Updated: Aug 27
Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday … Giving Tuesday! That’s how annual traditions are created, and this one is apparently here to stay. Giving Tuesday has grown into a global day of giving. It is a unique opportunity for your organization to engage with your donors, supporters, and volunteers — and raise some money! To help you get the most out of Giving Tuesday, here are nine tips to help you plan.
1. Find a Unique Campaign Theme
Although Giving Tuesday is its own theme, it’s best if you can create a direct connection with your organization. For example, funds raised could be dedicated to a special community project. If you’re working with a corporate partner or a major donor, perhaps they can match donations or enable further charitable actions. Be sure to include partner logos on photos, videos, and donation pages. To inspire your creativity, I recommend this wonderful collection of resources (PDF).
Consider setting a fundraising campaign goal or a goal to recruit a number of new donors. Offering a two-for-one challenge match is a popular strategy for Giving Tuesday. The reason why it’s popular is that nothing moves the needle quite like a match. Donors of all sizes like the idea of their gift being doubled by a supporter or board member.
2. Focus on New Donors and Small Gifts
Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for your organization to connect with new supporters. Be sure your campaign messaging encourages new gifts, no matter what the size. Your donation page should have a gift string that starts at $5. Stay donor-centric in your messaging and be sure to acknowledge donors on your social media channels (with their permission).
3. Get the Timing Right
Giving Tuesday falls on a Tuesday, but you can start your messaging up to a week ahead of time with email and social media promotion, including on the weekend. Why not add some follow-up messaging on Wednesday or Thursday to thank your donors?
4. Inspire Millennials to Give
Giving Tuesday is a very social and hashtag-friendly day of giving, which appeals to millennials. Be sure to make all aspects of your campaign mobile-friendly, from your emails to your donation page. Also, be sure to encourage social sharing, which millennials are sure to use to tell their friends.
5. Use Social Media to Empower Your Giving Tuesday Fundraising
Donors look to others to decide when and where to give. Social media is the perfect platform to push out Giving Tuesday messaging that is centered around real-world examples, quotes from real people, and lots of photos. Tell your story at Giving Tuesday on all your social channels, and encourage social sharing whenever possible.
Think of the most creative ways you might use social media to promote giving. Recruit a social media volunteer team to create and share engaging content. Set up a tracking system so you can measure the impact on your fundraising that originates in the social channel. Also, make sure that social sharing opportunities are integrated throughout the giving process on both the donation thank-you web page and the email receipt.
6. Use Video to Inspire Giving
Create a short video to promote your Giving Tuesday campaign so you can tell your story and encourage giving. A short minute-long video created on a smartphone should do the trick. Another video approach is to schedule a Facebook Live event to connect with your followers.
7. Create Social Media Images with a Clear Call to Action
Images are vital as a promotion tool and can be posted on social media, shared with ambassadors, and offered to your donors after they make a donation. I recommend Canva, Venngage, and Piktochart as easy-to-use and affordable tools to create images for social media.
8. Think Multichannel
Even though Giving Tuesday thrives on digital platforms, don’t neglect other communication channels at your disposal, such as your print newsletter, real-world events, the lobby of your organization, your local coffee shop, and your business affiliates. Get the word out!
9. Make It Fun
Giving Tuesday is still an evolving annual tradition, so it’s an invitation to have some fun. Consider ways you can spice up this annual tradition with a unique video, some crazy hashtags, a celebrity ambassador, and a memorable theme.
Bonus: Make Monthly Giving the Default
We’ve recently reached a tipping point where most nonprofits are promoting monthly giving as the default way of giving. Monthly giving offers a more comfortable donation amount that can be broken up into small chunks ($10 per month versus a one-time donation of $120). Giving monthly is popular with people who are recent donors, frequent givers, and multichannel donors (such as those who have already made a gift in the mail).
Consider all the ways you can promote monthly giving during Giving Tuesday. Although monthly giving will reduce revenue in the short term, monthly donors will stay on your list longer, and have higher lifetime value as a donor.