At its core, Giving Tuesday is a movement—a movement through which nonprofit organizations around the world ask their supporters to rally around their missions during the holiday season. Supporters are encouraged to use social media to amplify the missions of the organizations they champion and ask their networks to join them in the giving movement.

If your volunteers are not playing a key role in your Giving Tuesday strategy, they should!

Who better to champion your cause than those who already donate their time, and hopefully their money, to help you advance your mission? As you begin to prepare for Giving Tuesday 2016, here are 3 easy ways to engage your volunteers on the day!

Ask your volunteers to donate.

Are you engaging them in ways that encourage them to give their time, talent, *and* treasure. You can leverage their support for your mission through targeted communications by thanking them for their time and educating them on what a donation of any amount would mean to your cause. While both time and money are finite resources, there are instances when it is simply easier to go online and make a gift or write a check than it is to find time in our hectic schedules to serve. For me, I am far more likely to give to an organization at which I volunteer—their cause is one I’m already invested in.

Engage your volunteers as advocates.

Do they have the tools they need from you to amplify your mission across their networks—social, professional, and personal?Providing your volunteers with talking points, draft tweets, and other communication tools empowers them to share your message and mission in a way that is consistent with your brand. This also encourages your volunteers to share with their networks how and why they serve and support your organization.

Ask your volunteers about matching gifts.

Many companies offer matching gifts or “dollars for doers” grants that allow employees to secure donations for organizations and causes they support. Encouraging them to put your organization at the top of their list for matching of donations and time strengthens the connection of your volunteers to your organization and further advances your mission.

The use of volunteers in this type of everyday advocacy amplifies your reach across your community and beyond.

Your volunteers are a face for you organization. By encouraging these volunteers to champion your mission across their networks, you’re empowering them to be an ambassador for your cause to potential new supporters. Why would you not choose to have your most ardent supporters speaking out on your behalf? In this digital age, our supporters are more primed than ever to share how and why they choose to give back. Make sure you’re giving your supporters the tools they need to do even more for your cause this Giving Tuesday.


Sally J. Ehrenfried leads Philanthropy and Volunteer Engagement at Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), headquartered in Charleston, SC., and is responsible for the company’s global community relations, corporate giving and volunteerism portfolios.  Sally also manages the company’s public policy efforts by working with local, state and federal groups to advocate for policies that benefit the nonprofit community.

Sally spent 13 years in the United States Senate as an aide to Senators George J. Mitchell (D-Maine), William S. Cohen (R-Maine), and Ronald L. Wyden (D-Oregon), serving in a variety of committee, personal office, and leadership staff roles.

Sally is the Immediate Past Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ US Government Relations Committee and a member of the Giving Institute’s Public Policy Committee.  She serves on the board of directors for the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations and is a member of the Leadership Faculty for the Corporate Institute, a Points of Light enterprise.

Sally is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and received a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.  She is a recipient of the Bates College Distinguished Young Alumni Award, a past President of the Bates College Alumni Association and is a member of the Bates Fund Executive Committee.

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