Giving Tuesday: Why it Matters for Your Oregon Nonprofit

This Friday, Oregonians will wake up pre-dawn, bellies still stuffed with turkey and cranberry sauce, to line up for Fred Meyer’s annual Black Friday sock sale. On Saturday, Portlanders will shop local for Small Business Saturday, and online steals will dominate Cyber Monday.

Following these days of shopping frenzies where Americans will spend billions of dollars (Americans spent $9.7 billion in 2013 on Black Friday alone), Giving Tuesday makes its appearance on December 2 to generate charitable donations as part of end of year fundraising pushes.

Though the national Giving Tuesday initiative is in its third year, next Tuesday, December 2, is the first for Oregon nonprofits to band together in a statewide push. A coalition of local nonprofits has launched an online donation hub where Oregonians can read more about participating nonprofits and donate. And, several celebrations will ripple throughout Portland next Tuesday, including a Pioneer Square rally where Mayor Charlie Hales will present a City of Portland Proclamation declaring December 2, 2014, #GIVINGTUESDAY in Portland.

You may be asking, Don’t nonprofits want donations all year? Why all the fuss on this one day?

While we agree that a Giving Tuesday initiative should be part of a larger donation strategy, we see the value in emphasizing Giving Tuesday and banding together like Oregon nonprofits. Read why Oregon nonprofits are doing it right this year:

Building partnerships with for-profit businesses

Participating in Giving Tuesday offers nonprofits an opportunity to connect with for-profit businesses seeking an end of year giving initiative, such as a matching donation, which can lead to as much as a 51 percent increase in average donation amount. The great thing about Giving Tuesday is that it’s a nationally recognized campaign often covered each year by high-profile media outlets (this year by Forbes and Huffington Post), making it an attractive occasion for businesses to participate.

Tapping into existing resources

This year, Oregon development and capacity-building organizations such as Willamette Valley Development Officers, Nonprofit Association of Oregon and Business for Culture & the Arts are offering free tools and resources to support your Giving Tuesday efforts. These are great, no-cost ways to boost your fundraising campaigns.

Willamette Week is also helping local nonprofits connect with businesses to generate donations. The publication’s annual Give!Guide curates a list of select nonprofits each year, and generates donations by securing incentives from local businesses to encourage readers to give. A delicious example: a minimum $10 donation to one of the nonprofits on the Give!Guide list earns the donor a free 4 oz. scoop of Salt & Straw ice cream. Yes, please!

Attract online supporters

With a concerted effort this year in Oregon, nonprofits have the opportunity to tap into existing online conversations and attract new supporters. The Twitter account @PDXGives and the accounts of the organizations listed above are using their networks to get the word out. Participating in Giving Tuesday allows you to connect with these networks online, jump into existing conversations on social media and attract supporters to your nonprofit.

Reach first-time donors

Millennial philanthropy is booming, with 87 percent of millennials donating to a nonprofit in 2013.

Combined with the existing culture of giving surrounding the Portland area, Giving Tuesday can be an excellent time to capture attention, engage in a meaningful and sustainable way, and expand your donor pool. Beyond millennials, social media expert Beth Kanter explains how Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to attract a new audience, Generation Z, and build on this group’s philanthropic behaviors.

Is your nonprofit participating in Giving Tuesday? We’re big fans of the cause, but interested to hear your perspective as well.

 

Disclaimer: We’re happy to support Willamette Valley Development Officers in pro bono communications work for its Giving Tuesday effort.

Jenna Cerruti

Account Director Jenna Cerruti leads Prichard's client work and manages Prichard's blog. Before Prichard, she spent several years working with for-profit, purpose-drive brands. When she is not developing strategic communications plans, brainstorming digital communications strategies or executing media relations for clients, she is on the hunt to find the best pizza in Portland, likely listening to her favorite diva, Beyonce, along the way.
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