Top 10 Tips for #GivingTuesday

Updated: Oct 20



Throughout my nonprofit career, Giving Tuesday was always an important part of my End of Year fundraising campaign.


Giving Tuesday often fell at the tail end of mustache-growing season at Movember and it kicked off my December donor appeals. While one can now #GiveEveryTuesday, many nonprofits still keep an eye trained on that special day in November (or early Dec-ember), #GivingTuesday.


Activating on Giving Tuesday is important as it's a day people expect to be asked to make a donation and are, therefore, more open to doing so. You don’t get 100% of the money you don’t ask for!


If you are thinking, yeah, but Giving Tuesday is a crowded, competitive time to reach out to my donors. They are being bombarded by every charity they’ve ever supported. How do I stand out?


Instil is here to help! Below are a few of my tried and true, proven ways to drive fundraising on Giving Tuesday.


Top 10 Tips for #GivingTuesday


1. Set a specific fundraising goal

Put a stake in the ground. Scream it from the rooftops (or your social media) that you have a specific goal you’d like your donors to help you achieve. Whether that’s $500, $5,000, or $50,000, this will ensure all supporters have a stake in helping you smash your goals.


2. Find a matching partner

Donation matching, or doubling your donation, is a simple, powerful message to encourage donors to give. Consider asking corporate partners, local businesses, or your board to match donations on Giving Tuesday. Then promote on your channels that donations will be matched in the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday.


3. Build GT into your End of Year Fundraising

For most charities, the last three days of the year see the most donations. Giving Tuesday is a great day to prime the giving wheel, so to speak, and give your donors multiple reasons and ways to support your organization. Per Classy’s The State of Modern Philanthropy report, 15% of Giving Tuesday donors will give again the following year.


4. Tell a unique story

Your mission matters, so remind people of the impact their donation will make. Work with a person or organization that has received your program benefits to create a video interview with them. You can find cost-effective video support through Upwork and there are easy ways to stitch together photos to create a lovely little video.


5. Host a virtual event

Now that you can easily fundraise directly with Zoom, Instagram, or Facebook Live, get your CEO, your programs team, and a program beneficiary online and create a virtual event. It doesn’t have to be hi-fi, just engaging. Share stories, update donors on your impact, give insight into a program or provide an update. You can also invite donors to participate in a Paint and Sip, Cocktails for a Cause, a cooking or fitness class.


6. Engage new donors through live-streaming

Live-stream content is growing exponentially. Through Twitch, last year $83M was raised for charity! It's not only gaming that is featured on Twitch, StreamLabs, and Tiltify, there are many streamers who craft, cook, play piano, and more. Streamers are a passionate community, they will truly rally around your cause and spread the good word about your mission.


7. Give back to donors

For one Giving Tuesday campaign I created, we reached out to local businesses to procure gift-in-kind items to give away during the day. We had signed guitars, restaurant gift certificates, hats, and t-shirts. We encouraged donations via a Classy fundraising page and gave away the merchandise randomly to donors throughout the day. It really put the FUN in fundraising!


8. Know your audience and segment your message

When we launched our live-streaming fundraising campaign at Starlight, it was a very different audience than our general donors. So we tailored our messaging for each audience- the streaming community received updates about their peer-to-peer campaigns, while our general audience received messages about a corporate match along with a program impact report.


9. Make the call to action simple and easy

Giving Tuesday can be a fairly crowded environment. But there is room for all! A fun hook, or message, will help you break through the noise. Movember asked everyone to donate their coffee for the day to raise $1M. That works for them because they have a large supporter base, so asking everyone to donate $2-4 is a low lift.


10. Don't try to do all the things

Giving Tuesday is growing, it’s not going away. You have plenty of time to grow a Giving Tuesday campaign year over year. Choose 1 or 2 of the items from this list, start realistically, and in no time you’ll be raising big bucks on this special day.



I hope you find these fundraising tips useful. I love hearing from other fundraisers- what are your Giving Tuesday tips and best practices?



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