by Susan Bottum, Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions
It is hard to believe, but the holiday season is near. Families will gather, give thanks and enjoy a wonderful meal. Then the frenzy of the shopping season will hit: Black Friday, Cyber Monday.
And then there is Giving Tuesday.
Started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, Giving Tuesday was created as a way to heighten the importance of giving during a season of spending. Simply said, Giving Tuesday was designed as a 1-day opportunity for people to make charitable contributions. While the intent is wonderful, it has also caused more than a little worry on the part of many nonprofits. “Will my organization miss out if we don’t participate?” “How do I get started?” “My Board feels we need to promote this opportunity!” “What is the best way to create a social media platform for this?” And so on.
My simple advice to those in a state of panic is this: Relax. If you can find a stress-free way to participate in Giving Tuesday, great. If not, please do not worry. In 2014, over 8,000 nonprofits participated, and the amount donated on Giving Tuesday was approximately $45.7M. That averages out to approximately $5,725 per organization. And while that is a nice amount, it is important to consider the investment of time and effort on the part of the staff and volunteers to make this a reality.
Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to thank your donors and remind them about the great work of your organization. Whether on Giving Tuesday or any other day during this holiday season, share a story or two about how your donors have made a difference this year. And give thanks. Now and throughout the year.