To expand the reach of, and resources behind, our annual day of giving, we at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits are uniting Georgia Gives Day—now known as GAgives—with the global #GivingTuesday movement. This November 28, we’re honored to join more than 80 community campaigns across the United States, and participants in 98 countries, for the sixth annual #GivingTuesday as GAgives on #GivingTuesday.
We’re excited about becoming Georgia’s official #GivingTuesday community campaign for many reasons: the potential for growth in reach and impact; greater access to resources, training, expert support, and peer knowledge-sharing; and the opportunity to rally Georgia for the end-of-year giving season with a truly unified kickoff event.
Both initiatives started up in 2012, and both have grown exponentially over the past five years. Starting with an idea from the 92nd Street Y in New York, #GivingTuesday is now, according to Network for Good, the second-biggest day of the year in terms of the number of donations (falling behind only December 31st), and the third-biggest in terms of dollars raised—$180+ million last year alone, and all online. At the same time, GCN’s own ambitious startup, GAgives, has become the biggest 24 hours of giving in state history five times over.
Backed by a full-featured online fundraising platform, GAgives has mobilized a coalition of corporations and foundations, media and creative partners, government agencies, and citizens to raise awareness and support for our communities’ nonprofits—sparking new partnerships and setting the stage for major cross-sector collaboration. During our 2016 event, GAgives raised a record $3.9 million, in support of nearly 2,700 nonprofits, from 20,000 donations. To date, we’ve amassed 73,000 donations, totaling more than $13 million.
Equipping nonprofits with tools and know-how
While GAgives is aimed at raising as much money as possible for nonprofits in 24 hours, GCN has used this initiative to strengthen Georgia's nonprofits in many other ways.
Through live events, online resources, and a year-round training schedule, GCN provides participants with tools for fundraising success on GAgives day and every other day. Our newsletters, toolkits, webinars, classes, and forums—including discussions with media executives and anchors, experts leading new research into online giving, and others—have helped thousands of nonprofit staffers build and execute their campaigns.
Thanks to our partnership with #GivingTuesday, we’ll be able to offer a range of new resources for our participants, including fresh tools and webinars, collaborative relationships with community campaign leaders across the country, and the added visibility that comes with the #GivingTuesday brand.
Driving up donation levels
To date, GCN has secured nearly $1 million from generous backers in the corporate and foundation arenas to boost nonprofit and donor participation in GAgives. We’ve organized daylong giveaway and matching opportunities for top performers in particular cause areas and designated “Power Hours,” prizes for pre-event social media campaigns, and more, each increasing excitement and engagement.
Our current priority in giving incentives: The “Max My Gift” campaign, giving nonprofits the tools to develop their own challenges. Through training and online support, we’re teaching nonprofits how to pursue challenge and matching gifts by partnering with individual donors, businesses, and foundations that want to make a real impact in their communities for GAgives on #GivingTuesday.
Raising the sector's profile
Beyond dollars raised, GAgives provides a special, high-profile opportunity each year to call attention to the work and worth of Georgia's nonprofit sector, spotlighting all it does to make our state a great place to live, work, and play. Key to that effort are our media partnerships, spreading the message in print, on-air, online, and on billboards, creating tens of millions of individual impressions each year.
"Whether you realize it or not, you live the arc of your life in nonprofits," says GCN President and CEO Karen Beavor. “GAgives provides a time each year to consider and celebrate the sector: how it impacts us individually, how it strengthens communities across the state, and what each of us can contribute to keep its work going.”
Interested in taking part—as a nonprofit, volunteer fundraiser, sponsor, or donor? Visit GAgives.org for more details, and help us make Georgia’s biggest day of giving even bigger.
Betsy Reid is VP, Marketing & Communications, at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and lead on this year’s GAgives on #GivingTuesday campaign.