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3 Ways to Make Giving Tuesday a Part of Your Job Search

Deborah Swerdlow profile image

Deborah Swerdlow

Two volunteers celebrate Giving Tuesday by picking up trash.

It’s easy to get caught up in the end-of-year hustle; if you’re looking for a more meaningful and impactful holiday season, celebrating Giving Tuesday can help you end your year on a high note.

Now in its 10th year, the annual global day of giving takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. What started as an idea among co-workers has grown into a trending hashtag and essentially a holiday of its own in the social-impact sector.

This year, Giving Tuesday falls on November 29 (tomorrow!). It’s not too late to participate, and if you’re currently looking for a job, marking the day can also help you in your search.

Because the day results in millions of fundraising dollars for nonprofits to continue carrying out their mission-driven work, knowing about different campaigns and fundraising efforts can help you determine which organizations you’d like to work with and how they operate. Participating in volunteer efforts can also show potential employers that you’re genuinely interested in their mission.

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that donating money to an organization you’d like to work for will help you get the job. Instead, here are three non-monetary ways to celebrate the day that can make you a stronger candidate and help you find the right social-impact job.

1. Learn about Giving Tuesday’s impact on the nonprofit sector

Last year’s national campaign was one for the record books, with donations reaching $2.7 billion—up 9% from the previous year. Being well-versed in an event that has become so important to the nonprofit sector can help you in your job search and interviews. It’s always good to be able to demonstrate that you understand your field, especially if you’re trying to switch from the private sector.

Make a list of the organizations you’d like to work for and research their past campaigns. How big of a fundraising ask do they go for, and do they often meet their goals? Do you have experience with the fundraising platform they use?

If they have a newsletter, subscribe and keep track of their marketing efforts and how they communicate with potential donors. This knowledge is going to be extra beneficial if you’re applying for a development or social media position because you’d probably have a role in the annual campaign.

If you find yourself in an interview, you could suggest ways to improve or build on the organization’s campaign next year. Just be careful when making suggestions because you don’t have all the knowledge about the organization’s goals, capabilities, and procedures. You want to strike a balance between demonstrating your expertise without presuming that you know everything about the organization and can do a better job than them.

2. Follow organizations on social media

Social media is a huge component of Giving Tuesday, uniting people across countries and charitable causes in a global, collective day of giving.

To find out how the nonprofits you’re interested in interact with their online communities, take a look at their profiles across social media platforms. Do they share case studies to show where donations dollars go? If you’re applying for a communications role, it may be your responsibility to collect testimonials for circulation.

Checking out the social media presence of an organization is an easy way to gain insight into how they communicate with supporters, but don’t feel obligated to interact with them. By passively following their #GivingTuesday campaigns, you can find out important information while still maintaining boundaries between your social media presence and that of the organization.

Pro Tip: Following a social media campaign also gives you something specific to reference in a cover letter or interview. Did you like the selfie campaign an organization implemented? Let them know, and explain what you liked about it!

3. Volunteer for an organization that you’d like to work for one day

Much of the narrative around Giving Tuesday is about giving money, but you can also give your time. Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable skills and get to know an organization, and it can even lead to a job opportunity down the road.

Follow these steps to explore how to give your time:

  • First, ask yourself what you want out of a volunteer opportunity. Are you looking for a one-time commitment or a longer-term responsibility? Is there a specific skill you’re hoping to learn, or a specific type of work you want to do? There are many different types of volunteer opportunities, and getting clear on your goals before you start contacting organizations can help ensure that the one you choose is the best one for you.
  • If you’re not sure where you want to volunteer, search for opportunities on Idealist.
  • If you already have an organization in mind, contact the person who manages volunteers and ask about available opportunities. Our Get Started Volunteering guide has a list of questions you can ask when evaluating a volunteer opportunity.

No matter how you choose to mark Giving Tuesday 2022, we hope you find it fulfilling. And if any of these tips helps you land a job, let us know!


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Deborah Swerdlow profile image

Deborah Swerdlow

As a nonprofit advocacy professional living in Washington, D.C., Deborah works with groups across the country to educate their communities and lawmakers about public policies that can help low-income residents make ends meet. She is passionate about helping people connect their interests to a cause they believe in and empowering them to take action.

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