Happy #GivingTuesday! Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and now it’s time for charitable giving to outshine consumerism. Nonprofits who are leveraging the power of social media will be able to harness the promotional power of their supporters. The danger, however, lies in #GivingTuesday becoming just a flash in the pan. Here are three ways to avoid a #GivingTuesday hangover:

1. Engagement Isn’t Just For One Day a Year

#GivingTuesday will likely be the most active day on social media for charitable giving. Thousands of donors will publicize the fact that they gave today, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. While it’s a no-brainer for nonprofits to pay attention to their social media channels and follow the #GivingTuesday hashtag, today isn’t the only day to do so. It’s important to maintain an active social graph all year long. If you see someone saying nice things about you online or sharing the fact that they just gave, thank them! Share their posts and make them feel like a hero.

Given how much publicity #GivingTuesday has gotten leading up to today, you’ll likely be fighting a lot of other nonprofits for attention online. This underscores the need for year-long listening and engagement when things aren’t so noisy.

#GivingTuesday

2. Show Some Esprit de Corps

Savvy for-profit businesses will participate today by vocalizing the fact that their employees donate to and volunteer at worthwhile nonprofits. You can do the same! It’s likely that your employees, board members and volunteers also support other organizations. Why not share the good work that those nonprofits do? Posting an unselfie is a quick and easy way to do so.

Not only will you show the world that you care about the missions of others, you might make some new friends who will return the favor some day. After all, today is about altruism, not self-promotion.

3. Customize the Follow-Up

Segmenting donation types and amounts in order to customize acknowledgements is always a good idea, and #GivingTuesday represents an excellent opportunity to do so. Treat donations today as extra special, and be sure to acknowledge that their gift occurred on #GivingTuesday, particularly if they are first-time donors. Don’t just send the same thank you letter template, and be sure to follow-up on social media if you receive any tweets, likes or shares. Consider recruiting any 2013 #GivingTuesday donors to be 2014 ambassadors for your organization, especially if they have large social media followings.

Are you just now becoming aware of #GivingTuesday? There are a lot of free resources and suggestions for how to get in on the action today.

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. New York’s 92nd Street Y has been the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project, and providing #GivingTuesday a home. The United Nations Foundation joined as a partner, bringing its strategic and communications clout to the project.

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Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is Chief Engagement Officer at Bloomerang. A prolific writer and speaker, Steven is a contributor to "Fundraising Principles and Practice: Second Edition" and volunteers his time on the Project Work Group of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, is an AFP Center for Fundraising Innovation (CFI) committee member, and sits on the faculty of the Institute for Charitable Giving. He is the author of Robots Make Bad Fundraisers - How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, published by Bold and Bright Media.
Steven Shattuck