During the last week of November, you’ll notice that there is a day for pretty much everything — Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and of course, Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement that starts the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — this year, it falls on November 27th. On this day, people throughout the world make the commitment to support a charity through the gift of time, donations, or goods. It’s the perfect time to involve your parish and the many ways we can all become Everyday Stewards by giving back. Read on for ways to piggyback on the momentum of Giving Tuesday.
Come Up with a Goal
To make things exciting, come up with a specific parish goal. Don’t be as grand as, say, a multi-million dollar campaign, but it should be a little bigger than financing Saturday’s spaghetti dinner. Make it something attainable, like collecting enough money for a snowplow for the maintenance truck this winter or financing the youth group’s upcoming mission trip to Florida for hurricane relief. Depending on the size of your parish, a few thousand dollars could easily be collected among a couple hundred invested parishioners.
Let Them Feel it in the Moment
The whole idea behind Giving Tuesday is to capitalize on people’s generosity in the moment. Typically, people give to specific cause(s) at this time because they are in tune with the urgency to give. It’s not something they really plan for weeks or months at a time. For many organizations, their promotions don’t even start until that day. You want people to give what they can, in their moment of generosity.
Get People Invested
You know why some places use those thermometer icons to communicate how far they are to their goal? Because it works! Watching the temperature rise and get closer to the goal really helps build excitement among those who invested even just a few dollars.
Be active with your electronic communication this day. Typically, you can break it into three parts: a challenge to give first thing in the morning, a reminder in the afternoon with a “total so far” update, and then a final ask in the evening. You can also follow that same schedule for social media postings.
Not Just a Moment, But a Movement
Think of Giving Tuesday as a way to jump-start the “spirit of stewardship” at your parish. Most parishioners know the importance of tithing but not all of them are aware of the many ways in which to do so. Yes, it’s important to give financially to your parish for building maintenance, community missions, and more. But what about giving of your time or your talents? Can you devote an hour per week to cut the grass? Shovel the walks before Mass? Teach a youth religion class or file paperwork for the secretary? There are so many small things you can do that make a big difference.
Has your parish ever had a Giving Tuesday challenge? If so, what things did you find helpful to do?