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Posted by & filed under Leadership/Management, Philanthropy Awards.

Denny Young has worked in fundraising for over 20 years and always been a passionate advocate for the profession. Denny has shown exemplary leadership as an educator and mentor, and as among the first in Canada to obtain a Masters degree in the field (from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota). To better appreciate business/nonprofit relationships, Denny took the Ivey School of Business Executive program. To improve his skills as a mentor, he completed a professional coaching course at the Adler School. Sharing knowledge is a focus of Denny’s life and a key way that he has served the profession. For AFP, he chaired Congress 2012, two Fundraising Day events, and the Education Committee. He has been featured at many training events, written articles, and mentored countless numbers of individuals and organizations. In recognition of his outstanding achievements as a professional and his dedication to advanced education, Denny was appointed Professor and Coordinator of the Fundraising Management program at Humber College. A member of that faculty since 2005, he has also taught regularly in the Nonprofit Management Program at Ryerson University; all while rising to positions of major responsibility including his last as Vice President, Development at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Posted by & filed under Giving Tuesday, Marketing/Communications, Mobile Giving, Next Generation Philanthropy, Small Shop, Social Media, Special Events, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Taslim Somani, Vice-President, Digital and Marketing Strategy

Stephen Thomas Ltd.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Canada? Yes, it’s a thing, even though our Thanksgiving happens in October. And Canadians are eating it up. Retailers north of the border have jumped on the bandwagon and are offering deals of their own. CTV recently reported that Canadians are so excited about the sales that 1 million of us plan to skip work on these days to rake in the savings! So, as Black Friday and Cyber Monday get increasing media-share and mind-share, Giving Tuesday which comes at the heels of this shopping bonanza, is poised to be a really big deal in its second year in Canada.

Last year, over 1300 charities in Canada participated and for some, it was one of the highest grossing days of the year-end fundraising season.

Like other integrated campaigns, your Giving Tuesday campaign requires fundraising, marketing and communications all working together. Strategy, creative and a well-honed communications plan are necessary components. A well-designed and well-executed Giving Tuesday campaign will generate momentum for your organization as you enter the all-important year-end fundraising push. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a splash and raise more money than ever.

There’s still time to make your 2014 Giving Tuesday campaign even better. Here’s my shortlist of what you need to successfully launch your Giving Tuesday campaign this December 2nd, 2014.

Giving Tuesday Identity

  • Giving Tuesday-specific call-to-action
  • Visuals that relate to your Giving Tuesday campaign
  • Consistency of visuals across all your digital marketing platforms
  • Customized Giving Tuesday donation page in place

Communications planGivingTuesday

  • Clean email list
  • Emails written, coded (mobile-responsive please!) and scheduled
  • Social media communications and engagement strategy
  • Social media calendar (with time of day for posts!)
  • #Hashtags and custom URLs defined
  • Community manager(s) assigned
  • PR story 


  • Donor thank you communications – email and social media
  • New donor welcome strategy
  • Analysis of key performance indicators – donation metrics (new donors, average gift, etc)., shares & likes, click-through metrics, conversion metrics, etc.
  • Recommendations for 2015

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, there are a lot of moving parts to a comprehensive Giving Tuesday campaign, from email and social media to your donation page and PR. And yes, you need to have resources throughout your organization to back the campaign and execute it flawlessly. A half-hearted attempt at Giving Tuesday simply won’t rake in the dollars. If you think you’re a bit late to the game, start small to test the waters. Even just an email to your existing audience of donors and supporters can be effective, and commit to planning for next year.

As for me, I’ll have multiple screens open on December 2nd, and plan to spend the day on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, maybe even Snapchat, to see how Giving Tuesday 2014 unfolds for my clients’ and the sector generally. And, I’ll be taking notes furiously as prep for next year. Best of luck with your Giving Tuesday 2014 campaign! I’m looking forward to seeing you in action.

Need more info? Check out more useful resources to take your Giving Tuesday campaign from good to great:

How to Plan a Giving Tuesday Campaign webinar Beth Kanter’s Giving Tuesday Playbook
Giving Tuesday Canada Partner Toolkit Blackbaud’s Giving Tuesday resources
Giving Tuesday Tools (US) Giving Tuesday Year 2: What now?
All about the #Unselfie movement


taslimTaslim Somani, MBA, Vice-President, Digital and Marketing Strategy at Stephen Thomas Ltd has worked in the digital space since the first Internet boom! She has worked with dozens of non-profit organizations on digital and integrated fundraising and marketing campaigns. Taslim is a member of the CMA’s Digital Council, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and contributes to industry publications. Follow her on Twitter @t_somani