Giving Tuesday and your Masjid

There is no doubt that Giving Tuesday is a growing phenomenon. According to the Nonprofits Source, Giving Tuesday raised 38% more in 2018 than in 2017 and 38 times more than in 2012, which is when the idea of Giving Tuesday began. On Facebook, Giving Tuesday donations grew by more than double between 2017 and 2018. It’s about time Muslim organizations jump on the Giving Tuesday wagon.

If your Islamic Centre relies on donations to keep it running, you do not want to miss the opportunities made available to you through Giving Tuesday. Yes, it’s a one-day event – it may not be as long as you’re used to (we are spoiled by long giving periods like Ramadan!) – but with proper planning, you can plant seeds during that day, whose fruits you can continue reaping for many years.

As an Islamic Centre that provides a space for performing daily prayers, family counseling, youth activities, dawah initiatives, etc …, you are providing essential services to the Muslim community, which they have probably become used to and cannot simply live without.

Giving Tuesday can be your opportunity to showcase your centre’s services to the Muslim (and general) community, thereby improving your centre’s brand.

Anyone within driving distance of your centre, whether in the same city or even another nearby one, will find benefit in your centre and ought to know about its services. Here are five recommendations to consider when planning a Giving Tuesday campaign:

  1. Develop a story to be the main theme of your Giving Tuesday campaign. Ideally, you would want to present it in a short 1-2 minute video. However, if you have a limited budget, then you can still present your story in the form of graphics and text. Select a story that shows the positive impact of your centre. Keep in mind your target audience, who will likely be the Muslim community living within driving distance of your centre. For some ideas of impact stories from a Masjid, see Storytelling in the Muslim Community.
  2. Make your call to action as specific as possible. For example, you may want to have a target of increasing the number of monthly donors by 20%. Yes, Giving Tuesday is mainly about giving, but try to be strategic with your ask. People may not be as willing to donate in the thousands like they do in Ramadan, but by simply donating any amount, they are expanding your donor base and can – in theory – be persuaded more easily in the future to donate again. Even if people hear about your campaign and choose not to donate, make sure to give them the option of joining your mailing list.
  3. Showcase your Giving Tuesday theme on all your online channels. Any multi-media you produce for Giving Tuesday, such as banners and videos, should be posted on your organization’s website and social media accounts ahead of and during that day.
  4. Prepare your community ahead of the big day. Let them know by email and through social media that Giving Tuesday is coming up and what you plan on achieving that day. Some may not know what Giving Tuesday is, so make sure to add some background information about it.
  5. Point all your online traffic to a special Giving Tuesday page on your organization’s website. Make sure this page has your call to action clearly defined and a simple form to fill out to process a donation (including to sign up monthly donors) or to simply join your mailing list. A donation meter showing how much you’ve raised that day would also be a good addition to this page.