#GivingTuesday founder Henry Timms on running a successful one-day funding campaign - Generocity Philly


Nov. 1, 2016 7:25 am

#GivingTuesday founder Henry Timms on running a successful one-day funding campaign

On the fence about whether to participate in the international day of giving? Timms visited Philly to offer some tips.

Henry Timms with Comcast's Dalila Wilson-Scott.

(Photo by Peter Tobia)

For the past four years, the Tuesday immediately following Thanksgiving (and Black Friday, and Cyber Monday) has been known as #GivingTuesday.

That would be the day on which charitable organizations all over the world harness the power of social media to jumpstart their year-end giving campaigns.

Giving is “quintessentially human,” said Henry Timms, the founder of #GivingTuesday and executive director of 92nd Street Y in New York City, during a conversation at the National Museum of American Jewish History with Comcast’s SVP of community investment and corporate social responsibility, Dalila Wilson-Scott.

Check out the event livestream

Hosting a #GivingTuesday campaign is one way for nonprofits to encourage the best in people — while, yes, increasing their fundraising power by taking advantage of the day’s momentum.

The fifth #GivingTuesday will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in 75 countries. Thinking of launching a campaign to benefit your own nonprofit? Consider these tips from Timms:

Get weird with it

Use the day an opportunity to experiment with that out-of-the-box campaign idea you’ve been tossing around in your brain — like, for instance, last year’s #CouchesDon’tCount campaign by Valley Youth House. Ask, why should people care about your particular nonprofit? More eyes on giving = more reason to stand out from the crowd.

“Just try something new,” he said. “Those people who stick to the old ways [of fundraising] are going to be in big trouble pretty soon.”

Pay attention to user experience

Offer donors that instant gratification they’re so used to in the age of social media — it gives them a sense of ownership over their gift, Timms said. Show them exactly how much impact their contribution is making toward your organization’s overall goal with a simple counting graphic, or post public messages of thanks for each individual donation.

From our Partners

Get out of your interns’ way

The young people on staff are the ones with the ingenuity and social media know-how to execute something really cool. Again, #GivingTuesday is about innovating — so let them try their outlandish idea.

Donors, consider your impact beyond this one day

#GivingTuesday is focused on a single day, but it should inform your relationship with giving for the whole year.

“Giving is a marriage, and #GivingTuesday is the anniversary,” Timms quipped. “It’s not like you only care about it one day a year, but it probably is the day you go out for a nice supper.”

Want more tips on executing a successful campaign? Check out the official #GivingTuesday website for a toolkit of best practices, or read our #GivingTuesday interview with social impact consultant Rudy Flesher.

Want more richly researched and deeply sourced community reporting?  Become a Generocity member for $10 per month -30-

From our Partners

Today’s state budget blues will bring tomorrow’s nonprofit woes

How (and when) do I dissolve my nonprofit, or merge it with another?

The other side of the heroic nonprofit pivot to provide COVID-19 services? The toll on the mental health of staffers


Generocity Philly

Inscripción Doble en Congreso: Lo que trae el futuro

Philadelphia PA

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Urban Forestry Community Organizer

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

University City Science Center

Grants Manager

Apply Now

Funding the COVID-19 recovery in Philly: Tracing the lessons to date

Are simplified grant applications here to stay?

Let what you’ve experienced in the months after the uprising enrich your ‘RealLIST Connectors’ nominations


Generocity Philly

Dual Enrollment at Congreso: Where does it go from here?

Southeastern Pennsylvania

Planned Parenthood Southeastern PA

Gender Affirming Care Services Coordinator

Apply Now
Harrisburg, PA

Public Health Management Corporation

Regional Manager, Healthcare and Emergency Management (NW and Central Pa.)

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Senior Analyst – Data Science

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity