New Orleans Non-Profits Hope #GivingTuesday Brings In Donations

NEW ORLEANS – Three years ago, the Archdiocese of New Orleans started its #igiveCatholic online campaign in conjunction with national #GivingTuesday that encourages people to donate money to non-profit organizations the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

The archdiocese's goal of that first year was to raise $500,000 to support 50 organizations under the archdiocese's umbrella, including Catholic schools and affiliated organizations such as the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Last year, the #IGiveCatholic campaign raised more than $1.8 million in 24 hours, said Josephine Everly, chief operation officer of Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and president of the #IGiveCatholic campaign.

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It was so successful that this year's #iGiveCathlic campaign was launched several weeks ahead of Tuesday's campaign, with donors able to schedule a donation in advance.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become a boon for non-profits nationwide—the charitable giving version of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

These online donation drives are a way to reach new donors worldwide and bring awareness to an organization's mission and needs.

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"In a survey we sent to past donors, twenty percent gave money to organizations they have had never heard of before," said Everly. "They learned about these organizations because of this platform and the one-day campaign."

Last year, donors in 42 U.S. states and six countries donated to the campaign, said Everly.

For New Orleans nonprofit Eden House, which helps victims of human trafficking through youth programs and legislative action, a goal of Giving Tuesday is to raise awareness of the organization.

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"We promote Giving Tuesday on lots of social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and reach out to supporters through our newsletter," said Suzanne Diesel, executive director of Eden House. "We hope that our friends and supporters who are giving to us this Tuesday, will share their donations online to all of their friends."


Making the most of #GivingTuesday

Reid Stone, founder and co-partner at HEROfarm marketing and public relations agency in New Orleans, works with non-profits year round. He is donating his time and talents to help these organizations make the most of the #GivingTuesday campaign.

Stone said that organizations can take advantage of the campaign by having additional goals, such as to increase its online following and to connect more personally with donors.

"It's good to have a press release or follow-up communication the day after, with a thank-you note ready," Stone said.

Other ways to keep donors engaged is by showing them where donation dollars go and, perhaps, host an on-site event for donors to meet members of the organization face-to-face, Stone said.

"It's something that takes it from a digital to a real-world scenario," Stone said. "We have so many great non-profits in New Orleans; it's important to make it a relationship throughout the year and not just a one-time donation."


-By Jenny Peterson, Associate News Editor, Biz New Orleans


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