For many, Thanksgiving is not just a time for celebration, but a day where Americans reflect on how fortunate they are and give thanks. People are much more generous around the holidays, as 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year. Ask your donors to give thanks, by supporting your cause in an alternative way:
- Pledge a turkey
On a day when millions of Americans are sitting down to enjoy a beautifully cooked meal with their loved ones, why not ask them to pledge the cost of their turkey? According to the National Turkey Foundation, over 46 million turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving alone. If you estimate that a reasonably cheap turkey costs around $35 and multiply that by 46 million, that’s a whole lot of dollar that could go to your cause!
- Non-Profits that help the homeless
As the temperature drops outside it becomes even more important to help the homeless, by giving them hot meals and shelter from the cold. Get your donors to volunteer at a local shelter or donate goods to a food bank. Make sure your charity is listed online in order to attract volunteers and use social media to find new, local recruits over the holidays. Even if you don’t run your own shelter, it’s important to lead by example, so we’ve found a number of NY based charities who you could help support:
- Food Bank For New York City - Serves 10 million meals to those in the city who need it most urgently.
- City Harvest - This charity provides food and education to some of the poorest areas of New York City.
- John’s Bread & Life – A Brooklyn-based soup kitchen who help feed 3,000 New Yorkers every day.
- Spread the philanthropy
Why not spread the holiday cheer, step away from your own plea and just share some good old-fashioned goodwill! Try getting your supporters to help the people around them, by asking an elderly neighbor or someone who can’t travel home to see their family, to join their own dinner party. You could ask these lovely people to share photos of their Thanksgiving dinner on social media with your own special hashtag, and create a philanthropic social community.
Over Thanksgiving Americans will be giving thanks for all different aspects of their lives, and for simple things that others who are in need are lacking. This is a crucial time to garner support and also enables your donors to give back.
"Many of our members are dependent upon a good holiday season for a large portion of their annual fundraising. There's the practical aspect, which is that it's the end of the year and people want to make sure their giving is done before a new calendar year, and there's the fact that we spend time with our families, we think about others and want to have an impact on the world around us." Steve MacLauglin, Director of product management for Blackbaud.
We hope you find these Thanksgiving fundraising ideas useful, but for more inspiration read our blog on how to utilize Christmas cheer.