#GivingTuesday 2019: How To Plan A Successful Fundraising Campaign

What is Giving Tuesday?

Doesn’t it seem like the major holiday season begins earlier and earlier every year?

Thankfully, charitable giving rises alongside the holiday spirit. In fact, more charitable donations are made at the end of the year than any other time.

One way to kickstart the season of giving is by participating in #GivingTuesday fundraising.


This annual “Global Day of Giving” event takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and has helped to amplify year-end fundraising efforts for nonprofits and charitable causes since 2012.

In 2018, #GivingTuesday broke the billion-dollar mark, continuing its record of consistent growth every year.

ACHA #GivingTuesday campaign on CauseVox, showing a matching grant opportunity, and a $46,750 fundraising total.

The Adult Congenital Heart Association used CauseVox to create their 2018 Giving Tuesday fundraising site and raised $46,750, more than double their goal. 

“Before 2016, we were lucky if we raised a couple hundred dollars on #GivingTuesday. With the added perk of a matching grant and a helpful tool in CauseVox, we…were able to crush our goals the last two years,” says Development Manager Jessica DiGiovanni . Get started with CauseVox here

But the beginnings of this international day of giving were quite humble. Just eight years ago, the 92 Street Y in NYC and the United Nations Foundation considered how they could cut through all the noise of Black Friday and bring back the spirit of giving. What started out as a simple idea quickly transformed into what is now #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday 2019 is on December 3, 2019 and will be here before you know it. Okay, I know what you’re thinking: it’s way too early to start planning! But that’s not the case. In fact, it’s never too early to start thinking about how your nonprofit or cause can get in on all the energy, excitement, and benefits of the big day.

Download your #GivingTuesday Planning Guide

1. Start Preparations Early

People don’t just give because they’re asked to. They give because they’re motivated by the story of a friend, a video you post on social media, or the client spotlight in your e-newsletter. Giving is the result of inspiration.

So start your #GivingTuesday planning by considering who you want to inspire and how you want to do so. Since #GivingTuesday is, for the most part, fueled by online donations, it’s common for nonprofits and charities to focus on online audiences, including those on your email list and social media followers.

Create Your #GivingTuesday Page

So what does #GivingTuesday planning look like, exactly?

The best way to plan this day is to think about it as you would any other fundraising campaign. It’s not just a 24-hour event (even if it only “runs” that long). Instead, it’s an opportunity for storytelling, donor cultivation, supporter engagement, and a way to build awareness around your organization and mission.

Follow these fundraising plan best practices, including:

  • Set a goal based on your organization’s needs and using SMART goal criteria
  • Note your go-to strategies for success (such as a particular type of fundraising campaign, ideal length of the campaign, etc.)
  • Size-up your resources, including staff support and budget
  • Create a fundraising site (create your page with CauseVox here)
  • Create a thorough plan that addresses:
    • Campaign audience and the message that will best resonate with them
    • Expenses
    • Goal
    • Any additional items of note
Volo City Kids Foundation #GivingTuesday campaign on CauseVox, showing a $55,094 fundraising total.

The Volo City Kids Foundation used CauseVox to create their 2018 Giving Tuesday and year-end fundraising site. You can too. Get started here.

Armed with basic information about campaign planning, map out your own #GivingTuesday campaign.

Action Items:

  • Decide if you’re integrating your #GivingTuesday message into an established year-end campaign, or if #GivingTuesday will be a standalone campaign
  • Establish a fundraising goal and a thorough fundraising plan
  • Create your dedicated #GivingTuesday fundraising site

Create Your #GivingTuesday Page

2. Use #GivingTuesday Campaign Resources is known for its extensive set of resources to help nonprofits plan for the big day, whether you started thinking about the campaign in January or October.

Between weekly calls and Google+ Hangouts to frequent blog posts and online tools with tips and updates, there’s ample support before, during, and after #GivingTuesday.

As you’re probably well aware, nonprofit budgets are tighter than ever, which could potentially limit the size and scope of your #GivingTuesday campaign. Therefore, maximizing your resources is essential.

CauseVox is here to help, too. With CauseVox’s easy-to-use fundraising tools, you won’t have to waste any precious year-end time and effort on unnecessary admin tasks. You’ll streamline your fundraising, eliminating redundant data transfers and complicated reporting.

