The end of the year is crucial for almost every nonprofit organization. Spending time, energy, and effort on your end-of-year campaign could make you want to pull your hair out.

While it seems like everyone is talking about the importance of #GivingTuesday, you may be wondering how you can possibly add another campaign to your plate and asking yourself – is it worth it?

Here’s an important reminder for every fundraising professional as you think through how to effectively engage donors and increase donations at the end of the year:

If you don’t have the resources and tools to dedicate # GivingTuesday properly, you are setting yourself up for failure. Executing a great #GivingTuesday takes time, staff, and resources.

On the fence about #GivingTuesday? Wondering if #GivingTuesday is worth your investment?

In order to help you make a decision, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of creating a specific campaign around #GivingTuesday:

The pros of #GivingTuesday

  • For the brave at heart #GivingTuesday represents a chance to do multichannel fundraising right. Integrating social, email, and other channels in a coordinated campaign can be an incredibly effective way to engage your audience and inspire them to take action.
  • Done well, #GivingTuesday provides a natural opportunity to expand your constituent base with new donors and amplifiers who have a passion for nonprofits that are changing the world. Donors see #GivingTuesday as a natural opportunity to give back, and hence, people who donate are highly interested in supporting nonprofit organizations.
  • Not participating in #GivingTuesday could cause you to miss out on creative ways to engage new constituents. Because #GivingTuesday has become a nationally recognized holiday, many corporations and other organizations are looking to get involved with giving back. For example, # GivingTuesday may represent new opportunities for you to leverage matching gifts from corporate employees or partner with a sponsor in a campaign.

The cons of #GivingTuesday

  • Critics of #GivingTuesday argue that it encourages episodic one-time gifts. Unfortunately, they’re right. It’s up to you to convert these first-time donors into making a second gift.
  • Everyone else is doing it. Therefore, you’ve got serious competition for your donors’ attention on #GivingTuesday, whereas on many other days, you’d have a lot less!
  • Social media is still lagging behind when it comes to actually converting awareness into action. While there’s no denying the opportunity social media provides to increase awareness and engagement with donors, many platforms still lack the ability to effectively convert donors on the spot.
  • If your appeals are unsegmented, you could risk compromising a larger gift from a major donor with a smaller one. Creating a “small” #GivingTuesday ask to make it easy for everyone to get involved could prevent your organization from securing bigger gifts from people with greater capacity and interest.

Three questions to ask yourself to help you decide if #GivingTuesday is right for your nonprofit:

After evaluating the pros and cons, how do you know if a #GivingTuesday campaign is the right thing to do? Here are three questions that will help you determine the answer:

  1. Do we have the time, resources and staff to invest in #GivingTuesday properly?
  2. What would our donors get out of this experience?  Are we treating them like an ATM, or can we use this opportunity strategically to bring them closer?
  3. Do we have a plan and dedicated resources to properly acknowledge, thank, and welcome new donors?

If you have a clear, positive answer to all three questions, your nonprofit can engage donors and increase donations through #GivingTuesday. If not, it might be better for you to invest your time, energy, and resources in creating an effective year-end fundraising campaign. Whether you decided to launch a #GivingTuesday campaign or abstain, you’ve just avoided a #GivingTuesday hangover! Congratulations.

Take your fundraising to the next level.