Thursday, November 16, 2017
What does #GivingTuesday have to do with the United Methodist Church?
#GivingTuesday is a day of giving worldwide that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This day encourages everyone to remember what we are really celebrating during the Christmas season – the love and light of Christ, to help your neighbor. #GivingTuesday is a social media phenomenon; therefore it is one of the best ways to increase awareness your ministries.
While there are a lot of options to create a successful social media campaign, below are some proven recommendations that have helped non-profits maximize their contributions.
- Plan, Plan, Plan. Think about all aspects of your #GivingTuesday, but start first with the most important: What ministry are you raising funds for – your local church, a homeless ministry run out of your building, or a Scout Troop associated with your congregation. Once you know that, plan for the three main aspects of a successful campaign: Social Media, fundraising, and finding champions.
- Get Social! Because #GivingTuesday is a social media phenomenon, think through which social platforms you want to use. Focus on where your audience is: Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, but if you have a younger, college-age ministry you should consider Instagram. Once you know where you are going to post your messages, decide on a unique hashtag specific to your campaign. #McKendreeFeeds is an example of a local church raising funds for their homeless pantry. But don’t forget to also, and always, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
- Easy Money …. meaning, make it easy for your donors to give. Utilize electronic giving. If your church uses the United Methodist giving app, Joyfully2UMC, you can create a specific designation for your campaign. If your church uses Vanco, encourage your donors to use the text-to-give feature. And, of course, advertise, advertise, advertise.
- We are the Champions. If possible, try to have as many people on board beforehand, ready to give, but also ready to put your campaign information on their social media. The more it gets shared across networks, the more exposure your ministry receives. Encourage them to take an “Unselfie” a picture of themselves with the name of the organization to which they gave.
Sometimes, though, we recognize that individual churches and ministries don’t have the resources or staff to create an independent campaign. You can still participate in #GivingTuesday through the United Methodist Church. The General Board of Global Ministries has created a UMC #GivingTuesday initiative, to give to The Advance. Click Here to learn more about UMC #GivingTuesday.