This is a guest blog by Holly Mitchell, the #GivingTuesday Campaign Manager at CAF.  I’ll be chairing their webinar on how charities can use Facebook for #GivingTuesday on 19 November.

#GivingTuesday in the UK, now less than a month away, has been a long time in the making. Here at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)  we have been planning since the beginning of the year. It has been fascinating to see it grow from four of us sat planning round a table to the mass movement it is now with nearly 500 partners on board.

Over the course of this year we have witnessed lots of different approaches and ways of engaging with #GivingTuesday and I would like to share our top five tips with you. Hopefully they will help enhance your own #GivingTuesday campaigns or inspire you to get involved!

Set a specific goal

The best examples from partners I have seen are those with a very specific goal in mind and a concrete plan on how to achieve it. The Lothian Autistic Society want to use #GivingTuesday to raise awareness of autism and the services they run in Edinburgh. They have planned a treasure hunt with clues being displayed in 10 local businesses windows. Alongside the clue they will display information about their work and encourage people to support them via social media.

They will also have a text to donate number on display but fundraising is secondary to their primary aim of raising awareness.

Be creative

Lots of charities have mentioned to me that they are worried their message will get lost in a day when the whole world will be focusing on charity. My advice is to make your campaign stand out. This is the first year we are running it in the UK so I understand people wanting to ‘test’ the waters but those who are planning something a little different will definitely benefit.

Azuko, an architectural charity, have set up their ‘charity for ebay’ challenge where they are asking people to sell unwanted items on ebay and gift the proceeds to Azuko. Plans which stand out have the added bonus of being used as case studies by me in meetings, presentations and events!

Remember it’s not just about fundraising

One of the things we love most about #GivingTuesday is that is that it isn’t just about fundraising. Doing something charitable covers a wide range of activity and this means that you can really tailor it to your own needs. Perhaps you want to grow your online presence or increase engagement with your volunteers.

The Scouts have a shortage of scout leaders so will be using the day for a volunteer drive to get more people to sign up.

Use as much visual content as possible

I can guarantee that any pictures, videos or infographics I tweet or use on Facebook will get the most retweets or likes. It seems obvious but adding visual content to your own material really will help reach a wider audience through greater engagement.

This doesn’t have to be something that you pay a design agency to create. We have provided you with our branding and I encourage you to play around with it and see how it can work for you. Rosie’s Rainbow Fund have been brilliant at this and have created some really cool graphics!

rosie's rainbow

Don’t forget to have fun!

#GivingTuesday comes at a great time of the year. People are in a festive, generous mood as the nation gears up for Christmas. It really is a great opportunity to engage with new people, thank your existing supporters and celebrate all you have achieved this year.

Make sure that you love your campaign as your enthusiasm will shine through and attract more people to your cause. It has certainly worked with me and #GivingTuesday!

Giving tuesday infographic (2)