Giving Tuesday – the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday – has turned into a phenomenon that delightfully transforms our focus, if only for one day, from shopping and consumerism to giving and generosity. According to WikiPedia, “Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season.
I personally love the focus on generosity, as it parallels the point of Christmas – that Christ was born into the world to give us hope, rescue us from our sin, and promise us eternal life with Him in heaven. The Christmas story is a message of hope, joy, and peace and the giving we practice seeks to emulate the wise men who brought gifts to baby Jesus, showing him honor and reverence.
This said, helping your church members enter into this spirit of giving as we complete the last days and weeks of the year, can help to close the end-of-year giving gap.
Although your church may have begun encouraging people to consider an end-of-year gift, doing a small push between now and next week for #GivingTuesday can’t hurt, and in fact, could be the difference between ending the year in the red and ending in the black.
Here are a few suggestions to boost giving by piggybacking on the #GivingTuesday movement:
1-Send a special email blast to your “all members” church email list.
I know not every church collects email addresses and sends out a weekly or monthly email newsletter, but if you do, now’s the time to use this method of contact to your advantage. It’s not too late: you can easily set up a quick “message from the Pastor” simple text email that has a short message asking people to consider generosity and click the link below to donate online. Or if you have more time, you can have your church creative director or communication director use Canva to whip out a quick image that’s linked to your church’s giving page.
2-Ask attenders to consider a special Thanksgiving/GivingTuesday gift.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving – with hearts and stomachs full – consider asking your church to give a special Thanksgiving offering to help close the gap if your budget is in the red, or give to a special campaign or cause if your church is already in the black. Make sure to tell them where to go to give – online to your donation engine, through your church app, by mail, or in-person through the offering plate. Make it easy for them to give.
3-Use social media to your advantage.
- Share unique and engaging stories to inspire donors. When prospective donors see how their dollars make a difference, they are more likely to give. Consider enlisting church leaders to share how donations have helped fund programs within your church, improve facilities, or provide aid to the needy.
- Take photos and videos. Facebook and Twitter posts with photos and videos are viewed and shared 2-3 times more than posts without them. You can also post short videos on Instagram and SnapChat. When someone shares your content on social media, their social network sees it, increasing your church’s visibility to potential visitors and donors.
- Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in every post. When you include the hashtag, anyone who follows, searches for, or clicks on that hashtag can see your posts. This lets donors know you’re part of the movement and may help you acquire new donors.
- Think outside of the box and include a link to give as many places as possible. Create a Donate button on your church’s Facebook page. Instagram allows you to place one link in your biography, so use it to link directly to your church’s online giving website. Twitter limits users to 140 characters per tweet, but you can use URL shorteners like bit.ly to place links in your tweets.
Here are a few other articles on #GivingTuesday from around the web that might also be helpful to your church:
- Giving Tuesday – Spread the Word
- For Giving Tuesday – Where Evangelicals Donate
- 7 Ways to Activate Your Church for #GivingTuesday
- Giving Ideas for Churches
- 3 Ways Your Church can Participate in Giving Tuesday
So there you have it – three very practical ways to jump on board the #GivingTuesday phenomenon to kick start your year-end giving.