Lives are Changed when #bigkidsgive and how you can rock #GivingTuesday Next Year | npENGAGE

Lives are Changed when #bigkidsgive and how you can rock #GivingTuesday Next Year

By on Dec 11, 2013


By now, many of us have heard of the overwhelming success that was last Tuesday’s second annual #GivingTuesday.

Results collected from Blackbaud clients showed Online Giving was up 90% this #GivingTuesday, and the average online gift saw an increase of 40%, from $101.60 in 2012 to $142.05 in 2013. While these stats show that this national day of giving has struck a chord in people internationally, it’s the stories from #GivingTuesday that truly inspire us. Or as Michael Rosen, CFRE says:

“While statistics can be interesting and even compelling at times, people are more likely to be moved by stories. When we do fundraising… we should use few statistics and tell more stories.”

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share stories about a few nonprofits that totally rocked #GivingTuesday this year, and share the secrets to their success. Get ready for some awesome fundraising ideas.

First Up: Camp Kesem Uses Social Fundraising for #GivingTuesday Success

Camp Kesem empowers college students across the United States to create a free, life-changing one-week summer camp experience for children affected by a parent’s cancer. With 54 chapters on college campuses across the country, volunteer leaders handle everything from development, recruitment, marketing, training, and programming of their camp. Pretty cool, right?


For #GivingTuesday, Camp Kesem sought to inspire the big kid in all of us by encouraging students and faculty members on their campuses to take a photo in one of 45 #BigKidsGive #GivingTuesday photo booths with a sign to encourage online donations to their local college’s Camp Kesem chapter and then share their photo via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Camp Kesem Marketing Manager Mai-Lan Pham told me this was their biggest social media campaign to date! Over 1,300 #bigkidsgive photos were shared on social media, including celebrity posts from NBA star Blake Griffin and B.J. Novak of The Office. And $10,000 was raised to send more kids to camp this summer.

Here are a 5 fundraising tips inspired from Camp Kesem’s #GivingTuesday success:

1. Prepare for #GivingTuesday Ahead of Time.

Mai-Lan said the team didn’t wait to capitalize on #GivingTuesday buzz, but came up with the #bigkidsgive campaign in September.

They piloted the photo booth idea at their summit in October and also began rolling out their #GivingTuesday toolkit to student leaders, educating them with tips on how to run their #GivingTuesday campaigns and inspire participation across social media.

 2. Equip Volunteers for Success

Mai-Lan provided their volunteer student leaders a toolkit with everything they needed for a success.

Each toolkit included: a) Directions on how to run the photo booth b) Suggested tweets c) Signage to maintain Camp Kesem branding  and d) A sample press release and media alert.

When December 3rd arrived, their volunteers at campuses across the nation were ready to hit the ground running with #bigkidsgive

 3. Tailor your message to your audience

There’s perhaps no better place to inspire the ‘big kid’ in all of us than on college campuses.

Camp Kesem geared their strategy towards Millenials by creating a campaign that empowered students. Using the hashtag #bigkidsgive, they built social buzz around the fun camp experience given to children affected by a parent’s cancer.

Go to and tell me these students don’t look like they had a blast building support for a great cause!

 4.  Have a Unified Message and Clear Call-to-Action

Camp Kesem #GivingTuesday campaign

As you can imagine, with 54 chapters at campuses across the country it’s not easy maintaining a unified message.

While participants took fun and engaging #bigkidsgive pictures at the photo booth, they also knew they needed a clear, simple Call-to-Action.  They accomplished this by incorporating signage that encouraged  #GivingTuesday donations with a URL to their local Camp Kesem chapter website!

Not only do you build buzz on social media this way, but drive traffic back to your site where people can engage further with your mission.

 5. Take Advantage of the #GivingTuesday Community and Resources

Camp Kesem staff took advantage of all the resources #GivingTuesday provides their partners to prepare for the big day, including webinars and Google Hangouts.

Visit to become an official partner,  see which  nonprofits in your area are participating, get social media training, and much more.

The #GivingTuesday Team, UN Foundation, and 92Y want to equip their charitable partners for success, so take advantage of their invitation and partnership! 



Michael Beahm is Customer Advocate Marketing Manager at Blackbaud and manages the Blackbaud Champions program. In his spare time, Michael is husband, father of two boys, runner, and a coffee-holic. Connect with him on twitter @mabeahm.

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