV brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, also known as The Property Brothers, to raise money during #GivingTuesday last year. The Scott brothers are known for their work in construction and for their partnership with HFH, so this fundraising partnership for #GivingTuesday was natural.

Through a concise tweet from Habitat for Humanity, the brand was able to quickly spread the word about donating on #GivingTuesday. Followers were invited to donate through a link on HFH’s website and learn more about the work of Habitat Humanitarians, Jonathan and Drew Scott.

ASPCA — #GivingTuesday Live-a-Thon

ASPCA giving tuesday fundraiser

ASPCA held a Facebook fundraiser for #GivingTuesday last year, during which they hosted a “live-a-thon” (a telethon using live videos) to explain how animals in need benefit from year-end giving. Throughout the Facebook event, viewers learned about pet adoption, kitten care and bottle feeding, kitten fostering, fighting puppy mills and helping animals in response to natural disasters. The event showcased adoptable dogs from Hurricane Harvey, senior pets and animals who were previously victim to abuse.

ASPCA partnered with Animal Planet and Subaru to host guests including actress Eddie Falco, Mother of Dogs founder Allie Rizzo and Animal Planet’s My Big Fat Pet Makeover’s Travis Brorsen. The nonprofit embedded Facebook’s “Donate” button directly into their hourly live videos to encourage generous donations. Subaru matched donations up to $25,000 while Animal Planet promoted the fundraiser on their broadcast channel.

Whether through Facebook live streams or hashtagged tweets, #GivingTuesday helps organizations around the world improve their communities and the lives of others. If you’re a nonprofit marketer, we wish you luck this coming Tuesday. And since we are all consumers, let’s pledge to give a little extra this Black Friday weekend.

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About the Author

Rachel Schulties

Rachel Schulties is the Executive Vice President of Agency Services at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest growing independent agency focused on performance marketing. As the leader of the agency team, Rachel oversees client relationships, agency services, the award-winning Sparkroom performance technology and technical support function that helps clients boost performance and redefine the win. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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