Giving Tuesday: A nonprofit's guide to raising funds and unleashing generosity on Givebutter

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Giving Tuesday: A nonprofit's guide to raising funds and unleashing generosity on Givebutter

Last updated: December 1, 2020.

We love helping individuals and teams fundraise better — that’s why we made Givebutter’s features free forever as a Giving Tuesday gift in 2019.

No matter which Giving Tuesday idea you put at the center of your strategy, we’ve got tons of case studies, best practices, and campaign tips to help you get the most out of this global day of giving and beyond.

We've rounded up all of Givebutter's free Giving Tuesday resources in this blog to help you raise more, give better, and unleash generosity.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Even though there's a good chance you've heard of it, you might still be wondering, "What is Giving Tuesday, exactly?"

To answer that question (along with a few others we thought might be swirling around in your head), we've created a handy primer on this meaningful day and how it can help you embrace the spirit of giving. (Hint: It's not just on a Tuesday.)

Read: What is Giving Tuesday? What you need to know and how to participate

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Build on top of Givebutter's free Base plan with advanced upgrades and add-ons 🙌 Learn more→

How to participate in Giving Tuesday

There are countless ways to participate in this epic day of giving! In the words of GivingTuesday,

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.

To take part, nonprofits do not need to register with GivingTuesday. On December 1st, any organization or individual can add the Giving Tuesday hashtag and logo to social media posts and donation forms. But keep in mind:

💯 It’s free to register
📣 Once registered, nonprofits appear on GivingTuesday’s site
🤩 New donors can find nonprofits when they search for “participating charities"
🤜 Registration may increase media attention

So, we recommend registering!

Watch: [Webinar] Last-minute Giving Tuesday campaign building workshop

Regardless, the Giving Tuesday opportunities and options are limitless. Almost one-third of annual giving happens in December, when Giving Tuesday typically takes place. The two most important takeaways? Giving Tuesday has the potential to be your biggest day of donations and support, but you’ll face some steep competition at this time of year.

These 6 strategies will help your Giving Tuesday campaign stand out and get seen by the right people:

  1. Lead with video
  2. Make it multichannel
  3. Let supporters get hands on
  4. Collaborate with a nonprofit, business, or sponsor
  5. Recruit Giving Tuesday ambassadors
  6. Launch or highlight a monthly giving program

Read: 6 Giving Tuesday ideas and strategies that help you stand out

Streaming your Giving Tuesday event 🥳

Whether your Giving Tuesday event is a happy hour, telethon, or something else entirely, there are many opportunities to engage your audience virtually.

Just two weeks after hearing about the first nonprofit fundraising event that may be canceled due to COVID-19, Givebutter announced the launch of Livestream, a new product built specifically for virtual fundraising events. With Livestream, nonprofits can sell tickets, stream events, and collect donations – all in one place, all in real-time, and all online.

Virtual events on Givebutter are able to live stream video from any of the major providers (Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, Vimeo, Zoom) right on top of a fundraising page, and watch as their community comes together with supporter feeds, goal bars, and donations that light up without ever needing to refresh the page. Best of all, Livestream is completely free forever and included with every Givebutter account.

“If we were running this event in person, when the event was over, the giving was over. I think that happens with every event. It's very unlikely that days afterward people still feel inspired to give, but that actually happened with Givebutter. We were able to send this link out to our community members and that link was clicked many, many times which inspired a lot of giving...The celebration, regardless of what it is—fundraiser, friend-raiser—it doesn't have to end when your event ends. I think that's what's so beautiful about it.”

— Amanda Greenawalt, Director of Advancement, B'nai Jeshurun

Read: 7 easy steps to move any fundraising event to virtual

Watch: MAGFest raises over $112k through creative and hilarious MAGTelethon on Givebutter Livestream

Livestream: Sell tickets, stream events, and collect donations – all in one place, all in real-time

Rallying your Team Fundraising champions 🏅

One of the best ways to engage donors this is through team fundraising; a fun, social form of raising money commonly referred to as "peer-to-peer fundraising."

