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Over the years Giving Tuesday has become a globally popular movement that celebrates human generosity and engages thousands of nonprofit organizations from across the world.
If you’re running a nonprofit, Giving Tuesday presents a prime opportunity to spread the message about your work, attract new donors, engage your current supporters, and build a community of keen ambassadors for your cause.
An estimated $2.7 billion was raised in the United States during Giving Tuesday in 2021, a 9% increase from 2020, the GivingTuesday Data Commons reported.
Giving Tuesday is also a fruitful time to raise public awareness and potentially connect to other nonprofit organizations and individuals in your community.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a global movement established in 2012 by New York's 92nd Street Y. Since then, GivingTuesday has grown into a generosity event recognized worldwide.
Giving Tuesday seeks to highlight the importance of giving right around the holiday season, when consumerism is especially rampant. GivingTuesday takes place annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This year, GivingTuesday will take place on November 29, 2022.
During Giving Tuesday, individuals and businesses from around the world rally to find ways to give back and transform their communities by donating and volunteering.
As a nonprofit professional, you’re likely aware of the importance of year-end fundraising for nonprofit financial sustainability.
Giving Tuesday can, essentially, the perfect kickoff to year-end fundraising strategies — if done right.
Whether it's reaching out to your social channels or making it easier than ever for your audience to give, here are some Giving Tuesday ideas, tips, and tricks we’ve compiled through our research and experience in the field.
Tips & Resources for Giving Tuesday 2022
Whether you've been a part of Giving Tuesday for years or this is your first time giving it a shot, these tips and ideas will help you boost your efforts.
1. Planning & Preparation are Golden
The saying goes, “well planned is half done”. And while good planning and preparation are indeed essential, pay attention to how much time you invest into this stage of the process.
Ditch endless strategy meetings and countless spreadsheets. Instead, hone in on identifying the activities with the highest ROI.
To do that, it’s crucial to look at the success of your past Giving Tuesday campaigns.
It could be that, no matter how many blogs (including our own) rave about it, Giving Tuesday hasn’t yielded much for your nonprofit in the past compared to other initiatives.
- For example, have your Giving Tuesday donors retained at a higher or lower level than other donors? Have they upgraded at the same speed as other donors? How about their engagement rates?
- How much time did you invest into your Giving Tuesday campaign compared to other campaigns and do you think the results were worth the investment?
If you find that your Giving Tuesday campaigns in the past have gained momentum, successfully acquired new donors, and yielded more fundraising dollars than your other campaigns, then it’s likely worth maintaining or increasing the efforts to run the Giving Tuesday campaign in 2022.
However, it’s important to not put all your eggs into one basket. Giving Tuesday is not a magical solution for all your fundraising problems, but it can be very fruitful if done well.
Here are some other elements to consider when planning:
- Consider the overarching objective of your Giving Tuesday campaign. Are you trying to raise a specific dollar amount? Set very precise and realistic goals. Your objectives could focus on the number of new donors, the number of sign ups for a recurring donation program, the numbers of volunteer sign ups, and more.
- Identify KPIs so that you’re able to track the success of your campaign.
- Assess your resources (staff, equipment, ambassadors, engaged supporters, existing network, budget) and more. This is also what will help you assess whether your goals are achievable.
- Determine who will take charge for the different parts of your GivingTuesday campaign. Distribute roles and delegate tasks such as content creation, community management, and social media management.
- Ensure well in advance that you have the proper systems and technologies to handle the influx of donations.
- Create a solid donor stewardship plan and donor journey map that will help you welcome and manage new donors as they start engaging with your organization.
- Optimize your donation form (we’ll touch on this more in the article).
- Segment your donors (new donors, past donors, volunteers and board members) and reach out to each donor segment in a customized, personalized way.
- Draft the copies for all email marketing.
- Devise a social media strategy, including crafting social media messages and get ready the supporting visual content (for each platform).
Additional resource: Check out the Giving Tuesday Workbook.
2. Lead with Impact
Most fundraising research agrees tying donations to specific impact/outcomes is a great way to increase donations.
Donors want to know they’re making a difference when they’re donating to a cause.
As much as possible, link donations amounts to specific outcomes.
$50 will provide 10 young women sanitary pads for half a year in a high school in Kenya.
