‘Tis the season to be thankful. Which means it’s a perfect time to remind your alums that there’s no better way to say “thanks” than to give to back.
A giving day isn’t a novel idea, but it sure can be a successful one. Columbia University harnesses the spirit of this especially charitable time of year through its Giving Day. This year—the campaign’s second annual—raised $7.8 million. In one day. One day full of “live online conversations about cutting-edge issues, from healthcare to nanoscience” all hosted by Columbia.
The days’ events helped garner 9,759 gifts, a percentage of which were matched by Giving Day sponsors called Game Changers.
The level of alumni engagement and donations achieved by Columbia’s Giving Day is truly impressive. But not every school has the resources that Columbia does.
Luckily, for those who aren’t Columbia, there’s #GivingTuesday.
Also in its second year, #GivingTuesday is a campaign that uses social media to create a national day of giving to support nonprofits. #GivingTuesday founders 92Y say it best on the campaign website:
It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.
This year, #GivingTuesday falls—strategically directly after Black Friday and Cyber Monday—on Tuesday, December 3. While that’s only a week away, there’s still time for you to ride the wave of this powerful initiative.
There are two key components to a successful #GivingTuesday campaign, both of which are doable in a week (even a holiday week):
- Create a landing page. You need a place where your alums can donate. And, of course, a place where you can show them just how grateful you are for their help. You can take a cue from Northwestern, whose #GivingTuesday site consists of a pledge page, other ways for alums to get involved, and a clever daily countdown to the big day. Or you can be even more minimal and include all of that info on a single landing page. If you build it, they will come.
Be social. Use all of your social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, your alumni blog. The #GivingTuesday Tool Kit is a great resource for sample tweets and posts to get you started quickly. Whatever social outlet you use, be sure to mark each post with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
Though there may only be one week left until this year’s #GivingTuesday, there’s still time for your alums to make an impact by giving this year. And, who knows, you may raise a few billion dollars in the process.