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Joanne Fritz

How #GivingTuesday Brought In $1-Million for One Charity

By December 3, 2012

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Logo for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday may have been a high concept, multi-channel, digital campaign, but it was boots on the ground, phone to the ear, and old fashioned elbow grease that brought in $1 million on that day to one charity.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy tells the inspiring story of how The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore scored $1-million on #GivingTuesday. What did it do?

First, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving had already been used as a fundraising day last year, when the organization raised some $81,000. It also had experience with phone campaigns from prior years. This year, they used the model that was already in place and that their supporters were comfortable with and went to work.

Second, they cultivated the ground by sending their supporters messages about #GivingTuesday and even advertised in local papers.

Third, they gathered more than 100 volunteers who, along with staff, spent #GivingTuesday on the phone. The organization's president made calls to major donors. Most donatiions came from existing supporters.

The largest donation was $100,000 from a former donor that was magnified by a matching donor.

So why did it work?

I'd suggest that, in this case, the national day of giving provided a focus to an enthusiastic group of workers who tapped a loyal donor base, using a mix of new and old techniques.

#GivingTuesday may have been a new idea, but the successful organizations on that day had built their donor base and fundraising techniques for years. There's no substitute for consistency, hard work, and a strong base.

For more #GivingTuesday success stories see More Charities Report Fundraising Boost From #GivingTuesday at the Chronicle; and Using Social Media for Social Good from the Harvard Business Review Blog.

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