Giving Tuesday - Engage Your Board

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that happens each year after the American Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a time when Canadians, charities and businesses come together to celebrate giving and participate in activities that support charities and non-profits. There is no “right” way to participate as long as it supports generosity and giving. For your charity, Giving Tuesday can be your high profile “activation” point that launches the season of giving. It’s a spirit, not a physical entity. As a global movement it offers a plethora of campaign ideas and creative approaches that are ready to be “borrowed with pride”

Obtaining stakeholder engagement is extremely important in any aspect of fund development. Whether you are the CEO/Executive Director or Director of Fund Development, it is especially critical to have your Board supportive of, and engaged in, your campaign activities. The Directors should understand there is no cost, no risk and no formal long term organizational commitment. They won’t be used to being presented with such a no strings attached opportunity!

Directors are continually being asked to be a part of the “ask”. They may be weary from contributing constantly out of their own pockets and impatient with a systematic longer term approach to donor development, especially when there is a current cash flow operating concern for your charity. In many cases they may not be that savvy with social media. They may under-estimate the momentum that can be built through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the other various cyber “planets” that revolve around your home website.

Each and every member of your Board has a personal network. What they may not know is how to leverage that network around a campaign and take advantage of the natural buzz that surrounds Giving Tuesday, in the same way that a bricks and mortar or online retailer may capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Activating your Board and their networks to fuel your Giving Tuesday initiative, whatever that may be is simply maximizing the reach and frequency of your messaging. Once you present your campaign concept you could present a simple matrix (see examples) and work with your Board chair to “coach” each and every director through the related activities.

The right picture is really worth a thousand words and thousands of dollars. Provide each Director with three versions of storytelling pictures and scripts, give them a timeline for activation and coach them (where necessary) with how to post these on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If timing is such that you cannot make a 15 minute presentation at the October Board meeting, connect with each director individually no later than November 1st and provide them with a schedule which will post and rotate the messaging beginning November 6th ( I week per message leading up to Giving Tuesday which is November 28, 2017). Then create a fourth message which can be posted thanking all those who have given and reminding everyone else that unlike such “buying” events as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday has no end or “best before date”. It is the launch to the giving season that will spur awareness to your individual charity’s goals and objectives.

It is important to be clear and succinct with what you propose for Giving Tuesday and then effectively communicate that to the Board. Keep your presentation short and ask at the 30,000 foot level! If your narrative won’t fit into the boxes below it’s likely too long! Good luck!

Our Giving Tuesday Concept Is:


The Support we would like from our Board Is:


Mark Olson
Managing Partner & Principal

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