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Giving Tuesday Ideas for Churches

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a day created in response to the growing consumerism during the holiday season surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, which happens to be the day after Cyber Monday. Here’s a quick summary from the official Giving Tuesday website:

“Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalogue of resources.”

How well is this initiative working?

In 2013, $28 million was given to non-profits on Giving Tuesday. In 2014, that number grew 64 percent to $46 million.

While the numbers for #GivingTuesday are impressive, what’s even more remarkable is the percentage of charitable giving done overall during the last three months of the year. 50 percent of all donations are made between October and December, with 10 percent happening on the last three days of the year alone.

Here’s five practical tips to inspire generosity in your church for Giving Tuesday:

1. Use push notifications instead of email

A good church app, like the Pushpay app, will give you the ability to send a message, called a push notification, to the front screen of your church member’s phones.  And, push notifications have a 60-80 percent open rate compared to an average open rate of 20 percent for emails. This practice can be especially effective for event-based campaigns such as Giving Tuesday.

2. Give your blessing on donations to non-church related causes

Is it okay to give to causes besides the church? Does this count towards my tithe or is it above and beyond? Does the church encourage and support non-profit giving? Answer these questions directly to your church members. They are already asking these questions and looking to you to provide direction. More clarity equals more willingness to participate.

3. Make things mobile

The average American adult spends 35 hours on their smartphones. This time consists of social media, checking email, reading the news, playing games and giving to your church. The top 5-10 percent of growing churches in America use mobile giving to unlock generosity. On a day like Giving Tuesday, providing the ability to give right from their mobile device in 10 seconds or less will be crucial.

4. Utilize social media

Hop onto your church’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages to broadcast instructions and encouragement. If you don’t have these accounts, now may be a great time to get set-up. If you have youth ministry-specific accounts, make sure the message fits the audience. Make the posts highly visual, full of personal stories, and use language such as, “please share this post.” In addition, people in your church may be looking to you to vet certain giving opportunities. Curate a list of charities that you support and put these on your social media accounts.

5. Have your pastor make the first gift

Nothing encourages generosity like seeing generosity in action. One practice we always recommend is to have the pastor make the first gift. Perhaps it is from the stage, or on social media, or through weekly email newsletters. Don’t shy away from talking about your own journey of generosity.

Additional Resources

To further help churches and non-profits prepare for this season’s charitable onslaught, we pulled together our top three blog articles relating to Millennial giving. Consider it a “Millennial giver snack pack.” We hope this inspires a few creative ideas for churches during this year’s #GivingTuesday.