Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

Posts Tagged ‘Giving Tuesday’

YOU, the Giving Tuesday fundraising marketer

In Donors, Fundraising on December 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Last week I talked about the way the office feels on Giving Tuesday. The “silent hum of happiness” from donors, co-workers and partners.

But that good feeling stuff aside, let’s admit: it didn’t just happen. YOU had to make it happen.

So how do YOU market a national campaign for your small shop?

1. Sign up to be a partner on the Giving Tuesday website.
-Online you can find so many resources – why invent the wheel they say! From perfectly fitted social media images, to tool kits, it is a one stop shop. Use these on your organizations sites.

This year I was pleased to have the Mayor’s toolkit which included an already written proclamation. I filled in the blanks and emailed it off! Thank you to Mayor Mike Savage and Halifax City Council for proclaiming Giving Tuesday for ALL charities in Halifax! And what did we do with the proclamation? Content of course! It was a new picture to post, a new tweet to send, a new newsworthiness piece to put in our media release.

2. Attend the webinars that are offered to YOU for free – from the Giving Tuesday team.
– Another online tool technically, but a more interactive one. From communications to storytelling, there were a few Google Hangout’s (that were recorded if you missed it and put on YouTube) that you could attend. Not only do you get to hear from people just like YOU (I participated and spoke on using video in your storytelling) but since it is a Google Hangout, you can ask questions to the speaker in real time.

3. Ask your donors for help.
– The great thing about 2015 Giving Tuesday? YOU will have past Giving Tuesday supporters to go back to and ask them to be part of your promotion team! Last year we had several social media ambassadors who helped us spread the word. This year we asked them back and past donors to join in!

3.1. Don’t forget about your Giving Tuesday donors.
-Don’t wait a full year to go back them! We make sure to thank donors rights away, but also to ask at the time of donation if we can connect with them again. And we make sure that we do with our annual report and invitations to events.

4. Don’t forget traditional communication streams.
– We at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia do not buy any media for Giving Tuesday. We have our social media ambassadors out spreading the word and we do one other thing: we attach a save the date business card to our newsletter that goes out in November. That’s it. And guess what? When I look at the data from Giving Tuesday donors, I can tell that many of the first time donors, came because of that business card!

If YOU are interested in participating in Giving Tuesday 2015 for the first time and need some advice, please connect with us. If YOU did something awesome this past year, tell us in the comments below – we love to hear it and learn about it!

YOU, the “silent hum of happiness” fundraiser

In Donors, thank you on December 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

     A video to YOU!

Christmas carols begin in stores too soon after Halloween; office phones ring and fill the hallways in our new renovated space, and the sound of rain against our windows is more constant this winter than ever before.

These are sounds we are accustomed too. Sure to some they are annoyances, but to others they are a good sign (rain equals no snow!) But there is a new sound that is happening in our office. We heard it last year and this year, on the same day.

Problem is, it’s kind of silent. It’s the “hum” that fills the air on Giving Tuesday.

We wrote about 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 overcomes the office on this special day.

All year long, we appreciate our donors. It is because of them that many Nova Scotians receive the support that they need as they live the dementia journey.

But Giving Tuesday 2014 was a day that started and ended differently than the other 364 days. At the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia we began at 8 am when I was on the morning breakfast news, talking about Giving Tuesday and how it impacts those we serve. I brought coffee into the office for everyone to wish them a happy Giving Tuesday. Smiles were already on their faces because people had walked in to donate, others had called.

By mid-morning I had a list of donors for our Executive Director to call. He was calling to just say thank you and offer our services if the donor needed support. At the same time he was doing that, I saw Facebook posts from donors who were shocked and happy they had received a call.

At lunch, I was off to visit the offices of our Giving Tuesday matching partner, Deloitte. In celebration of the day and partnership, they hosted a lunch and learn for their employees about dementia. It was great to have that kind of partner engagement!

Back in the office and another interview this time with CBC news. The reporter Angela, told me that she started her day at Tim Horton’s with the customer in front of her paying for her coffee. It made her day! That, I told her, is what Giving Tuesday is about, making others feel comfort and happiness. She acknowledged that she had spent the rest of the day in a great mood. Her own silent “hum of happiness.”

That afternoon, my Executive Director was making his way into my office, with a smile and I sensed that silent happiness hum. He told me how much he was enjoying Giving Tuesday, calling all the donors, listening to their stories about why they donated and offering our support. He glided back to his office with a new list to call.

Working in an office setting can be stressful. Why are we out of coffee cream again? Who keeps yelling on speakerphone? Working in a non-profit adds another layer of stress. Are we helping enough people? Can we raise a little bit more to fund a new program? The thing I like about participating in Giving Tuesday, is the “silent hum of happiness” from donors, to partners, to staff. It truly is the beginning of the holiday season when you see that many smiles in one day. So thank YOU for making it possible.

(Next weeks blog post we’ll dive into the data of Giving Tuesday!)

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.


YOU, the Campaign Evaluator – #GivingTuesdayCA edition

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm



(Yes, this is another post about Giving Tuesday Canada – more of a results update. Click to read what we did pre-December 3 and day of)

Woah. I don’t know about YOU, but December 3, 2013 in our office, was a very special day.  The overwhelming support we received from donors in Nova Scotia and in fact – across the country – was truly touching. We raised over $11,000 to help support education about dementia. We couldn’t have done it without the support of so many – a blog post just about that support will come soon in coordination with Giving, because YOU the supporters deserve your own space.

