Giving Tuesday: Making giving exciting
A savvy fundraiser is always looking for new ways to attract donors, retain donors and generate enthusiasm for their cause. Since the very first Giving Tuesday in 2012, nonprofits and other organizations have been excited about the potential of this day.
The annual event which takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is an ideal time to tap into your community’s giving spirit, rally new donors and up the ante with your existing ones.
In fact, data shows that Giving Tuesday has become one of the most lucrative days of the year for nonprofits. It all boils down to how well you run your campaign.
This guide will walk you through what to do to plan, execute and reap the after-effects of a truly successful Giving Tuesday and reveal the top tools that make organizing and running your Giving Tuesday that much easier.
Get the full guide
Giving Tuesday: Your ultimate 2022 toolkit
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a focused day of giving that takes place annually in the United States on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The official Giving Tuesday website describes the day as “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity.”
Giving Tuesday 2022 falls on November 29th.
The history behind Giving Tuesday
The first ever Giving Tuesday took place in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y’s “Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact” in New York City. In the wake of that successful event, other nonprofits and communal organizations jumped on the bandwagon launching their own Giving Tuesdays to inspire their communities to get involved and contribute to their projects.
Why host a Giving Tuesday for nonprofits?
Giving Tuesday offers a great opportunity for nonprofits or healthcare organizations to raise awareness about their activities, attract new donors and boost giving. There is something about one concentrated day of giving that helps organizations whip up the necessary excitement and fervor to make supporters just that little more generous and involved.
As Giving Tuesday has become a worldwide phenomenon, generosity and support are growing exponentially.
How can you register for Giving Tuesday?
Any nonprofit or NGO can run a Giving Tuesday campaign! No official payment or registration is required.
The planning phase
The more thought and attention you put into planning your Giving Tuesday in advance, the more successful it is likely to be. Most organizations begin their prep in the summer (yes, it takes that long). If it’s your first ever Giving Tuesday, you may need to leave yourself a bit more time.
The following planning tips will help you make sure you haven’t missed any important steps.
Define your goals
Your organization likely already has an annual fundraising goal, and now’s the time to define how—and to what extent—you intend your Giving Tuesday to contribute to that goal.
A good goal is a SMART one:
- Specific—Define exactly the amount you want to raise. Example: 20% of your annual total or $10,000.
- Measurable—Choose measurable goals, e.g., specific amounts or a set time frame for collecting the funds.
- Attainable—It can be tempting to shoot for the stars, but it is better to choose a realistic goal that is attainable within the timeframe you have chosen.
- Relevant—Make sure the goal ties in with your organization’s mission and values.
- Time-based—Always set a deadline—whether that is for the planning stage of the completion of the project.
Create a marketing plan
If you’ve taken the time to set goals, you know where you’re headed but that doesn’t mean your constituents do. Create a marketing plan that translates your goals into a message your donors and potential donors can get excited about. Raising money for a local healthcare center? Establishing a much-needed animal shelter?
Share your vision, who will benefit and how much you need to raise by when. Share this information on all your social media channels and on your website donation page. This will help your donors understand the difference they stand to make which will in turn motivate them to help you achieve your goal in whatever way they can.
Get the full guide
Giving Tuesday: Your ultimate 2022 toolkit
Leverage your data
Your CRM can be a goldmine when planning your Giving Tuesday events. While most nonprofits want to attract new donors, you also need to rally your existing donors to increase their support—especially if it has waned over time and they have not recently engaged.
Look at donor data from past campaigns and events and segment your donors in a way that makes sense to your organization. Then you can target each group with an approach that is personalized.
Your segmentations could look something like this:
- Never donated before
- Donated more than a year ago
- Donated in the past year (this can be further segmented by size of gift)
Fall giving video series
Check out more videos like Chana’s to learn best practices and tips for boosting your Fall giving success!
Get your platform in order
Digital is the name of the game in fundraising today. Whether you are going to use social media and email to draw donors to your existing website or whether you are going to use a designated fundraising platform, you need to make sure your tech is up to date and in full working order before you begin.
Make sure the content reflects the messages and tone you want to convey and, crucially, make sure you have a functioning and easy way to collect money online. The last thing you want to do is get your audience excited about giving only for the donation to fail at the processing stage.
