#GivingTuesday on Mightycause: A time to reflect amidst the season of giving

When I moved to Washington, D.C., two years ago, I immediately began working in the development department at one of the region’s largest hunger relief nonprofits.

As part of a large-scale fundraising team, the climate this time of year can be busy and chaotic, especially on #GivingTuesday, when there can be a lot of pressure on fundraisers to perform. Long hours, jam-packed schedules and reactive approaches to end-of-year giving made me sometimes miss the spirit of the “season of giving” completely.

This year, I was excited to join Mightycause’s Community Team and “enjoy” the generosity of #GivingTuesday in a different way. Don’t get me wrong — behind the scenes there were lengthy meetings, six webinars on topics from social media to engaging ambassadors, staff members on-call for a 27-hour schedule and a flurry of email proofs, website tests and one-on-one training sessions that nonprofits could sign up for leading up to the event.

But, on the day of the event I got to witness 28,883 donors give to over 1,000 nonprofits on our platform — the most ever in the four years Mightycause’s hosted the event on our platform. I even had time to pause and give to two organizations whose causes are close to my heart.

One of the organizations, North Star Reach, I was introduced to just weeks before #GivingTuesday during a one-on-one Mightycause coaching session with their Communications Director. It turns out this organization is a “sister” organization of The Painted Turtle, another nonprofit that provides a camp experience for children with chronic illnesses.

I volunteered at The Painted Turtle for a summer in college and understood just how important North Star Reach’s mission was. As someone with a chronic illness (a bleeding disorder called von Willebrand disease) I know how important this experience can be for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend camp.

We quickly bonded over their compelling mission and were able to strategize an outreach plan together for their first-ever #GivingTuesday, including plans for email appeals, social media and testimonials from camp goers. North Star Reach ended up raising more than $1,800 on #GivingTuesday.

In an otherwise not-stellar year (Have you seen the hashtags bidding farewell to 2016 on Twitter?), it was so great to see the generous spirits of donors was not dampened.

In fact, more than 24,000 donors gave $3,754,946 to nonprofits and causes on Mightycause on Nov. 29, with an average gift size of $91. Nonprofits received more than $300,000 in matching grants on the platform.

I’d love to claim some responsibility in that success, but the truth is nonprofits on the platform started their #GivingTuesday planning months in advance — building a team of ambassadors, making social media calendars and curating testimonials for their email appeals.

Take, for instance, the Capital Area Food Bank, the top raising nonprofit on Mightycause for a second year in a row. The nonprofit secured a $10,000 matching grant from a loyal corporate partner early in the fall, built an email campaign to encourage donors to give and posted on social media throughout the day. Their advanced planning resulted in $72,099 for their organization in just 24 hours. They also secured the top prize of an extra $2,500 from the Mightycause Foundation. Overall, Mightycause Foundation gave away $15,000 in prize money.

To check out a full list of winners, click here.

Fundraisers also stepped up on Mightycause in 2016, with 516 peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns raising over $100,000 for nonprofits on #GivingTuesday.

Overall, 2016 was the most successful year for #GivingTuesday with $168M raised on November 29. I’m excited about the role Mightycause was able to have in this success and the worthy causes that were enabled by the generosity of donors on our platform this year.

Now that End-of-Year giving is in full-swing, I’m excited to take the time to reflect and read through all the comments and feedback in preparation for #GivingTuesday 2017!

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