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 (this year it’s Dec. 1, which might feel late but is sneaking up fast) and has helped to amplify year-end fundraising efforts for nonprofits and charitable causes since 2012.
In 2019, nearly 2 billion dollars was raised on #GivingTuesday, continuing its record of consistent growth every year.
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 2020 is on December 1, 2020 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.
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, empathy, and connection.
So start your #GivingTuesday planning by considering who you want to inspire and how you want to do so. Since #GivingTuesday is fueled by online donations (and 2020 has been all about virtual), it’s a good idea to focus on your online audiences. Think about your email lists, your social media followers, and your partner organizations.
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. This year, it’s also a great way to tell your community how you’ve responded to COVID, and why your mission is still important.
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 free campaign site with CauseVox here)
- Create a thorough plan that addresses:
- Campaign audience and the message that will best resonate with them
- Any additional items of note
Armed with basic information about campaign planning, map out your own #GivingTuesday campaign.
- Decide if you’re integrating your #GivingTuesday message into an established year-end campaign, or if #GivingTuesday will be a standalone campaign (we recommend thinking about them in tandem at the very least)
- Establish a fundraising goal and a thorough fundraising plan
- Create your dedicated #GivingTuesday fundraising site
Download your #GivingTuesday planning guide below:
2. Use #GivingTuesday Campaign Resources
GivingTuesday.org 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.
They have a huge toolkit, blog posts, logos and social media images, data from past years, and a particularly cool area called the Giving Lab. There’s ample support before, during, and after #GivingTuesday.
As you’re probably well aware, many nonprofits have had to cut back and survive on an extra-lean budget this year. If that’s you, 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 Blog + Resources: 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 resources and blog are a great place to start.
- CauseVox 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. We’ve even recently updated our platform to give you more options for virtual events and fundraisers.
- #GivingTuesday Website: Visit #GivingTuesday.org, 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.
- It’s free! CauseVox has plans with no platform fees, so you can focus your energy on donations instead of penny-pinching.
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…”
- 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 GivingTuesday.org.
- Finalize your dedicated #GivingTuesday fundraiser site
- Select stories that you will incorporate into your campaign
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 out 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.
Volo City Kids tapped into the power of social sharing for their 2019 campaign and it really paid off. They asked supporters to share a picture and story about playing as a kid and use hashtags on social media.
Along with the social media campaign, they recruited teams and fundraisers to raise money on their behalf, and took advantage of CauseVox’s fundraiser templates. They surpassed their goals and found huge success!
- Integrate a virtual event for extra engagement, such as a walk-a-thon, growing a mustache, or giving up a meal. This year nonprofits have been getting more creative than ever with virtual events, and it’s a great time for you to try it out.
- 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!
- Think about leveraging partnerships. Even if local businesses or organizations can’t make a monetary gift, you can still work together to raise awareness. In 2019, the Catalogue for Philanthropy hosted a Give Local campaign, in which they highlighted some quality nonprofits. Getting a shout out from another organization goes a long way.
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.
Want to hear tips from real fundraisers who have run successful #GivingTuesday campaigns themselves?
Watch our Nonprofit Leader Panel from our Digital Fundraising Summit that dives into the details of how Fiver and Catalogue For Philanthropy successfully planned and executed their #GivingTuesday campaigns:
Raise More On #GivingTuesday With CauseVox
CauseVox makes it easy for you to run a #GivingTuesday campaign that’s designed to help you get more donors with less effort.
You can quickly create a branded #GivingTuesday campaign with conversion-optimized, mobile-optimized forms so you’ll get more donations than ever before.
Ready to make 2020 your best #GivingTuesday, yet? Let’s get started!