Running a successful Giving Tuesday will be a team endeavor. From the strategists who set goals and KPIs to the fundraisers who nurture and engage donors to the staff who actually execute the event on the day, all have an essential role to play. Because the efforts of many must come together to make your event run smoothly, it is best to prepare well in advance.
Delegate tasks to the relevant people making it very clear what their role does and does not involve. Leave plenty of time for people to get familiar with their tasks and learn how to use any new tools or technologies that may be required.
Decide on your focus
Many organizations are unsure where to focus their Giving Tuesday efforts—on attracting new donors or retaining old ones. On the one hand, the hype of a Giving Tuesday and all the online attention is great for drawing in new people; on the other, no nonprofit can afford to ignore their trusty regular donors – especially as retaining donors is less costly than acquiring new ones. The best approach is probably to strike a balance between the two audiences.
Tips + tricks for (even greater) success
Make it personal
With lots of organizations jumping on the Giving Tuesday bandwagon, you’ll want to make your message stand out from all the noise. One of the best ways to capture attention is by personalizing the message. When it feels like a fundraising request was specifically created for the intended user, that message has a much smaller chance of ending up in the trash.
Using your CRM, you can find out personal information about donors including family members, birthdays and anniversaries, giving history and specific interests. This will enable you to create a Giving Tuesday appeal that feels warm and personal and that stands out from the crowd.
Every person involved in your campaign—from donors to staff, to volunteers, and even board members—is in a position to help you get your message out to a wider audience. Ask everyone to promote your Giving Tuesday campaign to their own networks of friends, family, and professional connections.
A fundraising platform such as Advance from Gravyty allows you to create a unique fundraising page URL for each of your representatives so all they have to do is share their link with their personal network. You can even gamify this by comparing the results of one fundraiser against the other.
Make friends with social media
Giving Tuesday is now a global movement that more and more people are getting involved in. The wide reach of social media is therefore ideal for capturing new supporters and reigniting the enthusiasm of old ones. Encourage your volunteers, staff and board members to use their own social media accounts to post about your Giving Tuesday and rally their people.
Additionally, make sure your own social media page is in good shape so that when people come calling they are getting the message you want to convey.
A great social media campaign for Giving Tuesday will not only pull in donations—but it will also get you more followers, who can turn into donors and supporters in the future.
Make it fun with gamification
Everyone loves a game so use this to your advantage. With the right fundraising tool, you can add exciting features to your website or fundraising platform to make Giving Tuesday an even bigger joy. For example, feature a fundraising leaderboard or thermometer that rises as each donation comes in, or host an online raffle or quiz show to attract those who may not otherwise get involved.
If you’re fundraising for a nationwide organization, for example, you can pit different regions against each other to ignite some competitive spirit—it’s amazing what a little competition can do for your campaign.
Get the full guide
Giving Tuesday: Your ultimate 2022 toolkit
Interested donors will be excited to hear how close you are to reaching your goals so keep them updated throughout the day so they can share in your highs and lows and really feel part of the community. Once Giving Tuesday has kicked off, post regular updates about your fundraising progress on social media. Advertise any online games and events you’re hosting as widely as possible too.
As the day goes on, you can also share impact stories showing how the donations you’ve received so far will help support the communities you serve. Personal testimonials and videos from recipient organizations make for very emotive materials that could spark a flurry of extra giving.
Fall giving video series
Check out more videos like Kim’s to learn best practices and tips for boosting your Fall giving success!
Promote recurring giving
While Giving Tuesday is a one-off annual event, many organizations find it can be used to sow a seed for future giving.
Consider launching a recurring giving campaign on this special day. While it may not bring in major gifts upfront, it will help you generate a steady income stream throughout the year and into the future. You can include a field on your donation form asking people to opt-in for recurring giving.
Donors who commit to regular giving tend to be highly committed and a great asset to your organization as they are also often the ones who volunteer in other ways (e.g. to recruit others to the cause).
Launch a Giving Tuesday matching fund
Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy wherein companies match the donations their employees make to eligible nonprofits. When you build a Giving Tuesday campaign around matching gifts, you’ll get donors excited about increasing their individual impact and you’ll very likely raise more money than your organization could without this vital boost.
