A Time to Ask and a Time to Thank

Turkey seasonTo everything there is a season.

This is the season of Thanksgiving. Instead of asking your supporters for gifts this coming #GivingTuesday, how about simply sending them a great big grateful virtual hug?


If you haven’t yet planned anything for December 3rd, you still have time. For an email. Or a simple video created on a smart phone. Something warm and personal. Some form of saying “We are grateful for you, our blessing. Thank you for all that you make possible.

A recent post by my colleague Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority, Why Your Non-Profit Should Avoid #GivingTuesday Like the Plague, created a lot of controversy around whether #GivingTuesday makes sense for nonprofits, especially those whose resources are stretched thin. He posited that it encourages ‘spot giving’ that may cannibalize other fundraising. I don’t disagree.

Not every nonprofit has the bandwidth to run special volunteer projects or campaigns at this busy time of year. I spoke with one fundraiser last week who told me “we’re doing it, but it’s a big head-ache and taking away from the stuff we really should be doing.”

And not every nonprofit can figure out an elegant way to piggyback on their existing campaign theme, tagline, logo, etc. with the #GivingTuesday brand. It can be confusing and work at cross purposes. I actually think if #GivingTuesday took place in April or July or just about any month other than November/December it would be a lot more useful to many folks.

What I DO like using #GivingTuesday for is gratitude. And for this purpose it comes at a perfect time of year.

The easiest thing for resource-strapped nonprofits to do is to simply thank folks for all their giving throughout the year. Using #GivingTuesday for stewardship, rather than solicitation, gets around many of Joe’s objections that it results in ‘spot giving,’ perhaps cannibalizing other fundraising efforts.

This is a season for thanking.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Photo: Flickr, Jennifer13


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About Claire

I’m Claire and I want to help you raise more money, reach more people and build long-lasting relationships with your supporters. Take a look in the archives.


  1. Claire, I love this post! Such a great way for organizations to frame their thinking about #GivingTuesday. Here in Colorado, we have Colorado Gives Day on December 10th so we have double the challenge. Our local clients are wondering how to navigate it all. THANKS for your wisdom!
    Leslie allen recently posted…GivingThanks: 4 Things to Say on a Thank You CallMy Profile


  1. […] schedule or risk confusing your donors by multiple, overlapping asks for donations. Personally, I like using the day for gratitude.  Why does the giving have to be on the donor’s end? Why not consider it a day to give back to […]

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