$100 will sponsor a week of life-saving support for people seeking support with suicidal thoughts.
It’s also advisable to make your GivingTuesday ask very specific. Instead of asking for money to support the overall activities of your organization, craft a specific campaign (a particular project or an amount of money to go towards a distinct branch of your activities)
Something tangible, compelling, and urgent will appeal more to donors than something generic.
Pro tip: Prioritize donors’ experience. Create a streamlined look and feel across your Giving Tuesday emails and social media posts. Choose functionality, simplicity, and coherence.
3. Engage the Community
At its core, GivingTuesday is and should be a community movement. Engaging your audience in way that’s natural is key for the success of your GivingTuesday campaign.
Be mindful of the specific characteristics and preferences of your audience. Where do they spend most of their time? Is it at health food stores, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook groups, or someplace else?
How about what they like? Do they love reading or do they communicate with their friends via memes? Knowing your audience is key.
Be mindful of not over-saturating your audience. A lot of nonprofits will be running Giving Tuesday campaigns and while that’s great for the world overall, it can be a bit overwhelming for potential donors.
Be mindful of how often you reach out.
Other ways to engage your audience include:
- Having a donation wall where new donations that come are shown live and progress can be tracked.
- Engaging with donors on social media, as well as highlighting them on your profiles (with permission)
- Celebrating progress towards your goals in your supporter feed when you reach certain milestones.
- Create a unique hashtag for Giving Tuesday to use consistently throughout your campaign, and use it on your social media accounts. You can also use some of the more commonly used ones to increase reach (e.g. #givingtuesday or #givingday).
- Share articles or interesting posts by relevant thought leaders, influencers, and and partner organizations and tag them in your posts.
- Encourage staff and volunteers to change their profile pictures on all social media platforms to something that integrates both GivingTuesday and your organization.
- Live stream your campaign and allow your supporters to interact with you directly. Provide live updates throughout the day to keep the momentum going.
- Join the #GivingTuesday movement by signing up and connecting with your local chapter. This can give you access to more information and resources.
Pro tip: Don’t forget about matching donations. Each year, billions of dollars in corporate matching gift funds go unclaimed. This GivingTuesday, reach out to businesses you think might be interested in furthering your cause. Read more about how matching gifts can play a role in Giving Tuesday.
4. Spruce Up Your Donation Form
Optimizing your donation form is a crucial aspect of successfully running your GivingTuesday campaign. A good donation form is:
- Simple and easy to use
- Customizable and simple with minimalist design
- Fast loading—slow loading forms have been proven to decrease revenue
- Optimized for all devices—desktop, tablet, and mobile
- Doesn't redirect you to a 3rd party website. The transaction should happen without leaving your website, otherwise you risk losing trust with visitors.
Here are some aspects to keep in mind when creating or updating your GivingTuesday donation form:
- Is the donation process simple and clear? It should be easy for the donor to fill out the donation form and make the payment. Test the donation process with multiple people to make sure it works across different devices.
- Is it easy for website visitors to find your donation form? Include a prominent call-to-action (a button that stands out amongst other buttons) that links to the donation form. The color of the CTA should make the button stand out from the rest of the navigation.
- Is your form branded to look and feel consistent with your website and other promotional materials?
- Ensure that your donation form isn't cluttered. Donors should be able to easily understand how they can donate and what their donations contributing to. Also make sure there’s not much on the page that is distracting.
- Devise a clear confirmation page. A prompt and clear confirmation page is an important aspect of the donation process. It shows donors their donation went through and it’s an immediate way to say “thank you” and provide a gift receipt.
- Offer a variety of payment options and if you're an international nonprofit, offer a variety of currencies. This way you're not losing donations because you don't offer the payment method or currency of your donor.
- GiveForms allows you to donate and numerous payment methods.
GiveForms are optimized to make monthly giving simple and prominent. No separate forms required. Donors can manage and cancel their recurring donations themselves. Furthermore, ensuring that all transactions are secured, encrypted, and tokenized helps donors feel safer to give.
Donors have the option to cover payment processing fees, so more of the dollars you raise goes towards your mission.
5. Make #GivingTuesday Donors Your Friends
Raising a lot of funds during Giving Tuesday is great, but what’s even better is long-term donor retention. We’ve looked at the numbers and retaining donors is much more cost-efficient than constantly acquiring new supporters.