What I want to talk to YOU about today, is numbers.

Still with me?

Good! The Giving Tuesday Canada movement has already released some numbers: there were over 1,300 organizations that partnered to be a part of this special day (Us and our matching donor Deloitte included!) And 169% increase in donations on over the first Tuesday after Black Friday in 2012.

Here at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia we had three goals, only one of which was financial: to raise $5,000. This was the amount we set, because our matching donor Deloitte could match donations up to that amount.

In less than seven hours, our donors met that goal!

While YOU have goals laid out before the special day, it is important to follow up with evaluation and goals for after. This is my Giving Tuesday lesson, because I didn’t make goals for after. I needed to work with donors to raise money to support dementia education and then move on to the next area that needed funding.

Because December 3 was so overwhelming I decided quickly to rectify that.

One of the fun parts about being a fundraiser is pouring over data after an event and campaign. We didn’t do a mass email to promote our involvement. We kept this campaign online via social media ambassadors, and asked people to sign up to receive a reminder to donate on December 3. The only mail out we did, was including a business sized card save the date with our Society newsletter in November. Everything else was word of mouth leading up to the day, and on the day, we received two media mentions on morning breakfast shows (another goal for the campaign was met: be seen as mobilizing philanthropy in Nova Scotia on Canada’s First Giving Tuesday).

Our Giving Tuesday success was built by 72 donors (plus Deloitte).  Of that:

–          12 were mobile donors (which means I can technically say that we had an increase of 120% in mobile giving on December 3….because we had never done a mobile campaign before)

–          14 were over the phone/walk-in donors – two of whom were new!

–          46 were made online, of which 23 were new donors!

Now, the really interesting part: because we are both a small organization, and held a small Giving Tuesday campaign, I can identify more than just the above, to help me get to know our donors better. For instance of the returning donors on December 3, most hadn’t made a donation in several years and most, had only made In Memorial donations.

Why did they donate on Giving Tuesday? Was it the matching donation, the media, did they see it on Facebook? I might never know, because I didn’t ask at the time they made the donation.

What we did, was thank the donors in a timely manner with a personalized message from our Board of Directors, a video YOU can watch here.

I hope to go back to them in January and ask why they gave for a spotlight article. This campaign is a gateway to a conversation with new and returning donors, a special relationship that could last longer than a December day.

YOU, Making Giving Tuesday a Success!

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm


We’ve been talking about it for days and we’re so excited that it’s finally happening! It’s Canada’s FIRST Giving Tuesday! Today is a day for individuals and organizations to celebrate the spirit of giving and donate to help others.

We set a goal to raise $10,000 for families living with dementia and we did it! Thank YOU to our generous donors and to Deloitte who matched individual donations up to $5,000.  

With your help, we can still raise more! YOU can donate by:

  • Calling the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia at 902 422-7961
  • Clicking here and donating online
  • Texting GTALZNS to 20222

YOU can also sign up to become a volunteer and give your time. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society call us at 902 422-7961 or email


YOU, the excited #GivingTuesday fundraiser

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm


I had to write YOU in the title to maintain the brand we are building on this blog, but really the title could be “ME, the excited #GivingTuesday fundraiser!” We at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia are planning to raise $10,000 in one day – December 3.

YOU’ve seen the ads for “Black Friday sales” and “Cyber Monday online sales” both are days this week and next that focus on your holiday shopping. Originally these were big commerce days just in the United States following their Thanksgiving. Stores in Canada have jumped on board too.

With so many days highly advertised and talked about around shopping, why not have a day for Giving?

Enter Giving Tuesday. On December 3, 2013, Canadian charities will have their first “Giving Tuesday.” And the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is proud to not only be on board, but to be introducing our supporters to new ways to give.

Matched donation
All individual donations received on December 3 through the Society website, will be matched up to $5,000 by Deloitte in Atlantic Canada. Thank YOU to Deloitte for coming on board as the matching donor. This means that a donor’s $25 donation will turn into $50. That’s twice the impact!

Mobile Giving
For the first time ever, we are launching a mobile giving campaign. Donations can be texted to the Society on a donors cell phone. The donation ($10) is then added to the donors cell phone bill at the end of the month.

The $10,000 raised that day will help to continue the free public education sessions that individuals and families living the dementia journey, are able to attend across the province.

So how are we raising awareness of this day and funds?

-We have enlisted the help of supporters outside of the organization to be Social Media Ambassadors (S.M.A.). Each day, the S.M.A’s receive an email with a picture, logo or video, and a statement, which they then upload to their own personal accounts.

-We also have all the ASNS social media profiles (events/personas) as S.M.A’s.

-Members of a local sports team (and millennial’s at that!) have created a video about text messaging!

– On our website we have created a “Remind me about Giving Tuesday” form. Supporters who hear about Giving Tuesday in advance of December 3, can sign up to receive a reminder on the big day!

How are YOU planning on raising awareness about Giving Tuesday? Are YOU interested in being a S.M.A for the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia? Leave us a comment (and don’t forget to sign up to be reminded about Giving Tuesday!)