#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.

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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.

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