#GivingTuesday, An Unconventional Invitation

Praise at a Catholic Church

Giving Tuesday, A Global Giving Movement

“A global giving movement” and social media phenomenon, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday), will be celebrated November 28, 2017. Partially a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become the kick-off event for non-profits and religious organizations of all kinds to launch into a season of charitable giving.[1] The response globally has been overwhelming. But, could it also be more?

Digital Evangelization, Solidarity, and Renewal

For Catholic parishes, Giving Tuesday offers two different, but equally valuable gifts. First, it is an uncommon opportunity to unite with our human family around the world, regardless of religious affiliation, political standing or moral conviction. It is a chance to be present on global platforms – social media – not in an act of controversy, but through real, recognizable acts of love. What an opportunity for healing!

The second gift has to do with the season immediately following. Giving Tuesday falls just days before we enter into the season of Advent. Advent, a season of joyful expectation when we are invited to give more of ourselves – expressed through time, talent, and treasure – as an act of hope, making room to receive Christ at Christmas. Perhaps the question is: how many of our parishioners are truly aware of this invitation?

Celebrating a Day, and an Invitation to Go Deeper

Even at this late date, with a little planning and creativity, Giving Tuesday could be the first step in a journey that unfolds through Advent and beyond. The Giving Tuesday website provides extensive resources, instructions and ideas[2] on how to get started, why not take the same resources and apply them to not only November 28, but also to lead your parishioners on an Advent journey?

Tuesday, November 28 – Giving Tuesday: #GivingTuesdayYourParishName

This sets the tone for your Advent journey of giving. Select a “#” for your parish, promote a specific fund, cause, or goal. For example:

Step one: Choose a cause, fund, or act of service that in a symbolic way represents your parish’s mission. Build awareness and excitement by promoting your parish’s Advent journey of giving in hope through the bulletin, announcements, and social media.

Step two: Go out on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and beyond! Ask your parishioners to participate however they are able, sharing their experience of giving on social media, making sure to tag your parish (#GivingTuesdayYourParishName, #Givinginhope, are just a few examples)!

Step three: Announce, affirm, summarize. How did it go? Thank your parishioners! Summarize the goal of your parish’s united act of giving on Giving Tuesday and prepare the parish for the next step.

Sunday, December 3 – Week One of Advent: #GivingTimeYourParishName

Giving to each other and the community is critical, but do we extend the same generosity to God?

This week, consider organizing a day for adoration at the parish, asking parishioners to sign up for a 30-minute time slot. Even if they aren’t able to make it to the parish, parishioners can still join a network of prayerful generosity, interceding for the parish and asking for hearts open to receive more of Jesus – #givingtime.

Sunday, December 10 – Week Two of Advent: #GivingTalentYourParishName

This week, seek to bring the experience of Advent to your neighbors! This may look like hidden acts of service, or even better, offering hospitality to the ‘strangers in our midst’ (often disguised as the people next door…). Ask parishioners to share a brief post or picture from their experience on social media, or just #givingtalent.

Sunday, December 17 – Week Three of Advent: #GivingTreasureYourParishName

Have you considered partnering with a local parish in need, is there a vulnerable population, or critical need in your community? This week, focus on ensuring this group will experience the joy of Christmas.

Perhaps this looks like donating hygiene kits and coats for the homeless, meals and time spent with the homebound, partnering with a sister parish in the inner city whose families are struggling; earnestly pray and seek to respond to the unique needs of your community.

Sunday, December 24 – Week Four of Advent: #GreatestGift

The greatest gift we can ever hope to receive is Jesus, our greatest joy lies ahead of us in heaven. This Christmas, our parishes will be welcoming many who may have ceased to believe this long ago, for whom tradition, or a distant hope alone keeps them coming back to Christmas mass.

Today, ask your parishioners to partner in prayer for one unknown “Christmas visitor.” Intercede on their behalf that this Christmas, our Christmas visitors will truly encounter and receive the gift of Jesus – #TheGreatestGift.

A Practical Note on Supporting Generosity

If your parish will be accepting financial donations, an important part of supporting parishioner generosity is making it easy and convenient to give.

Traditional methods are important, but so are giver-friendly options like text-to-give, online giving apps, one-time quick give capability and more!

Find out more about ParishSOFT Giving and the role of online giving at your parish in our blog article The Future of Giving, or contact us at 866.930.4774 ext. 6, to find out more about how ParishSOFT Giving can support your parish’s mission.

[1] Already this year over 1.6 million gifts, in over 98 countries, totaling 177 million have been given in honor of #GivingTuesday, www.givingtuesday.org.

[2] GivingTuesday provides extensive resources to help launch this giving initiative at your parish, including a complete tool kit with ideas and instructions on promoting giving through acts of service, kindness, presence, and financial contributions, in unison with millions around the world.

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