To retain donors, focus on emphasizing your mission and not just Giving Tuesday itself. Show donors the impact their donations will have and show them you value them.
To increase your chances of retaining your donors this Giving Tuesday we recommend the following tips:
- Be clear about how the Giving Tuesday funds will be used after the campaign is over and communicate this to your supporters.
- Say a clear, heart felt, prompt thank you following every donation.
- Segment donors and personalized communications.
- Create an engagement plan for Giving Tuesday donors.
- Manage your Giving Tuesday donor data. The better you capture, process, and store your donor data, the easier and more effective donor management will be.
Another way to retain donors is to encourage recurring donations. Monthly donations are the most popular form of recurring donations but you can offer multiple options to your donors. There is a lot out there to support the value of a recurring donation program.
- Recurring donors give 42% more per year than one-time donors.
- 57% of donors are enrolled in a recurring giving program, up 46% from the previous year.
- 94% of donors enrolled in a recurring giving program prefer to give on a monthly basis.
- 52% of Millennials surveyed are interested in monthly giving.
When donors sign up for recurring donations, not only are they communicating the desire to support your nonprofit longterm but also a passion for your cause.
6. Prioritize Great Content
We, and undoubtedly so, live in a content-driven world of appealing images, short but compelling text, and more than anything else — the world of video.
Good storytelling is key to most fundraising efforts but especially during a campaign like Giving Tuesday when a lot of organizations are vying for the limited attention of donors.
Therefore, storytelling and messaging should be the foundation of your GivingTuesday strategy.
Before sharing anything, however, reflect on your brand identity, as well as the goals and objectives you identified as keys for this Giving Tuesday.
Decide what kind of stories you want to share and in which format. Infographics? Short videos? Carousel Instagram posts?
Storytelling not only helps cut through the noise, but it enables the use of emotions to compel potential donors to engage with your content and respond to it, especially if they’re interacting with your nonprofit for the first time.
Ideally, you’d continuously collect stories (whether these stories are featuring donors, beneficiaries, or volunteers), that you could then pull from whenever you need to. If you don’t have such a database, identify only a few key stories that relay those messages you want to share this Giving Tuesday and focus on those.
Remember that great stories are often:
- Featuring a single beneficiary
- Donor-focused and not organization-centered
- Authentic to the brand identity
- In some way unique or otherwise compelling
- Enriched by powerful visuals
When we’re talking about powerful content, a report published by Forrester found that including video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-through rate.
Video, therefore, is no longer optional for a truly widely spread Giving Tuesday campaign.
Start your video production by setting a specific budget, defining your goals, and determining the main message you wish to share via the video. A good video doesn’t have to take a lot of time and equipment, but it does require some thinking and some knowledge of “what works”. If you don’t have that expertise in-house, consider hiring outside support.
7. Track, Measure and Pivot
Ideally, you have set your metrics and targets in the planning stage.
Tracking your metrics allows you to check whether you’re on track to achieve your goals, which tactics are yielding best results, and also allowing you to provide donors with real-time updates on your progress.
In addition to tracking donors, dollars, and other key metrics on GivingTuesday, monitor the overall effect of the event on your fundraising.
The more information you collect this time around, the easier and more efficient the process will be the following year.
Consider tracking, at the very least:
- Total amount raised during the campaign compared to last year
- Total amount raised online during the campaign compared to last year
- Total number of new donors
- Average gift of GivingTuesday donors versus average gift of other donors
You can also track:
- Total number of social media shares, likes, comments, retweets, favorites, follows, mentions
- Open and click-through rates for your emails
- Number of volunteers and ambassadors engaged
- Once you’ve run your campaign, it’s time to evaluate its performance. Look at how your numbers compare to your KPIs. Next, analyze the numbers to reveal insights. What worked and what didn’t? In which ways will you plan and execute the next year’s campaign differently?
If you have the time, compile it all into a simple fundraising report.
Meet your Giving Tuesday fundraising goals with GiveForms online donation software
Giving Tuesday is both a testament to human generosity and to the power of community. In the fundraising world, Giving Tuesday can be an important moment for nonprofits looking to boost their fundraising efforts.
Implementing GiveForms will help you capitalize this Giving Tuesday with higher conversion rates than other popular donation forms. Register for a free account today.