#GivingTuesday and My Email Mailbox

#CyberMonday to #GivingTuesday – lots of time on our computers or phones!

It will be interesting to see the results from #GivingTuesday for 2018. I am amazed by past results. Last year, more than 40,000 not-for-profit organizations and houses of worship participated in raising $168 million – $54 million more than in 2015.  There were more than 1.5 million donations with an average gift of $166.

I am sure the 2017 results will be even better with more organizations and more people participating.

If you were to average out the dollars raised to the 40,000 organizations last year, that would be only $4,200. Colleagues who I have spoken with in the past few days have reported mixed results. $20,000 for a camp with a goal of $10,000, $145,000 for a national organization supporting education initiatives in Africa, and $200 for a national organization whose constituency is local community groups. Organizations that did well in terms of dollars raised and the number of gifts seemed to integrate the use of email and social media, particularly Facebook.

My Facebook feed was inundated with posts from friends involved in various organizations. There were videos from donors that told an organization’s story. Even a few Facebook Live posts. When you think about it, such reach is really in the millions!

I also wonder how many emails were sent out on Tuesday asking people for philanthropic support. Since #GivingTuesday started in 2012, I hadn’t really stopped to determine how many requests I receive. So, I decided to save all of the emails in my mailbox on Tuesday requesting a contribution.

I received 39 requests for contributions from 23 different organizations. One organization sent me 5 emails throughout the day. And there were a handful of organizations that sent me 2 and 3. Senator Bernie Sanders’ organization, Our Revolution, which is a 501 c4 organization – so there is no charitable deduction – also sent me a request.

Of course, my synagogue sent out two requests.

It is also important to keep in mind that today is the last day of November. And while Hanukkah is just 12 days away, there are still 32 days to December 31 – and numerous opportunities to help your synagogue have a very strong cash month.

Remember, December is always the best month for not-for-profit organizations – and synagogues – for cash. Many people do wait for the end of the calendar year to take advantage of the tax deductibility of charitable giving. Beneficiaries – your synagogue – still need to provide the vehicle and opportunity to make this happen. Happenstance and luck won’t work here.

And who knows what will happen with the new tax cuts being debated in the Senate this week and the impact on charitable giving.  Stay tuned.

My recent Blog outlines a game plan which will work. You still have some time to organize and plan and implement. Use pictures, stories about how the synagogue has touched congregants’ lives. Even a 30 to 60 second video. All you need is a paragraph or two of copy. And a couple of links to an online donation page.


2 Comments on “#GivingTuesday and My Email Mailbox

  1. Thanks for your analysis, Dave. We ran a #Giving Tuesday campaign and raised just under $1,000. We sent out e-mail blasts, used Facebook, and posted a video. However, when someone like you gets requests from over 20 organizations on the same day, how do you decide who to give to? It sure seems to me that the only way you get donations is when you’ve cultivated a long standing relationship with the group. Synagogues have that factor built in to their DNA. Most nonprofits have to learn how to do that. On our end, we are focusing on increasing our interaction with the people who know about us year round, so that #Giving Tuesday is just a kick off to December and, we make it through the pile of e-mails to the top of the list.

    • Thanks for sharing this information, Jeff. While the internet and various social media platforms help organizations tell their stories, personal connections remain the best way to increase donor engagement as well as giving.

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