Here are a few ways to take advantage of the tools available to you:

  • CauseVox’s Learning Center: In the last few years there has been an increase in giving day campaigns. Thus, there’s no shortage of case studies and best practices to help you plan your own. CauseVox’s resources and blog are a great place to start.
  • CauseVox’s fundraising platform: You can use our fundraising platform to easily create a #GivingTuesday fundraising site that is personalized and designed for your organization. This helps you build trust and stand out from other campaigns on #GivingTuesday. We’ve also released a #GivingTuesday fundraising site template that includes graphics and best practices built-in by default, which will help you get up and running quickly. You can get started for free here.
  • #GivingTuesday Website: Visit, which is chock-full of resources, results from previous years, case studies, and more. Their toolkit has ideas, logos and branding materials, videos, and more. They also regularly update their blog with examples from other organizations that participated in #GivingTuesday, general announcements, and best practices.
  • Your Organization’s Community: Often, your best resource is your current base of donors and other supporters. They can help spread the word that you’re participating in #GivingTuesday and are most likely to donate on the big day. Ask them to share why they plan to support you on #GivingTuesday on social media, and then use those stories as inspiration and a call to action to rally others to give.

    Remember, while #GivingTuesday maybe one day, the weeks leading up to it are also important. HOPE Worldwide has consistently grown their #GivingTuesday campaign, raising more every year. VP and Chief Development Officer Russ Hargrove says, “The week before Thanksgiving is all about storytelling and thank yous. We shower [our supporters] with good stewardship…”

Action Items:

  • Set a date to start talking to your community about #GivingTuesday so they can help you reach your goals.
  • Read up on successful #GivingTuesday campaigns for ideas and inspiration.
  • Sign-up to receive #GivingTuesday updates and information from
  • Finalize your dedicated #GivingTuesday fundraiser site

3. Get Creative On #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to test out new fundraising techniques, messaging, and tools. Since most of the action is centered one day and one campaign, you can try something new without the risk of a long-term commitment.

Over the years, we’ve learned that #GivingTuesday draws a notable increase in donations and online engagement, so it’s worth trying something different such as using CauseVox to launch a peer-to-peer fundraiser to expand your donor base and recruit more supporters.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to launch a new website the same day or try something so out of the box that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Put all of your ideas on the table and then work with your team to figure which ones are best for a day like #GivingTuesday.

Consider one or more of these different techniques:

  • Get a matching grant from a partner or major donor. Campaigns with matching grants work extremely well for short timelines. Plus, it’s publicity for both your campaign and the sponsor. Jessica from the Adult Congenital Heart Association found a match made a big difference in her campaign:
    “Prior to this, like most organizations, we tried to drive #GivingTuesday donations through our social media channels, but did not see the momentum we were able to capture with the added match and a single channel to donate,” she says.
  • Do something fun and different on social media such as creating a special #GivingTuesday hashtag for your campaign, going LIVE on Facebook throughout the day, or utilizing Instagram Stories.
  • Integrate a physical or virtual event for extra engagement, such as a walk-a-thon, growing a mustache, or giving up a meal.
  • Focus on your donors and use the day to show them why they should give during the holiday season. In other words, make use of the #GivingTuesday concept and show your community some love!
  • Incorporate #GivingTuesday into your year-end fundraising campaign to kick it off with a bang!

Don’t shy away from making #GivingTuesday a chance to break out of the same ol’ thing – go big try something new.

Final Action Items:

  • Hold a brainstorming session with your team. Create a list of ways to add a touch of excitement to the campaign.
  • Talk to corporate partners and major donors early on about any potential matching gifts.
  • Consider reusing a technique from a previous marketing or fundraising campaign and kicking it up a notch.

4. #GivingTuesday Campaign Examples

#GivingTuesday is still months away, but it will be here before you know it. Start taking steps now to plan your campaign. After all, it’s easy to get sidetracked by everything else on your plate.

We want you to be as prepared as possible, and the CauseVox team is here to help you have a successful fundraising campaign. Here are a few example campaigns that showcase how other organizations have used CauseVox to drive success on #GivingTuesday:

The Painted Turtle

The Painted Turtle’s campaign on CauseVox, showing a $38,330 fundraising total.

Center for Community Solutions

Center for Community Solutions campaign on CauseVox, fundraising total of $26,190, more than 2x their goal.

HOPE Worldwide

Hope Worldwide’s campaign on CauseVox, with $62,102 fundraising total.

Raise More On #GivingTuesday With CauseVox

Make your #GivingTuesday less stressful and more successful with CauseVox. Manage relationships with your supporters and easily create personalized fundraising sites, peer-to-peer campaigns, and donation pages, all in one place, while also providing a remarkable giving experience your supporters will love.

Ready to make 2019 your best #GivingTuesday, yet? Let’s get started!


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