Tap into the holiday spirit with a targeted approach to your fundraising strategy with #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as an answer to the consumerized nature of the holiday season. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, nonprofit leaders saw an opportunity to refocus the holiday season on giving back to your fellow human.
In the last seven years, #GivingTuesday has gone from a relatively unknown movement to a prime opportunity for nonprofits to tap into the giving spirit of the holidays and gain support for their cause.
If you’re looking for information regarding a specific part of #GivingTuesday, click the links below to jump ahead:
#GivingTuesday is an international movement designed for nonprofits to harness the spirit of giving around the holiday season. The purpose is to drive more revenue through donations from new and existing donors. It’s often stylized as #GivingTuesday across promotional materials and social media to encourage widespread social sharing.
When is #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday falls on the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It always falls five days after Thanksgiving.
Though #GivingTuesday started as a U.S. based movement, the message has since spread to more than 60 countries around the world. Nonprofits from across the globe come together on this single day to raise awareness for their cause and mission.
Who can participate in #GivingTuesday?
Anyone can participate in #GivingTuesday on behalf of a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This includes individuals fundraising for a nonprofit of their choosing, schools, churches, animal shelters, small businesses, corporations, and more.
How much does it cost to participate in #GivingTuesday?
Nothing! Registering on the official #GivingTuesday website and accessing their official #GivingTuesday promotional materials is completely free to anyone fundraising on behalf of a qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
How can GivingTuesday benefit your nonprofit?
What makes #GivingTuesday different from any regular fundraising day is the power behind the movement.
According to the official #GivingTuesday website, nonprofits around the world raised $300 million from a combined total of 2.5 million unique gifts. All of these were facilitated by more than 1 million social media mentions online.
#GivingTuesday can benefit your nonprofit in more ways than just increased donations, it can also:
Increase education about your cause or mission
Connect you with new donors, supporters, and volunteers
Increase your social media following
Drive more traffic to your website
Engage your current donors
The data also shows that #GivingTuesday works great for building and retaining repeat donations year over year. In 2018, 75% of those making #GivingTuesday donations were repeat donors with an average gift size of $105. Overall giving during #GivingTuesday has also increased year over year.
Between the free cost of participating and the opportunity for increased donations, there really isn’t a downside to joining the #GivingTuesday movement. Now that you know the benefits of creating your own #GivingTuesday campaign, it’s time to talk about what you can do to make your nonprofit stand out among the rest.
5 ways to make your #GivingTuesday campaign stand out
Creating a #GivingTuesday campaign that reaches your donor base isn’t enough to get the money rolling in. There are thousands of nonprofits participating in #GivingTuesday every year, which means you’ll need the right strategy to ensure your message is heard!
1. Choose the right campaign
As with most fundraising campaigns, your #GivingTuesday campaign should be focused around a specific goal or program offered by your nonprofit. Some nonprofits like to make their #GivingTuesday campaign holiday themed to align with the spirit of giving, while others use this time as a way to fundraise for a specific program or capital campaign.
Creating a narrow focus on a specific campaign encourages donations because people know where their money is going. The more they understand about why you’re raising money, the more likely they are to give.
Once you’ve chosen the right campaign, you should also do the following:
Establish a fundraising goal specific to your #GivingTuesday campaign
Create a landing page on your website for the campaign
Design a communications plan for your #GivingTuesday campaign
The more time you have to promote your #GivingTuesday campaign the better. It gives your donors and the public more time to become familiar with your mission and organization. Another quick tip? Kick things off on social media while you work on more technical back-end updates.
2. Use the official #GivingTuesday campaign resources
Creating a #GivingTuesday campaign from scratch can present unique challenges, especially for small nonprofits with limited resources. Thankfully, the team over at the official #GivingTuesday website have put together a complete resource center to help you get your message in front of millions of potential donors.
What’s included in the #GivingTuesday campaign toolkit?
#GivingTuesday campaign workbook
Sample press releases
Social media kit for nonprofits
Mayoral proclamation toolkit
FAQ for newbie nonprofits
6-week communications timeline
These guides are the perfect place to begin when creating your unique content marketing strategy for this campaign. You can also find plenty of free resources on the G2 Learning Hub or other educational websites. Do your own research, play around with free graphic design software, and take your marketing game to the next level.
Looking for a free and easy to use graphic design software? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
3. Add extra incentive to give
If you’re looking for a strategic way to encourage donations for your nonprofit, gift matching programs are a great place to start. With a gift matching program, you dedicate to match the donations of others up to a certain dollar amount.
One easy way to create your specialty #GivingTuesday gift matching program is to tap into your current donor pool. Ask them to pledge a certain amount of money to match gifts made during #GivingTuesday and create your gift matching pool from there.
For example, if you get 25 current and active donors to agree to gift match $100 each, you’ll have $2,500 your nonprofit can publicly pledge to gift match for #GivingTuesday. It doesn’t cost your nonprofit any money to create the program and it offers a unique incentive for people to donate to your nonprofit.
The majority of #GivingTuesday donations are made through digital channels like social or email marketing. These means your digital fundraising game will have to be on point if you’re looking to maximize your incoming donations.
For those new to #GivingTuesday, social media is a great way to reach thousands of new potential donors for little or no cost. Email marketing is preferred for reaching current donors but without the power of social media, your message will never leave your current sphere of influence.
What are the best ways to amplify your #GivingTuesday message on social media?
Use the official #GivingTuesday hashtags for all online posts
Interact with the official #GivingTuesday accounts post
Follow @GivingTuesday across social media
Announce your participation in #GivingTuesday well before the official date
Use the #UNselfie hashtag to talk about how you’re giving and why
The key here is making sure potential donors know about you before #GivingTuesday starts. The more you front-load your message, the greater chance there is that people will interact with your nonprofit before it’s time to give. This gives your message more time to reach new people!
5. Track with data
If this is your first year creating a #GivingTuesday campaign, you’re going to need to pay special attention to your results once the big day is finally over! Most nonprofit professionals report to a board of directors and in some cases, you might need to prove why #GivingTuesday is a good annual strategy for your nonprofit.
Tracking your #GivingTuesday efforts with a fundraising software can provide you a clean, easy to analyze data sample that will allow you to show the pay-off once the dust settles on your campaign.
Nonprofit fundraising software allows you to:
Manage donor information and communications - for both existing or potential donors
Allow users to create, manage, and monitor campaigns to attract new donors
Include online options for one-time or recurring donations and gifts
Deliver reporting and analytics to evaluate fundraising initiatives or donors' contributions
Campaign tracking can get messy if you don’t lay the groundwork before your campaign begins. Without a clear plan, the ability to qualify where donations came from and through what channels becomes muddled. That’s why it’s important to invest in a data-tracking solution before you kick-off your #GivingTuesday campaign.
Power your #GivingTuesday campaign with data! Find the best fundraising software on the market according to real user-reviews.
#GivingTuesday is just the beginning
These tips aren’t just good for #GivingTuesday, you can use the tips in this article year-round in your nonprofit marketing strategy. Put the donor first, communicate your mission, and lead with empathy.
Looking for the right story to tell with your #GivingTuesday campaign? Learn how brand storytelling can communicate your mission to the public in four easy steps.
Lauren Pope is a Content Marketing Manager at Oracle and a former content marketer at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, the G2 Learning Hub, and other sites. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and singing karaoke. (she/her/hers)