What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that takes place each year on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving.
Launched in 2012 as a response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it encourages people to come together in the spirit of radical generosity.
Once a grassroots initiative, this movement has grown into fundraising's biggest single-day event of the year, shattering donation records in 2021 by raising $2.7 billion for nonprofits.
This year, Giving Tuesday takes place on November 29th. With proceeds expected to hit $3.2 billion, this is a crucial opportunity for your nonprofit to raise funds and awareness.
Am I Too Late?
With the fall fundraising season in full swing, you have a lot on your plate. Maybe your nonprofit has been busy with ongoing campaigns or knee-deep in planning your annual holiday fundraising appeal. Perhaps you’re working with a limited budget or simply new to the event.
Whatever the reason, don’t sweat it! There’s still time to make the most of this generous day of giving. Before jumping into our last-minute fundraising ideas, we suggest you start by setting that all-important Giving Tuesday goal.
Set Your Goal
In an ideal world, you've already crafted a compelling story to drive your Giving Tuesday campaign. But when things don’t quite come together on time, there’s still a way to salvage your message.
Giving Tuesday campaigns are most successful when they have a clear and defined goal. To save you precious time, here are some key objectives to choose from:
Once you have a goal in sight, use the SMART method to hone it into something Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. In doing so, you’ll have a clear objective to aim for and a clear message to communicate to donors.
To save time, use our SMART template below to create your own Giving Tuesday goals:
Get The Word Out
With your goal firmly set, it's time to get the word out. An email campaign is a powerful last-minute fundraising idea that works well on its own or paired with other strategies.
If you’re still several weeks out, start building excitement by teasing your Giving Tuesday involvement. If you're truly down to the wire, email supporters as soon as possible letting them know about your event. Your messaging should include:
- The goal of your campaign
- The impact donors will have by participating
- How and when to take action
- How to share your campaign
- Your gratitude to your supporters
Our experts suggest adding a calendar link to your email to trigger an automatic reminder. Make sure it contains clear instructions and a donation link for donors to access easily on the big day.
When To Send
When it comes to fundraising’s biggest day, communication is key. You'll want to send ongoing email reminders about your Giving Tuesday campaign in the days leading up to the event. Some tips?
- Segment your emails to tap into different donor bases (age, gift size, last donation date, donation frequency, etc)
- Be sure to send emails out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! These messages can be a breath of fresh air among all the brands competing for consumer attention.
- Leverage Out of Office auto-replies to highlight your upcoming Giving Tuesday efforts. Be sure to include donation links or any relevant instructions for readers.
- Drive donations on the day with energizing language and a clear call to action. And don't forget a follow-up email the day after sincerely thanking donors for their support!
Make it Match
Want to take your Giving Tuesday to the next level? Matching gift campaigns are one of the most successful ways to incentivize donations and can be pulled off effectively even on a tight schedule.
According to the data, 84% of donors are more likely to contribute to a matching gift campaign than a regular one. Not to mention donors tend to give 50% more because they feel they’re making twice the impact.
To harness this powerful fundraising idea:
- Announce your matching gift campaign by email, social media, and website
- Make sure you provide a clear link to DONATE in each call to action
- Emphasize the impact that matched gifts will have
- Use powerful and emotional language such as “double your impact”
But I Haven’t Prepared!
No time to plan a matching gift campaign from scratch? No problem. Fundraising Expert Alyssa Conrardy suggests getting approval from your board to use any existing donation pledges as the basis for your Giving Tuesday match:
If you have 10 board members and each is committed to giving $5,000 this year, you can say your board will match every donation made on Giving Tuesday, dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000. Some boards even get so excited about these match campaigns that they agree to increase their match during the day on Giving Tuesday if the match cap is met.
Buy-Now, Raise More
Another fundraising idea that works great in a pinch is also one of the most impactful. Offering a Buy-Now Opportunity lets your supporters browse and buy items at a set price while your nonprofit keeps the proceeds.
