Why We Hate #GivingTuesday

Why We Hate #GivingTuesday

  • On September 11, 2014

It’s hard to argue against any day that encourages people to be charitable and support good causes. But here goes.

We believe nonprofit organizations would do well to ignore Giving Tuesday, because it represents everything that is wrong with nonprofit fundraising. In a nutshell, it doesn’t encourage an authentic conversation with donors about what matters to them.

Most nonprofit staff hates externally-driven “giving days” like these already. They turn into something of an arms race, with each organization putting more and more resources into social media graphics and advertising, emails and emails and emails, all reminding people of the “big day” coming up and how important it is for them to support you on that big day.

What gets left out is the reason it’s important to give in the first place, which is all your donors want to hear about.

What if we all just ignored the arms race? What if we encouraged all the giving day challenge grant makers to extend their match offers for the entire month of December, when data tells us that nonprofits bring in anywhere from 24 to 31 percent of all their revenue?

What if we ignored the hype? What if we kept talking to our donors about the people we’re serving and the reasons to help?

It’s hard to say what’s “Giving Tuesday” and what’s just December. We vote to ignore and keep going.


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