To launch a matching fund, you need to find an individual or other organization—e.g. a local business—that is willing to match your donors’ gifts (up to a certain amount) on Giving Tuesday. Ask board members and senior leadership for recommendations or reach out to some of your existing sponsors. One you have this in place, you can advertise that every donation will be matched by a generous sponsor, further increasing the impact of every donation.
While it was certainly a lot of work, it’s important to remember that Giving Tuesday is just the beginning. If you fail to use the day as a springboard to continue inspiring and engaging those who generously contributed to this campaign you’ve missed a great opportunity.
Even if you have a basic plan in place, donor retention is still one of the most daunting issues that fundraisers face at the end of the year. Retaining donors is less expensive for nonprofits than acquiring new ones, so make sure your organization focuses on retention throughout the year-end giving season (and all year round)!
The following tips will guide you through the process.
Give thanks promptly
Your donor has been touched by your appeal and they’ve dug deep and donated to your cause on Giving Tuesday. If you want to keep their interest and respect, don’t wait around to say thank you. Send them a prompt thank you note with an attached receipt no later than one day after the event—and preferably within minutes of receiving the donation.
Send a follow-up email
Many nonprofits are looking for donations, but individual contributions overall are decreasing. This makes it essential to strategically communicate with your donors and make sure they’re aware of how they impacted your cause and your organization. Always keep them involved and updated so that your organization is on their radar when they consider giving next.
Within a day or two after Giving Tuesday send a follow-up email to your donors explicitly stating how they made a difference.
In your email, you can include:
- How much money they helped raise in total
- How your organization will use that money
- How these funds will make a difference
- Further ways for them to stay involved
A week or two after your first follow-up email, you can send a second email further emphasizing your donors’ impact and explaining how you used their gift. Incorporate pictures or video testimonials to bring your impact message to life and tangibly demonstrate the impact your donors made.
Ask for the “golden donation”
The ultimate goal after a Giving Tuesday is to have your donors give a second gift (also known as the golden donation). Research shows that the top reason donors don’t give is that they’re not asked, so it’s critical to specifically ask for another gift. Remember that donors who give a second time are more likely to continue supporting you in the future so however uncomfortable you are with asking, it’s truly worth trying to cultivate these super donors.
Giving Tuesdays are true digital campaigns, which means they require fundraising software to help perform targeted donor outreach and maximize gifts.
Here is a list of digital fundraising solutions that can help your nonprofit benefit maximally from a Giving Tuesday campaign and its follow-up:
Raise: Your force for AI-powered fundraising
Raise from Gravyty helps fundraising teams engage and inspire 4x+ more donors and sustainably drive philanthropic outcomes throughout the giving pyramid.
Using Raise on Giving Tuesday
Use Raise to help you run a targeted, personalized, automated and super-efficient Giving Tuesday campaign, not to mention boost your fundraising capacity all year round. Raise will identify which donors to approach, suggesting ask amounts and providing personal details you can use in your approaches—it even drafts your emails for you and uses AI to learn your communication style.
Gratavid: Your force for personalized video messaging
Gratavid enables effective and personal constituent outreach at scale using the power of video.
Using Gratavid on Giving Tuesday
Gratavid can upgrade your Giving Tuesday campaign, enabling fundraisers to create, store and share personalized video thank you messages as well as impact stories and testimonials. Cut down on the time needed to nurture donors and make them feel special by letting personalized video shoulder some of the burden. Once you have it, use Gratavid all year long to assist with your other fundraising activities.
Advance: Your force for digital fundraising
Advance gamifies your digital fundraising platform and the giving experience, allowing you to host and promote Giving Days (or Tuesdays) online and design custom crowdfunding campaigns to promote new causes or support active fundraising initiatives.
Using Advance on Giving Tuesday
Use Advance to plan, organize and execute your Giving Tuesday from raising awareness prior to the event to executing a fully gamified interactive and exciting event on the day. Advance can help you organize and communicate with staff and volunteers, collect online donations and stay in touch with your constituents as the day progresses.
Conquer your Giving Tuesday
Planning a Giving Tuesday can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time. By leaving yourself plenty of time to get organized and using tools that are designed to make a fundraiser’s life easier, you are sure to achieve great success. So what are you waiting for?
Learn how to fundraise smarter, not harder this Giving Tuesday with Gravyty’s fundraising technology suite. Get your free consultation.