How to prepare your nonprofit finance team for #GivingTuesday
November is a wonderful time of year and the kick-off to the strongest season of individual giving to nonprofits. Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest days for retailers and shoppers. The following day is #GivingTuesday, a day for supporting nonprofits to help further their missions into the new year.
This year, GivingTuesday falls on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. It is one of the most important fundraising opportunities of the year for most nonprofits, so it is essential for nonprofits to plan, prepare, and campaign.
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In this article, we will discuss the history of #GivingTuesday, its potential impact on nonprofit financial well-being and how nonprofits can participate. We will also examine how to ensure your nonprofit finance team can lend support to GivingTuesday fundraising campaigns and ensure readiness to make the most of the donations received.
The history of #GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is an independent nonprofit and global movement. According to their website, GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: “a day that encourages people to do good.” The initial idea was the brainchild of the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. This GivingTuesday will be the 10th annual, and over the years, it has resulted in hundreds of millions of donations as well as increased volunteerism and advocacy on behalf of nonprofits around the world.
What is the impact of GivingTuesday?
The impact of GivingTuesday can be substantial in terms of money raised, community awareness, reaching new donors, and encouraging more participation from volunteers, advocates, and even clients. The GivingTuesday Data Commons tracks the success reported by participating nonprofits each year. That success has been growing. In 2021, the organization estimated #GivingTuesday raised a record-breaking $2.7 billion in the U.S. alone. This was a nine percent increase over 2020 fundraising. About 35 million adults participated in the event, a six percent increase over participation in 2020.
How does GivingTuesday work?
Although the GivingTuesday organization provides inspiration for GivingTuesday and promotes awareness of the event, the fundraising activities and funds raised are directed by each participating nonprofit. That means your organization will need to plan a fundraising campaign and execute the marketing to bring in donations.
Some nonprofits focus on fundraising while others use GivingTuesday to recruit new volunteers. Others fundraise on behalf of smaller, less well-known, or underfunded organizations.
Many nonprofits collaborate to raise awareness of their missions on GivingTuesday. For example, you might organize a festival or open house in conjunction with other local nonprofits so the community can learn more about your missions. In fact, over 240 communities in the United States—and many more around the world—already established community events. Check here for U.S. events and here for global events to see if your organization can plug into a community GivingTuesday.
How to prepare your nonprofit finance team for #GivingTuesday
There are five primary ways your nonprofit finance team can help support your organization leading up to #GivingTuesday and beyond. Having an innovative cloud financial management solution empowers the finance team in each of the following five objectives.
- Support storytelling in fundraising campaigns. Nonprofit storytelling is an essential part of fundraising. It takes a combination of personal stories from programs in the field combined with good transparency about financial stewardship and outcomes to create a compelling narrative for donors.
- Monitor and report on donations. The finance team has a vital role in determining the amount of success produced by GivingTuesday campaigns and keeping the whole organization informed.
- Make the most of funds received. Stewardship is the most critical role of the finance team. That is the only way to make sure every dollar raised goes further toward mission impact.
- Support collaboration with other nonprofits. One of the goals of GivingTuesday is to establish a culture of radical generosity across communities. The finance team can help executives uncover insights to find commonalities with other organizations.
- Seek out advocates. Another really powerful way to prepare for GivingTuesday is to seek out advocates that are willing to “match” donations that come in for #GivingTuesday (usually up to a certain dollar limit). Matching gifts could come from corporations, corporate employees, board members, major donors, partners, etc.
Next, we will take a deeper dive into each of these areas and see how a cloud accounting and financial management solution, like Sage Intacct, can help nonprofit finance teams on #GivingTuesday and beyond.
Support storytelling in fundraising campaigns
When people consider giving to a new charitable cause, they want to know the impact their donation can make. Donors demand more accountability than ever before, and they also want to understand the story behind your mission and feel they are part of it.
The nonprofit finance team has a role to play in helping the organization tell its story. Sage Intacct empowers the finance team to track and report on a variety of outcome metrics that will add credibility to your mission story.
Outcome metrics are powerful, essential tools for demonstrating accountability and transparency. They can measure financial or non-financial criteria that reflect the efficacy of your organization, programs, or initiatives. Financial outcome metrics measure stewardship and non-financial outcomes demonstrate impact in the community.
Monitor and report on donations
To make the most of GivingTuesday, organizations need to stay informed about donations coming in. Integration between your nonprofit accounting system, your CRM, your online donation apps, and your bank will allow you to see total donations in real-time. Additionally, Sage Intacct financial reporting and dashboards help the nonprofit finance team make this information available across the organization.
Make the most of funds received
After #GivingTuesday, your organization needs to put the funds you received to the best and smartest use to achieve your mission. Nonprofit finance automation with Sage Intacct can help in several ways.
First, Sage Intacct Interactive Visual Explorer can help finance leaders visualize financial and other outcomes data in ways that uncover new insights and help executives spot important trends more quickly. This will help identify the most effective programs and initiatives, so you can develop a laser focus on the activities most likely to further your mission.
Sage Intacct Interactive Visual Explorer helps nonprofit finance leaders transform
their organizations by informing strategic, data-driven decisions.
Second, Sage Intacct delivers real-time visibility into all your organization’s financial activities happening anywhere in the world. Sage Intacct Dimensions provide a clean, efficient chart of accounts that allows you to tag transactions for more granular, meaningful reporting. Continuous multi-entity, multi-currency consolidations keep the executive team on top of the finances across the organization.
Finally, Sage Intacct Spend Management makes it easy to streamline purchasing and payables processes to help your organization control spending and stay within budget.
Support collaboration with other nonprofits
When your leadership team achieves deeper insights, the potential for multi-organization collaboration increases. Digital finance transformation automates the tedious manual aspects of finance, such as recording transactions, approving purchases, and preparing month-end reports. This leaves much more time for analysis and strategic focus.
Seek out advocates
Using a modern, best-in-class cloud accounting solution that delivers real-time financial visibility and transparency leads to good stewardship. This makes your organization a prime candidate for matching gift programs from corporations, corporate employees, board members, major donors, and partners. Advocates like these can help expand your GivingTuesday fundraising efforts even further.
Make this #GivingTuesday one for the record book
#GivingTuesday is a growing movement of radical generosity with the capacity to lift all nonprofit boats and encourage nonprofit collaboration across communities and causes. To make the most of the opportunities presented by GivingTuesday, nonprofit finance teams need to be able to support fundraising efforts, monitor financial results, demonstrate impeccable financial stewardship, and deliver insights that drive increased collaboration with other nonprofits.
A true cloud accounting and financial management solution can aid the finance team in all these endeavors. For more about how nonprofit finance teams benefit from automation, download The Nonprofit Finance Team Survival Guide.
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