Among the holiday rush to shop and celebrate is an observance that rings in the month of December with a big heart and a special opportunity to get into the true spirit of giving. #GivingTuesday will be held on December 2 and has become a tradition among millions of people from charities, businesses and schools around the globe. On this day, donors come together to celebrate generosity and to give via the #GivingTuesday conversation.
Last year on #GivingTuesday, online donations increased 90% for 3,800 nonprofits–more than $19.2 million–compared to 2012, according to Blackbaud, a nonprofit technology provider. In 2013 there were 320,000 tweets using #GiftGiving and that number is sure to double with all the new interest and activity. Bill and Melinda Gates, The United Nations Foundation, PayPal, Facebook and LinkedIn are just a few participating partners.
But you don’t need to be an entrepreneur, international peacekeeper or startup to participate on #GivingTuesday. All you need is the creativity, motivation and ability to take to the social networks to raise awareness.
Although only a week away, there is still time to get involved and inspire others to give to your charity of choice. Let’s review five steps to get started:
1. Choose a nonprofit organization that is meaningful to you.
During the holidays, many nonprofits are in desperate need of volunteer hours as well as in-kind and cash donations. You could inspire others to give non-perishable goods to a food pantry or pet shelter, contribute to a coat drive, or fund the building of a school overseas with one tweet or post.
You can also use sites like Charity Navigator and GuideStar to measure the effectiveness and financial stability of your chosen organization.
When getting the word out on social media, keep your post short and sweet for the best chances of engagement. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday, #unselfie, include a link to your charity, and add your own personal message.
Here’s what Melinda Gates is sharing on Facebook:
2. Get giving with CrowdRise.
An exciting addition to #GivingTuesday is the crowdsourcing site CrowdRise. The company has created an App called the Giving Tower, which will help individuals setup a fundraising page and choose a charity to fundraise for the day. Each brick on the Giving Tower represents a donation to a great cause. It looks like it’s going to be a fun mobile tool to use on #GivingTuesday! According to CrowdRise, the Giving Tower App allows you to see the world’s charitable efforts grow in real time in the form of a tower made in augmented reality. They want you to think of it as a really cool hologram.
3. Match those gifts.
If you’re a business owner or an employee your company may want in on the giving action as well. Inquire about matching your donations on #GivingTuesday. They could match your time donated to helping a charity that day by giving you time off or they may even double your dollars.
4. Inspire others with your story.
Consider writing an op-ed piece for your local paper about your cause and experience on #GivingTuesday. You could also submit your story as a guest blogger. By keeping the story going, you may extend the giving beyond just the one-day experience and may even recruit givers for December 2, 2015.
5. Amplify your reach. Share your cause-related or company news with #GivingTuesday.
It seems they really want to hear from their partners around the globe and encourage you to use their branded materials. They offer many tools and resources on their website to get you started including videos, graphics, volunteer forms and case studies. In fact, people donate 38% more on branded donation pages than compared to generic ones.
On Facebook, GivingTuesday asks, “What are you plans for the big day? Twitter Chat? GoogleHangout? Giving Party? Share your #GivingTuesday plans with us and we will promote and participate. Email us at Givingtuesday@gmail.com with the subject “Plans”.” You can also attend their upcoming free events to help you plan and promote your giving campaigns.
#GivingTuesday Inspired by a Special Friend
This #GivingTuesday inBLOOM is raising a paw and donations for the Grey Muzzle Organization and their efforts to give homeless senior dogs the love and dignity they deserve in their final days. The choice was inspired by the passing of Little Girl, a sweet senior pup who lived with my family for two very special years. Here’s a bit about her that I shared with friends when she died in September at the golden age of maybe 16:
♥ Little Girl
We picked up Little Girl in Brooklyn after seeing her on an Urgent Death Row Dogs post on Facebook in Sept. 2012. She left her big, beautiful world this evening. We learned so much from her and enjoyed getting to know her. She was a little fighter. I nicknamed her Lazarus because she always rose up no matter how creaky her bones. No animal should ever leave this world feeling afraid and unloved. Consider adopting a senior. They give back so much even if for only a few years. We now have an eternity of love thanks to our Little Girl.
All of us at inBLOOM hope you’ll consider making a donation to honor Little Girl or a senior pup in your life by supporting the inspirational work of the Grey Muzzle Organization.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @inbloombuzz, Instagram @inBLOOMlife and inBLOOM Communications on Facebook to help share our message of support for homeless senior pups on #GivingTuesday. We’ll share back!