Does a Giving Day make sense for your camp?

How your camp could leverage a Day of Giving for fundraising and engagement success.

We're sure your inbox was flooded with solicitations (and some stewardship notes!) on Giving Tuesday this past November as an estimated $3.1 Billion was given to nonprofits in the US alone on Giving Tuesday 2023.
And you may be wondering…should your camp take part in Giving Tuesday?
The better question might be whether a Day of Giving generally is good for your camp.
Days of Giving generally work. There’s a “stake in the ground” effect that means you could choose virtually any day of the year to hold a Day of Giving and, if you drive your planning, marketing, communications, volunteer engagement, social media/peer giving efforts, match incentives, stewardship plan, etc. toward that day, you will succeed.
You can even choose to do it – and succeed as Camp Ramah in the Poconos does for instance – on Giving Tuesday, a day when the rest of the charitable sector is trying to raise money from people who may have spent the previous few days spending discretionary income on holiday travel, food, and alleged bargains for holiday gift giving on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, what NPR calls No Clever Name for It Sunday, and Cyber Monday.
But Poconos succeeds because they work most of the year planning and prepping and soliciting early gifts and matches such that Giving Tuesday is the big public culmination of lots of fundraising activity over the previous months. In short, they’ve already attended to all the things that make any day of giving successful.
So, what should your camp do?
Whatever your camp decides to do re: Days of Giving should be part of an overall development plan and strategy. Determine your goals and implement a campaign (on a Day of Giving or otherwise) that helps you meet those goals.
Here are some Day of Giving options beyond a traditional Giving Tuesday campaign:
  • Thankful Tuesday. Leverage Giving Tuesday to highlight gratitude rather than solicitation. Fill your donors’ inboxes with messages of stewardship instead of asks – it may be more likely to stand out on such a busy email day. Havaya sent a short video of gratitude on Giving Tuesday this year.
  • Pay it Forward. Many nonprofits have chosen to use Giving Tuesday to highlight different peer organizations they admire who might be perceived to be more financially challenged, in crisis or “needy.” Camps did something similar for affiliated or admired Israel focused emergency relief orgs after 10/7.
  • Create your own Day of Giving. We recommend camps find their own special day of giving rather than leveraging Giving Tuesday. If you already have a track record of success on Giving Tuesday – like Camp Ramah in the Poconos – you could continue with that day. But camps may find more success if they create a new Day of Giving on a day that is meaningful for your camp or movement, when the rest of the world is not flooding the inboxes of their constituents. For example, Camp Shomria ran a Day of Giving along with their 100th Anniversary celebration this summer. And Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa has run their own successful Giving Day.
  • Create a Regional or Movement-based Day of Giving. 13 Ontario Jewish Camps and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto have teamed up for a successful Day of Giving for the past 3 years, raising $1.4 million in Spring 2023. They gain the benefits of amplified local promotion but don’t compete with thousands of other nonprofits that day.
 Where to start?
No matter what option your camp selects, you must first determine your goals and develop a plan. Although the public phase of a Day of Giving is 24 hours, the vast majority of the work occurs well in advance. JCamp 180 has developed a Day of Giving Planning Toolkit that lays out a timeline of tasks.
Do you have follow-up questions? Or need some help? Reach out to your JCamp 180 Relationship Manager to discuss and potentially set up a consulting engagement to support your efforts.