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#GivingTuesday has been around since 2012 and it’s quite an impressive phenomenon. Just last year alone $117 million was raised. So does that mean opting out of #GivingTuesday is a missed opportunity? Not necessarily. While #GivingTuesday may be a great opportunity for your organization to raise money, there may be some other approaches that are also worth considering.

Here are five fresh approaches you can consider on #GivingTuesday.

5 Ways to Rethink #GivingTuesday

1. Engage. Don’t ask. It sounds counterintuitive but if every organization is asking for donations on #GivingTuesday, why not be an organization that uses the opportunity to engage with your constituents instead? #GivingTuesday presents an incredible opportunity to get in front of your donors. All eyes are on nonprofits that day. So consider how you can leverage the inertia of #GivingTuesday without blending in with the crowd. Maybe you could use #GivingTuesday as an activation or amplification day. Check out March of Dimes’ Post Purple campaign and GAIN’s Seed Pack Adventure campaign. We helped launch both of these social acquisition campaigns. Why not consider using #GivingTuesday to focus on digital engagement? This gives you the opportunity to reach out to those who are interested in supporting your cause and gauge commitment and interest without hitting them up for a donation. You can build awareness through social media and warm the file for a calendar year end ask.

2. Thank and steward. Perhaps you could use #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to tell your donors how grateful you are for their work and generosity. Do you remember the “Get Outdoors” campaign REI did last year instead of participating in Black Friday? There is so much noise on #GivingTuesday. What can you do that honors your organization and serves a relevant purpose to your constituency? #GivingTuesday was birthed out of the idea of giving generously after we’ve given thanks on Thanksgiving. What does that act of thankfulness look like for your organization? Consider how you can make #GivingTuesday relevant to your organization, not generic.

3. Educate and state impact. As you’re activating consider, are you also educating? Think about infographics and visual tools that teach your donors more about the impact their dollars have. We could do so much more to educate our constituents. If you decide to opt out of asking for money on #GivingTuesday, what else can you do? It’s easy to get swept up into national events or get coaxed into using certain platforms because they are popular, but consider what is best for your organization and how you can best reach your audience.

4. Give staff the day off to volunteer. Focus on highlighting your team’s support of other great organizations. Encourage corporate partners to engage their employees in volunteering on #GivingTuesday, and put a spotlight on volunteering on your social media channels.

5. Stand intentionally on the sidelines. You don’t have to participate in #GivingTuesday. Rather than just reviewing your giving from #GivingTuesday, consider your cumulative giving from November 1 to December 31. Has it changed over time? Can you see a noteworthy difference between years that you had a push on #GivingTuesday and years that you didn’t? We certainly believe there is value in #GivingTuesday. Just don’t blindly participate in it. Consider the impact #GivingTuesday is or isn’t having on your organization. Consider that you may receive more at calendar year end than at #GivingTuesday. Metrics matter!

While #GivingTuesday numbers sound impressive, it’s worth digging into your analytics and determining if it is the wisest day for you to make an ask. Intuition is important but it must be met with data to back up your assumptions in order to have a better year end than you did last year. #GivingTuesday is an exciting day to celebrate how nonprofits are changing the world each and every day, but simply going along with what everyone is doing without determining what is right for your unique organization is not a wise strategy. If you are intentional about your approach, you will really be able to maximize the opportunity #GivingTuesday affords.

For more ideas about how to rise above the noise at year end, download our free infographic here.