December 2 is coming! Is your church ready?

First, there was Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday. Now, we have Giving Tuesday. Here’s how to maximize that day for ministry.

By Mark Brooks

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when Americans spend a ton of money Christmas shopping. Then, Cyber Monday came along — the Monday after Thanksgiving — as a huge online shopping day. Now, we have Giving Tuesday; it’s a day dedicated to motivating people to give back.

#GivingTuesday is a movement started in 2012 to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season. More and more charities are joining this national event, so you ‘l be hearing a lot about this movement — and so will your donors. They will be giving money to various charities that will be using this new push to give. That’s money you could be putting to use for Kingdom work!

How can churches use #GivingTuesday to see gifts head their way? As with all year-end planning, the time to get started is now. Tues., Dec. 2 will be here before you know it. You can’t wait until the night before to have a plan ready. Let’s get ready now!

Don’t make it about you. This is my first recommendation. With all my clients, I’m suggesting a #GivingTuesday strategy — but I’m recommending the focus be about missions, not giving to your budget. Since your donors will be getting multiple messages from charities about changing the world, your message must match and trump theirs. Charities do great work, but Kingdom work lasts for eternity!

#GivingTuesday is a great way to engage younger donors if you have an outward focus. As one of my clients said, “My Millennials will give great to offerings to drill wells in Africa but never give a penny to help pay our bills in the place where they love to worshipp.” So, let’s put our focus where we can get maximized return.

#GivingTuesday is all about digital, so make your appeal digital! The emphasis of #GivingTuesday is to drive online gifts in one day. So, you’d better have a robust online platform. Work now to assure that your online platform can be adjusted for this special appeal. Use email blasts and social media on that Tuesday to highlight and garner gifts.

Finally, use #GivingTuesday as a means to an end. My goal towards building consistent givers is to get them to give once, then again and again. Getting the first gift isn’t easy, nor is getting the successive gifts. My goal for clients in #GivingTuesday is to increase their donor base. The key is to show potential donors that their gift matters and will impact those in need.

A plan of action

  • Decide now what the “ask” will be. It should be based upon a compelling need that motivates the donor to want to give.
  • Build a message around the ask via social media in the week leading up to #GivingTuesday. Use pictures to tell the story of the crisis and need you’re trying to help or solve with your special #GivingTuesday push.
  • Make the ask on #GivingTuesday through social media and a direct email blast. I recommend using multiple platforms to drive donors to your giving page. A well-crafted email to donors can and will produce significant online giving.
  • Track who gives — especially first-time donors. This tells you what type of ask resonates with people so that you can include them in another similar ask.
  • Send thank-you notes to every donor who gave, telling them the results of their gift. My goal is to show donors the blessings attached to generosity so that they will want to give again and again.

Millions of dollars are going to be raised this Dec. 2. So, let’s take advantage of #GivingTuesday with our own compelling, Kingdom-building ask!

Mark Brooks is founder and president of The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions.


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