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#GivingTuesday Kicks Off Vermont's Holiday Giving Season

Giving Tuesday on calendar#GivingTuesday is bringing the power of holiday marketing and social media outreach to charitable giving. After you finish Thanksgiving leftovers and recover from the Black Friday-Shop Small Saturday-Cyber Monday hype, you can engage in a nationwide effort to bring more attention to charitable giving and show your support for the causes you care about. December 3, 2013 marks the second annual #GivingTuesday. This program began at New York’s 92nd Street Y which began the annual fundraising campaign model 139 years ago. Now, more than 2,500 partners in 50 states fuel #GivingTuesday with more coming aboard every day. (Psst, non-profits can still register as a partner here). This year Canada joins the #GivingTuesday movement. In the first year, #GivingTuesday gained some traction in Vermont with a handful of non-profits promoting it. This year, the Vermont College of Fine Arts is the first out of the gate. Mayor John Hollar proclaimed December 3rd as Montpelier’s Day of Giving.   Now what do you say Vermonters, are you ready to join the charge?

Get Involved in #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday brings greater awareness to holiday donations that for the most part are relegated to donation letters, phone-a-thons, and tug-at-the-heartstrings ads from large international charities. Even better, anyone can get involved to showcase even the smallest charity and act of kindness. For those who wish to tell their philanthropic story (past, current, or future), you can register as a social media ambassador.  Guidelines to submit a story are:
 #GivingTuesday Submission Guidelines Write a story of impact to share with the #GivingTuesday Community! SHARE your story with us by submitting your past, current or future #GivingTuesday moments with a strong visual image. Want to be published on the #GivingTuesday homepage? Just follow these 2 simple steps to better your chances: 1. SUBMIT IMAGES (Suggested 1-2 image: 1 vertical and 1 horizontal); size at least 480 x 360, or a larger image with a 4:3 aspect ratio. 2. WRITE A POST (450 words or less) including short description about your organization and your #GivingTuesday story of impact! Try to include answers to these helpful questions to get you started with your post:
  • Why did you/your organization decide to become a #GivingTuesday partner/social media ambassador?
  • What are your plans for #GivingTuesday?
  • What are you doing to get your friends/family/community/customers/fans/members involved in this initiative?
  • Share a story or example of how you are making an impact.
Thanks for choosing to submit YOUR story and further ignite the giving spirit!

Unselfie logo JPEGTake an UNselfie

This is my favorite part of #GivingTuesday: the unselfie. This is your chance to showcase the action behind volunteerism and giving. Take a photo of yourself or others doing something great for someone else. You can also snap yourself with a sign that tells the world why you give. Then post to any of your social media sites with the hashtags: #unselfie, #givingtuesday  

Support for Non-Profit Staff and Volunteers

Giving days are not a new concept to the 3rd sector (aka non-profit organizations). Charities large and small have organized them for annual campaigns, special events, and challenge gifts. #GivingTuesday is bringing more attention to the concept and fortunately more resources. Yet all of the publicity doesn’t replace the work needed from a charity’s board, staff, and volunteers. Each organization must have a compelling mission and clear message to inspire. Thousands of tweets won’t replace this essential aspect of philanthropy. The Knight Foundation published the Giving Day Playbook to help foundations organize a “giving day” but the book can help any non-profit organize a day of giving anytime. This simple playbook gives tips from conceiving a giving day to implementing one to evaluating sucess. My favorite non-profit blogger, John Haydon, gives a quick list of advice on how to prepare. Again planning and message are the centerpiece of his advice.

Take Action

Watch for VDW’s unselfies on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. Please tell us what you think and share your own.