If you know me, you know I think “good is for everyone.”

You also might accuse me of sounding like a broken record because I tend to say this a lot, but it needs to be said. There’s just too much to get done in this world, and we need a whole lot more good propelling us forward.

THIS is one of the most important reasons why I love #GivingTuesday—it’s a perfect opportunity to ensnare more people into the web, to infect them with a desire to drive positive change.

Seeing as we’re headed into year five of the movement, you probably already know that #GivingTuesday is a celebration of the opening day of the giving season, a major moment across the world and a time when people’s ears are becoming more attuned to messages about mission. Last year, online giving on the day grew a whopping 52%, according to Blackbaud data. There is no better time to turn messages of hope into action—to giving time, money, talents, and voice.

What it is NOT, to be clear, is magic.

I know I annoy some people when I say this, but I do think it’s important to be honest about this. Good things aren’t going to just happen—funds rolling into your organization without any effort—simply because it’s #GivingTuesday. You already know that fundraising just doesn’t work that way.

What it IS, however, is an opportunity.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to amplify your message via social, to garner more followers, and perhaps to snag some much-desired media attention as outlets seek stories. And that fact that the day is for everyone—individuals, small businesses, nonprofits, cities, and large corporations—serves to open up the possibilities and potentially capture the imagination of those you haven’t connected with (yet).

If you haven’t decided how to activate for #GivingTuesday, please take some time to make a plan (the clock is ticking).  It’s a golden opportunity to try something new just to see if it works, even if it doesn’t necessarily to connect with everything else you do. You can make it a day all about thanking the people who already support you, for example, in some clever way that creates a gush of fresh air to blow through your more traditional programs.

Ideally, you HAVE given it some thought and are making the day a part of your year-end fundraising campaign. This is where the day can truly result in big things, when you carefully develop a strategy—for the last few months of the year—combining all the channels you have at your disposal. In that scenario, #GivingTuesday can give you an extra boost while you work to accomplish a very specific longer-term goal. It isn’t a day unto itself but, instead, special moment on a coordinated path of activity.

Regardless of which camp you fall in, you should remember a few important things:

  1. #GivingTuesday is largely a social-medial driven movement
  2. The ability to receive online donations on the day is critical
  3. 17% of all donations received online were done from a mobile form (meaning the donor was using a smart phone or device)

So simply being prepared with the right tools and channels is vital. You can have the best campaign in the world, but if you don’t offer the mechanism people are using to engage, well, you’re putting a roadblock in your own way.

The good news is that, whether you’re already planning or not, you can engage.  The better news is that, if you think with comprehensive year-end strategies in mind (the time of the year when the vast majority of contributions come in) you can take all the enthusiasm the movement creates and make it into something much, much bigger.

So go forth and do good, this #GivingTuesday, every Tuesday, every day.




Rachel Hutchisson is the vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy at Blackbaud, headquartered in Charleston, SC.  She is responsible for the company’s global corporate citizenship efforts, a role that allows her to leverage her 20+ years of experience of working with nonprofit partners.  She is a member of the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International, the Giving Institute (producers of Giving USA), and the Coastal Community Foundation.  She is also a Past President of the AFP SC Lowcountry chapter. Rachel is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is a Renaissance Weekend participant and was the recipient of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Influential Women in Business Rising Star Award.  Rachel is an avid soccer fan and spends far too much time driving to remote parts of the state to watch her children play.  Connect with Rachel on Twitter at @RachelHutchssn or on LinkedIn.

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