#GivingTuesday holds the world record for the most amount of money donated online in 24 hours. Gráinne Mathews – from the Charities Aid Foundation, which leads #GivingTuesday’s UK activities – tells you how you can get involved.
Starting in 2012, #GivingTuesday was created as a global day of giving, an antidote to the mass consumerism witnessed over the previous days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The campaign currently runs officially in over 40 countries, with the UK’s activities facilitated by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). “It’s become a massive social media campaign,” says Gráinne Mathews, Senior Campaigns & Public Affairs Officer at CAF. “We trend on Twitter, the celebrities that get involved are incredible – Emma Watson, Ricky Gervais, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Richard Branson… They all help raise the profile of the day and the thousands of charities that take part. We say to charities who haven’t yet signed up ‘if you’re not part of this momentum then you’re missing out’ and we don’t want anyone to miss out”. Here’s Mathews’ guide for how to get involved.
1. Say thank you
“A lot of charities use this day to say thanks to people who have supported them year round. One of the best examples of this is Marie Curie, who asked their staff to write handwritten thank you letters to their donors. It was never intended to be about raising money, but they noticed that people who received notes were so moved they actually sent in their donations again, or they increased their regular donations. It shows that whatever the size of your charity all supporters like to feel special and valued.”
2. Tell people what they’re supporting
“It’s easy for people to forget what charities actually do with their support. Having a case study of someone talking about the personal impact of a charity’s work is a great way to engage new supporters – it gives a real insight into the impact of people’s donations. One really powerful example is by anti-slavery charity A21, who this year will share the story of a young man they’re working with who was rescued from modern slavery. Stories like that remind people that they’re making a real difference to people’s lives.”
“The best campaigns are the personal ones. Small charities aren’t going to have the resources some larger charities have to create a national campaign, but they can use what makes them unique to engage current and new supporters. #GivingTuesday’s high profile gives charities an opportunity to engage with new audiences that they maybe wouldn’t get on any other day. We have a small charity partner called Station House Media Unit. It’s a community media development organisation in Aberdeen which supports disadvantaged communities in learning media and digital skills. This year they’re hosting a 24-hour radio marathon. It’s the perfect example of a charity using their unique set of skills and resources to highlight and show the impact of their work.”
“Obviously this is the most basic piece of advice, but asking for donations works. People appreciate the chance to do some good in a period that some people feel has become too much about getting and not enough about giving. One of our partners is BrewGooder, a craft lager company which donates 100% of their profits to clean water projects. This #GivingTuesday they are launching their Jingle Wells crowdfunder campaign to help 12 communities in Africa. People that donate get perks – including beer, obviously, and they’ve got some Jingle Wells festive jumpers. It ties into people getting together at Christmas, having a few beers and catching up with friends – and everybody likes to have a Christmas jumper.
5. Look into corporate partnerships
“Corporate partnerships are a great way for charities to reach more people on #GivingTuesday. Our partner Dogs Trust has a great partnership with Radley who created a dog walkers backpack and coin purses. Radley have a little Scottie dog as their emblem, but they created a few new emblems that were based on animals the Dogs Trust were caring for.
A lot of corporates and businesses have company giving schemes, both financial and non-financial, because they want to give something back. So it’s a case of finding the best fit. If you have a small organisation that needs to build brand awareness, contact a local marketing or PR company and ask if they could give your staff some pro bono training, which is then something they can talk about on #GivingTuesday as their way of giving back to the community and the charitable sector. It’s a win-win. We have a partner, Reason Digital, a Manchester-based social enterprise that specialises in brand marketing and digital transformation. This #GivingTuesday they’re using their skills and experience to highlight charities they have been working with. Those charities will end the day with not only raised awareness of their work, but also the social media skills that will help them going forward. #GivingTuesday is great for starting these relationships.”