Getting Bookish on #GivingTuesday
By: Susan McCullough, Head of Individual Giving at First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides millions of brand new books and educational resources to kids in need across the US and Canada.
I wasn’t a big believer in #GivingTuesday until a few years ago. That’s when I think the general public really began to recognize and understand it. Now it has resonance and meaning for the community that supports nonprofits, so I’m all in.
Last year, #GivingTuesday was a focal point of First Book’s year-end campaign. We did 5 things:
1. We secured an in-kind match. For every $3 a donor contributed to give a child in need a book, Penguin Random House generously donated two more books, for a total of three books. The limited time match heightened the sense of urgency and delivered more bang for the donor’s buck.
2. We recruited beloved children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle to help. He generously lent his name and artwork from the Very Hungry Caterpillar to use in various ways throughout our campaign. This made it extra special for our audience.
3. We sent a series of emails. One the day before, two the day of (one of which was authored by Eric Carle), and one the next day, letting folks who hadn’t yet given know that it wasn’t too late to make a difference.
4. We promoted #GivingTuesday on our website with a pop-up box that linked to our donation page.
5. We hosted a 45-minute Facebook Live program. Our COO anchored the program, joined by various staffers and special guest, author and illustrator Juana Medina. We talked about what First Book does, the people we serve, and some special initiatives like our Stories for All project. We took questions, shared the link to our donation page, and read thank you notes from children and educators.
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