Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been known as #GivingTuesday. This annual day of giving, recognized around the world, serves to bring attention to philanthropy and encourage generosity after the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While many organizations debate the return on investment of #GivingTuesday efforts, it can’t be ignored that donations made on this day are increasing. In 2017, #GivingTuesday donations skyrocketed an amazing 69%—from $177 million in reported donations in 2016 to $300 million in 2017! And in 2018, the day raised nearly $380 million from 4 million people.

This year, #GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2019.  #GivingTuesday is an occasion that celebrates all charitable organizations and even our smallest organizations can find creative ways to participate. Here are five things you should know:

1. Participating in #GivingTuesday doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to invest a lot of time! A FREE 18-page resource book is available for download at www.givingtuesday.org. The book includes a timeline for planning your campaign (it’s not too late!) as well as social media inspiration, marketing templates, and answers to FAQs. Many more ideas and freebies can be found throughout the website.

2. #GivingTuesday is a good way to jumpstart year-end giving. Even if your organization doesn’t raise a lot of money on that day, the increased visibility and opportunity to remind people that you’re accepting gifts is a benefit to your year-end fundraising. Take advantage of the opportunity to launch an innovative, fun campaign.

3. It’s is not just for nonprofits. Businesses can lead employee giving campaigns, volunteers can organize donation drives of in-kind items, schools can involve students, teachers, and clubs. In fact, many businesses are offering opportunities for matching gifts. Would any of your business partners be willing to match #GivingTuesday donations? Would any of your current volunteers offer to launch a drive of some sort on December 3rd? There’s only one way to find out!

4. While it may be simple, you need a plan. Promote a specific need you’re fundraising for; the more tangible, the better. Create a few graphic images that describe the need and goal. Ask a few board members, volunteers, and donors to be ambassadors, spreading the word and making a few early gifts to get the ball rolling.

5. All donations go directly to your organization! The #GivingTuesday site doesn’t process your donations. Your organization is encouraged to choose your own avenues such as direct mail, your website, or preferred giving platform. So make sure your donation button, link, or page is up and working!