The Ideal #GivingTuesday Fundraising Campaign Timeline

Tina Jepson
Tina Jepson

Since 2012, nonprofits and charities of all sizes and missions have raised money and awareness on #GivingTuesday. And here at CauseVox, we’ve seen firsthand how awesome this “Global Day of Giving” is for organizations.

We believe that #GivingTuesday is one of the best days of the year— not only to run a fundraising campaign but to also get everyone from current donors to prospective supporters interested in your work going into the busy year-end fundraising season.

Sure, you can send out a couple of social media posts directing your audience to your donation page on #GivingTuesday, but if you really want to make your efforts worth it, you’ll need to start preparing early.

Begin your planning using this ideal #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign timeline.

Download your #GivingTuesday Planning Guide

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By September 30th

Do Your Research: Look into #GivingTuesday best practices and browse #GivingTuesday resources available from:

Learn about the resources available such as sample press releases and social media prompts to avoid duplicating any efforts.

Create Your Team: Whether your team consists of just you or a group of fundraising, marketing, and management-level professionals, you can still get the job done.

Set Your Goal: Base your goal off of the needs of your organization. It can be financial ($100), impact-driven (20 meals provided), or a mixture of both ($100 to cover 200 meals). Then, make sure it meets the SMART criteria:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

Determine Your Audience: Who do you want this campaign to reach? Your intended audience may include current donors, prospects, your social media audience, etc.

Pick A Theme: Get creative with a relevant campaign theme. If possible, try to incorporate your mission and goal into the theme.

Choose Your Medium: Decide how you’re going to collect donations. Remember, much of the sharing power of #GivingTuesday comes from social media, so it’s best to allow people to give where they are, online. We suggest focusing on:

Create Partnerships: Look for community partners that may want to combine your campaign efforts (such as another nonprofit). Also, don’t forget to reach out to local businesses and major donors for a potential gift match incentive.

By October 31st

Create Your Story: Your nonprofit’s story is what causes people to give. Therefore, it’s important to spend time ensuring that you’re telling your story effectively. For inspiration, use CauseVox’s Nonprofit Storytelling for Crowdfunding and Online Fundraising guide.

Donation Website: Create your #GivingTuesday campaign.

You can raise more with less effort on #GivingTuesday by using CauseVox to create your #GivingTuesday campaign.

Create Your Free #GivingTuesday Campaign on CauseVox

Create and Finalize Your Marketing Plan: Determine the marketing avenues you’ll use to promote #GivingTuesday and create a detailed plan that includes:

  • Target audience
  • Platforms used:
    • Email
    • Social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
    • Direct mail
    • Phone
  • Estimated day/time of distribution
  • Content message (written story, image, video) and purpose (donate now, awareness, etc.)

Partnerships: Confirm all partnerships and matches

Hashtag: Though not necessary, it may be helpful to create a special #hashtag that you and your followers can use on #GivingTuesday to share progress and increase energy around the campaign.

Recruit Personal Fundraisers: If you’re running a peer-to-peer fundraiser, reach out to potential personal fundraisers and confirm their involvement. Create a toolkit to help streamline their experience.

Start Promotions: Start getting people interested in the event using the following:

  • Local media
  • Social media posts
  • Emails to current supporters

By November 15st

Increase Campaign Updates: Ramp up your marketing efforts and make your goal known. Start posting 2-3 times per week.

  • Use social media to update your audience about the upcoming event (1-2 times per week)
  • Send out a reminder email

Draft A Press Release: Create, edit, and finalize a press release. Check out this #GivingTuesday link for a sample document.

Donation Website: Ensure your online fundraising campaign is ready.

Personal Fundraisers: If your campaign involves peer-to-peer fundraising, complete final preparations. Distribute the personal fundraiser toolkit and help fundraisers set up their own fundraising pages.

Media: Distribute press release and contact media outlets (newspaper, radio) about coverage on #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday- December 3rd

Gather The Troops: Make sure that all hands are on deck to help share the campaign, collect donations, and be on-call for technical support.

Track Progress: Keep up with campaign progress and share updates on social media throughout the day. If you’re using CauseVox, your fundraising meter will track donations in real-time. You can also choose to use the impact meter so that donors won’t just know how much they’ve contributed, but also the impact of those dollars.

December 4 – January

Thank Donors: Thank your donors as early and as personally as possible We recommend handwritten notes, a phone call, or another personal gesture.

Final Reporting: Report final results and impact to donors.

As you know, time really does fly once the leaves start falling. Start preparing your #GivingTuesday campaign now before it’s too late!

CauseVox makes it easy for you to manage your campaign with less hassle. With auto-receipting and easily accessible data, you’ll be able to spend less time on admin, so you have more time to nurture your new donors!

“Start preparing your #GivingTuesday campaign now before it’s too late!” tweet this

For more information on starting your #GivingTuesday fundraising journey, check out these resources:


Raise More With Less Effort on #GivingTuesday

Don’t let clunky technology keep you from reaching your #GivingTuesday fundraising goals.

You can create a #GivingTuesday campaign that you and your donors will love, helping you raise more with less stress and frustration.

Plus, you’ll save tons of time on administrative tasks and data management, so you have more time to invest in your fundraising strategy.

Create Your Free #GivingTuesday Campaign on CauseVox

This post was originally published on 8/8/17. It has since been updated on 05/01/20.

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