Giving Tuesday is a global movement to create an international day of charitable giving.  It was started in 2012 and has grown into a global movement that has inspired millions of people.  Last year, donors gave nearly $2 billion dollars on Giving Tuesday.  Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and it helps kick off the charitable giving season – a time where many nonprofits raise 30% – 40% of their total annual giving.  This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 1st 2020. 

Here are 8 tips to help make your Giving Tuesday campaign a success! 

Develop an online donation page

One of the most important tools in your Giving Tuesday arsenal is an online donation page.  This is critical because email and social media are the primary drivers of donations on Giving Tuesday.  Here are some tips you can use to help improve your online donation page.

  • Create a donation page branded with Giving Tuesday messaging
  • Ensure that your donation page is responsive and that it provides a good donation experience across multiple device types (i.e. phones, tablets, etc.)
  • Only ask for the most critical information needed to process the donation.  You want to limit the number of fields in your online donation forms.
  • Use pre-set dollar handles to make it easy for donors to give.

Other tips you should consider for your donation page are to give donors the option of covering transaction fees and the ability to signup to become a monthly donor. 

Here is some additional information on how to optimize your Giving Tuesday online donation page.

Develop a Giving Tuesday email promotional plan

Email will be one of the most effective channels to raise funds on Giving Tuesday.  However, sending out one email will not be enough to gain the attention that you need.  You should start promoting your Giving Tuesday campaign to your donors at least a couple of weeks in advance.  A sample schedule that you could use includes:

  • Two Weeks Before Giving Tuesday: Send an introduction email that explains what Giving Tuesday is and the ways that donors can participate, including making a financial gift and spreading the word about your nonprofit on social media.
  • Week of Thanksgiving: Send donors a message thanking them for their support over the past year and wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving.
  • Black Friday: Send donors a reminder about your Giving Tuesday campaign and a note about your fundraising goals and the programs you are working on.  
  • Cyber Monday: Send donors another reminder about Giving Tuesday to help build excitement.  In the message, you can include sample social media posts that they can share with their network.
  • Giving Tuesday: Schedule your first email and social media posts to go out early in the morning on Giving Tuesday.  Make sure you include a reminder explaining how their donations will support your cause.  Send multiple reminders throughout the day but be sure to suppress any donors that already gave to the campaign. 

Here are some email examples and templates you can use for your Giving Tuesday campaign

Amplify on Social Media

Be sure to amplify your Giving Tuesday campaign on social media.  The hashtag #givingtuesday will be trending on social media throughout the day so by using the hashtag in your social posts, it will be a great opportunity for you to attract new donors and raise awareness of your cause.  To help break through the clutter, develop creative ideas to entice people to your account.  For example, you could use funny memes about Black Friday shopping.  You should consider scheduling social media posts in advance to help reduce stress levels and ensure that your posts go out at the most opportune time.  Research your social media analytics to determine the time of the day that your audience engages most highly with your content and schedule your posts to go out around that time.

For your Facebook page, be sure to add a “donate” button on your Facebook page that leads donors to your donation page.  You should also create a Giving Tuesday page fundraiser on your Facebook page to capture donors that are inspired to give directly on Facebook. 

Here are some additional social media tips for your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Set a Goal

Establishing a fundraising goal can help your team strive towards success and can boost results.  Come up with a goal that is a realistic stretch and then promote it in your donor communications.  You should consider linking the goal to a tangible benefit of what it will help your profit achieve.  For example, you could consider saying “Help us raise $25,000 to feed and shelter 2,000 families in our community.”  Another best practice is to include the goal on your donation page and feature a donation thermometer that tracks donations in real-time.  Research has shown that fundraising thermometers that track progress can increase donations and help your donors coalesce around a common goal.

Find a Corporate Sponsor

Another best practice to boost your fundraising results is to partner with a company who will provide a matching donation, promotional support, or both.  Donors love matching gifts because it allows them to extend the impact of their gift.  Companies love them because it is a great way to support charitable causes while increasing their brand awareness. 

Encourage Matching Gifts

A great way to boost your fundraising results on Giving Tuesday is to encourage your donors to look up whether their gift is eligible for a matching gift, using a matching gift search tool.  Donors are more likely to donate if they know their donations will be matched.  You can promote this opportunity with a call-out box on your donation-landing page that asks donors to see if their gift is eligible to be matched.

Say Thank You

At the end of the day, thank your donors for making a gift to your Giving Tuesday campaign.  You could create a fun video or meme and send it to your donors in all of your promotional channels. Your thank you message should be a heartfelt thank you and provide donors with a sense of how the funds will be used.  Be sure to only say thank you and not ask for another gift.  Expressing your gratitude provides a great donor experience and makes it more likely that they will give again. 

Develop a Stewardship Plan for New Donors

It’s highly likely that you will receive an influx of new donors on Giving Tuesday; so developing a special stewardship plan for these new donors is critical.  In addition to sending them a Giving Tuesday specific thank you message, you should place them in a new donor welcome series.  Through these welcome series, you can onboard new supporters and help them get to understand the value of your organization.  Welcome emails are typically a series of 2-3 emails that include another thank you, a calendar of upcoming events and a survey that asks questions about their motivations for giving to your nonprofit.  You may also consider adding an additional email where you invite them to join your monthly donor program.

Here are some additional tips on new donor welcome email series.