Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, the fundraiser with a Giving Tuesday “Sugar Rush”

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm


The Giving Tuesday hangover. I had seen it referenced by charities that had participated in Giving Tuesday in the States, but wasn’t quite sure what people meant. And then December 3 happened and December 4 came. I am not a fan of using “hangover” to describe our first Giving Tuesday Canada; it’s too negative a term. Instead I think of Giving Tuesday as a Sugar Rush, because of the sweetness of our supporters.

I am the Director of Fund Development for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and we signed up to participate in Canada’s first Giving Tuesday, right away. Also right away the planning began. With our team’s background in Public Relations, we used the R.A.C.E formula to plan our campaign.

R = Research.  Between the two years of strategy and data from the United States and the resources and ideas that Giving Tuesday Canada made available online, it was easy to find tactics that we could implement. For any campaign that YOU want to run, whether it be Giving Tuesday 2014 or a capital campaign, reach out online through Twitter or LinkedIn, or “Google” it, chances are someone has done something in the past and has posted resources YOU can use.

Two big items from my research really spoke to me and to the culture of our organization: a matching donor and social media ambassadors.

A = Action Planning. With these great ideas, I had to analyze what was possible, make goals and action those ideas. Giving Tuesday was a new date in our calendar which meant little time to prepare and no budget to execute.

We made three goals:

  1. Financial: Raise $5,000 (we felt this is a good price point for a matching donor).
  2. Volunteers: Recruit new volunteers to the Society for 2014.
  3. Media: Be seen as the organization mobilizing and leading philanthropy in Nova Scotia.

The idea of being a matching donor and celebrating this new day in Canada was attractive to Deloitte in Atlantic Canada, who has a history of corporate giving. With them on board to match the $5,000 we needed to figure out how to communicate this campaign.

C = Communication. Donors, supporters and volunteers hear from the Society all year round. For this campaign we recruited Society supporters to be Social Media Ambassadors. Recruited in advance we made quick iPhone videos with some of them to be posted later in the campaign. Because yes, our Giving Tuesday was actually a week and a half long campaign.

Our Social Media Ambassadors were given the same plan that our Fund Development team had, with goals, research and a timeline. In the timeline was a social media calendar: each day had a different message, every couple of days had profile/cover photo changes and links to things like our videos or website.

Key in this communication (beyond the fact that it was coming from supporters and not staff) was that each message wasn’t an ask to donate. Some days we talked about why people volunteer. Other days we released videos, or even some days were simply numbers to indicate that the supporter was counting down. (Click here to view our volunteer video. Here to see our mobile giving video).

This definitely helped us reach a lot of people who weren’t already on the social media sites for the organization. We were lucky to have these ambassadors around the province and even one in British Columbia!

We also contacted our media contacts and sent out a news release a week in advance. This highlighted Giving Tuesday the movement, and the partnership between the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and Deloitte.

We also created business sized “Save the Date” cards that were attached to our newsletter which was mailed out a few weeks before December 3. So as to not lose the interest of any potential donor, we set up a sign up form on our website to capture their information. A reminder email was sent on December 3 to that group.

E = Evaluation. At the end of the day we met our goals (over $11,000 raised with matching donation, two new volunteer inquiries, and four media spots). But what I don’t know is why our supporters donated to us. Was it the matching donation? Was it the media? I didn’t ask when they donated, a lesson I won’t repeat in 2014. I have gone through the data and my results were interesting around re-activation of donors (YOU can read those results here).

All in all, our first Giving Tuesday was a success! The office was buzzing and donors were able to double their impact! Our Board of Directors were also part of the fun, thanking our donors in a special video.


  1. […] Giving Tuesday last year (the first year in Canada) pretty extensively. YOU can read those posts here and here. What I might not have had time to fully appreciate last year, was the feeling that […]

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