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The Day After Giving Tuesday

This year it is impossible to ignore – Giving Tuesday has become a real organizing and motivating force for non-profits and their donors to focus on the joys and impacts of giving. In Illinois, as in so many other states, organizations like the Donors Forum are putting their messaging muscle and fundraising tools to the service of their local non-profits.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation and other partners. This year there are programs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and one umbrella program for Latin America. With a couple more continents it will truly be a global event.

In 2013, Giving Tuesday raised over $19 million. This year Illinois’ goal alone is to raise $12 million. Over 13,000 organizations are planning to participate in the USA, including Feeding America, YMCA of the USA, Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as Dalai Lama Fellows, World Bicycle Relief and WaterAid.

Giving Tuesday picked up speed last year. If non-profits do the work of getting the word out and organizing a one-day campaign, this year’s event will be even more successful. Success will mean different things to different organizations – securing donations, testing out new messages, putting a toe or two in the water of crowdfunding or mobile giving, lifting the visibility of the organization’s mission or broadening its base of supporters and friends.

So what comes on Wednesday? Celebration, communications about the successes, the careful work of stewarding those donors who responded to the challenge to give, and keeping up the dialogue with those who participated via social media.

As is clear to the folks who came up with this brilliant idea, giving should not be limited to one day. And interacting with your donors and friends should likewise not be limited to one day. So while all of our clients and others are putting on the final touches for their one-day campaigns, we encourage you to make sure that the post-Tuesday campaign is just as thoughtful and complete – with a plan for future communications, campaigns and acknowledgements to these generous individuals, families and groups of friends who stepped up.

Giving Tuesday is a great idea for giving fundraising programs a boost. Our challenge is to turn that momentum into lasting donor engagement.