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National Philanthropy Day and #GivingTuesday: A Powerful Partnership

November 18, 2015

By Paul Nazareth

National Philanthropy Day® acknowledges the spectrum of services provided by the nonprofit community and recognizes its profound local and global impact. It is a special day set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the sector —have made to our lives, our communities and our world. Coming up right after National Philanthropy Day is #GivingTuesday (December 1 this year), a growing public movement that marks the opening day of the giving season across Canada.

As a co-founder of #GivingTuesday, the team at CanadaHelps, along with our peers at the GIV3 Foundation, have visited AFP chapters across Canada.  One of the most frequent questions we get is: How can we leverage both National Philanthropy Day AND #GivingTuesday?

We have seen chapter committees from coast to coast engaging in smart strategies that save time and effort to ensure that both events are as effective as they can be in celebrating the act of giving, volunteering and participating in philanthropy.

 Here are 3 tips to leverage your chapter’s efforts, time and energy to see maximum advantages from both days:

1. Use what was built for National Philanthropy Day and reuse it for GivingTuesday!

So many chapters have created newspaper inserts and great videos and told stories in print form for National Philanthropy Day this year. This material is usually circulated in the charitable community and to those who attend local events. Use #GivingTuesday to get that fantastic material out into the world!

If your city is hosting a Civic Movement, make sure that information is circulated publicly on #GivingTuesday. Take those videos from the award luncheons and send them out into the world by using social media. Share them using the #GivingTuesdayCA hashtag. Did you give away an award to a civic leader, corporation or celebrity? Ask them to share their story on #GivingTuesday with the city, their networks and their many fans.

2. Energize your own charity’s staff.

Fundraisers gather on National Philanthropy Day to celebrate great organizations, volunteers, philanthropists and fundraisers. This creates powerful stories that we share externally.

On #GivingTuesday, why not gather this inspirational material and re-invigorate your own staff with a short internal celebration? Get them engaged in the #UnSelfie storytelling of why they love your charity and why they work there, volunteer and give. As fundraisers, we often need to immerse ourselves in our charity’s mission and the power of our work. National Philanthropy Day does this for us. Let’s use #GivingTuesday to do this for our charity’s staff.

3. Use #GivingTuesday as a National Philanthropy Day recognition opportunity!

Many chapters have scaled up their National Philanthropy Day activity to Herculean proportions. I was following #NationalPhilanthropyDay on Twitter this year and was amazed by the size and scope of many of the events. Volunteers conduct outreach to the media, organize  events, collect stories, and judge the submissions.

On #GivingTuesday, while the whole world is celebrating volunteers, why not celebrate your own! Have an AFP chapter meetup of board members, volunteers and all the people who made National Philanthropy Day 2015 a success, and celebrate them!

Fundraisers are an isolated bunch. We are seen as extroverts but we are often the only person involved in fundraising in our organizations. We don’t take enough time to celebrate what AFP stands for and the powerful success National Philanthropy Day has become. Darn right #GivingTuesday is a chance to pat your chapter on the back and raise a glass to a successful year!  And while everyone is feeling proud of AFP, it’s a good time to remind them that they can make a gift at year-end to the AFP Canada Foundation too!

#GivingTuesday is growing in its influence and impact across Canada. Make sure your team is on board this year! For more information go to, and be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter at @GivingTuesdayCA.

Paul Nazareth is vice president, community engagement, with Paul has spent 15 years as a fundraiser with charities and as a philanthropic advisor in a financial institution. He is a national instructor with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, teaches with the Georgian College Fundraising Program and is chair of the Advisory Committee of the Humber College Fundraising Management Program., a co-founder of GivingTuesday in Canada, is a charity that empowers charities with the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. Over 15,000 Canadian charities fundraise online using—find us on Twitter at @canadahelps

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