Take our Bali Beauty travel experience as an example. For a set price of $5000, donors can escape to a fully-staffed villa by the stunning beaches of Bali. At an NPO cost of only $3400, your nonprofit will net an easy $1600 for each trip sold!
The key is to offer highly sought-after and exclusive items that appeal to all donors. Luxury travel packages for auction are a perfect last-minute pick as they’re quick, customizable, and easy to place. Not to mention the allure of a private villa, stunning destination, and upscale amenities.
An added benefit? The money donors would typically spend on travel will now benefit a great cause.
Has all your time and effort been focused on that crucial end-of-year fundraising campaign? Take advantage of Giving Tuesday as the perfect kick-off point for your holiday appeal.
Rather than treat each event separately, this strategy combines the hard work you’ve already done with the unstoppable momentum of a global day of giving.
Here are a few simple ways to pull off this last-minute fundraising idea:
- Announce the launch of your end-of-year fundraising campaign across all platforms on Giving Tuesday.
- Add Giving Tuesday logos and branding to your year-end campaign page and communications. Then simply swap them out once the day is over.
- Rally supporters around a one-day goal by treating it as the first step in your larger holiday appeal.
- Tweak your website and donation pages to emphasize how Giving Tuesday gifts will impact your year-end goal.
- Use a single campaign name to unify both events, like “30 Days of Giving”, “The Season of Generosity”, or “Hope for the Holidays”.
Be More Social
Giving Tuesday grew out of an online movement, so social media plays a crucial role in this event. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are fantastic ways to share your campaign and make valuable impressions (20 billion to be exact). Plus, social brings you and your cause straight to the people.
What to Post
While sharing your fundraising goal is important, social media is all about connecting deeply with your audience.
Create positive, fun, and shareable posts – your donors will be more likely to repost engaging content than direct donation appeals. Remember, not everyone can give. But having your message shared across hundreds of pages can have a huge impact!
TIP: If possible, start posting on your social channels at least one week before the big day.
Giving Tuesday Images
Don’t have time to create high-impact visuals? We’ve got you covered with free Giving Tuesday images and templates.
To access the official Giving Tuesday Instagram stickers, create a new story, click the sticker icon, then type @GivingTuesday in the search bar.
1. Post an #UNselfie with your giving story and encourage donors to do the same.
2. Ask your social media followers to share stories of why they support your organization. Reshare their replies!
3. Head a 24-hour gratefulness campaign. Share posts throughout the day with all the things your nonprofit is grateful for. Encourage donors to repost with the things they're thankful for.
TIP: Post frequently on the big day to keep the momentum going.
Hashtags help spread your posts to a wider audience, including those who may be new to your cause. Take advantage of these powerful words to magnify your message and drive engagement!
We’ve included some of the most popular Giving Tuesday hashtags to copy and paste: #GivingTuesday #UNselfie #socialgood #makeadifference #nonprofits #dogood #fundraising #globalmovement #givingseason #supportacause
If you have a little more time on your side, create a unique and impactful hashtag that audiences will associate with your campaign. You can find our social impact initiatives under #luxgivesback
Facebook: Are you taking advantage of Facebook’s fundraising feature? Facebook Donation Account lets your supporters give directly through your NPO Facebook page. And there are zero processing fees! Set one up here. Instagram: With an activated Facebook Donation Account, you can also fundraise directly through Instagram. Add a donate button to your profile and use donation stickers in your Stories. You can even fundraise via Live Stream.
Check Your Tech
You only have 24 hours to make the most of this event, so it’s crucial your donation platform runs smoothly. It sounds like a no-brainer, but page crashes or processing delays can mean a loss in critical donations. To prepare for the big day:
- Make sure the DONATE button is clear and visible on your page
- Verify that your donation page is working on computer and mobile
- Test payments to confirm they’re going through
- Check your backend for proper tracking of donor records
- Ensure donors are getting donation receipts
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