On this Giving Tuesday Eve I was thinking back to reactions on the very first one I can remember – November 2012. The excitement of a new idea. Healthy skepticism by establishment fundraisers. A movement for giving. Leveraging the interwebs for good. Adding charitable giving into a weekend that can seem full of excess….
And today, I wonder, is it here to stay?
I hope so. Simply because I think being part of a positive day about charitable donations is never a bad thing. Philanthropic mindsets – even for a day or two of the year – change our world, just a little bit. And a global movement that celebrates and supports giving is something I can get behind.
Every fall my clients ask if they should participate. More often than not, for newbies, I have suggested at the very least pushing out social media posts and inviting friends and supporters to make a gift to you on this day full of giving messages. If an organization has participated before, we look at what was accomplished – what worked and what didn’t – and tweak accordingly. Most importantly – I always ask why. Why participate? What are you hoping to accomplish? How will you report to your team and your board?
As you are most likely reading this just before, during, or after your organization’s adventure into one of the busiest giving days of the year, I would suggest taking some time to figure out how Giving Tuesday worked for your organization. An hour or so review and debrief will help you think about this year and next. And, hopefully, you can make it happen within a week of closing out your efforts.
For Good Partnership’s Top 5 #GivingTuesday Debrief Report Elements
- List EXACTLY what you did and at what times. Not what you planned to do – but what actually happened. And rate them on a scale of 1-5 – did the response match your hopes and expectations?
- How much staff time did you spend on your efforts? What was the monetary cost per hour per salary? (Estimating is fine!)
- How many gift did you receive? How does this compare with the last five years of gifts on Giving Tuesday (not this specific day, but the actual calendar Tuesday)? Same for dollars… What was your total giving this year vs. the last 5?
- Take your top 20 donors to Giving Tuesday – would they have given the same on another day? Does their overall giving grow because of this day?
- How many new donors did you acquire? What are you going to do to welcome them into your fold?
What I would love for you to know… Is it worth it? How do you measure success of these efforts? Did ALL the staff time. effort and energy really shift donors to give more or did they just move their typical year end gift to Giving Tuesday?
Once you are done, put your findings in a document and share it with your people along with recommendations for next year. Have conversations. Celebrate the wins.
One of my favorite authors, Danielle LaPorte, calls this a “Sacred Pause”. Before you continue, slow down – just a little – and think about how you hope to impact your overall fundraising with this effort. Every year, it’s a marathon from the first day of the fiscal year to the last.