Read: What is "Peer-to-Peer fundraising"? [2020 update]

“None of us knew what we were doing, and Givebutter support was awesome. We emailed several times to say, “I don't know how to do this.” We had support from the Givebutter side who advised us on some of these other pieces that weren't [Givebutter] technology. They had enough experience to say, “Well, here's how that piece would play in,” and just gave us the confidence of let’s do this!”

— Mandy Moody, Director of Development, Green City Market

Here are a few of the many benefits Team Fundraising has to offer:

  • Individual messages of support
  • Personalized fundraising pages
  • Friendly competition (optional)
  • One-click social media sharing
  • Automated one-to-one email marketing

Learn more about all of these free features and more, available on Givebutter.

Read: The ONE thing you need to have in your next online fundraising campaign

Watch: Camp Moshava of Wild Rose raises over $352k with 40+ team fundraisers in a single Givebutter campaign

Bring your community together through Team Fundraising

Collecting one-time and monthly gifts on Giving Tuesday 💻

It's never been more important for nonprofits to have modern, well-designed, high-converting donation forms and buttons on their websites. We already know that in 2019 more people donated online than ever before, but now with COVID-19 leaving millions of people at home, traditional payment methods of cash and check border on obsolete.

Fortunately, thanks to modern fundraising platforms like Givebutter, it has never been easier or more cost-effective to collect online donations.

“One of the really unique things about Givebutter is the way that it allows people to pay the processing fee, and it's almost a built-in component. Almost every single one of our donors covered that processing cost for us, so we were able to take the full value of their contribution, rather than just taking a percentage of what they donated.”

— Ryan Heafy, Co-Founder and COO, 6AM City

See a full, side-by-side comparison of Givebutter vs. PayPal, Classy, GoFundMe, Eventbrite, Snap! Raise, Kickstarter, and DonorBox.

Read: Venmo for nonprofits: How can nonprofits accept donations through Venmo?

Watch: GetUsPPE raises $87k with Givebutter for healthcare heroes

Embed a simple yet powerful donation form on your website, or host it on Givebutter

Marketing your Giving Tuesday campaign 📣

Giving Tuesday communication timeline? ✅

#Unselfie template? ✅

Social media toolkit? ✅

Sample press release? ✅

GivingTuesday has created all the marketing resources you need and more to quickly and easily schedule Giving Tuesday emails, social media posts, text messages, and events.

Watch: See how you can reach younger donors this #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday Campaigns We Love 💛

Looking for more inspiration? Check these out these campaigns from the Butter Fam:

🍎 The Waltham Boys & Girls Club provides children and teens access to meals and resources for virtual education

🌳 Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation makes a 1,500 acre pandemic oasis possible

🎻 CelloBello brings 700 young cellists back to interactive group program

🏠 Hamilton Families supports families experiencing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area

💖 Smile On Me helps 28 girls thrive in their comfort zones and discover the remarkable

🤼 Beat The Streets Chicago redefines wrestling for Chicago youth

⚡️ LIFT Youth Center Inc creates an opportunity for youth in Georgia

🐶 Monadnock Humane Society gives animals a second chance

⚽️ The Prout School challenges alumni to break ground on a new field on the school's campus

📰 The Fund for Black Journalism educates and informs the public about solutions related to racial inequities in communities across America

We have a special announcement! 🙉

In the spirit of giving, we are officially waiving our Platform Fees forever on all accounts and campaigns on Givebutter – past, present, and future! You may have seen our announcement that this change would apply to campaigns created prior to December 31 of this year. Now, everyone can utilize our fee-free platform without any time restriction at all. To take advantage of zero Platform Fees fees this Giving Tuesday (and beyond), all you need to do is have Tips enabled on your campaign and only a transparent Processing Fee of 2.9% & 30¢ will apply (covered by over 95% of donors, on average).

Tell us what you're up to! 🌎

#GivingTuesday is finally here! There are so many ways to give back. Helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, giving to causes—every act of generosity counts. We're sharing the Butter Fam's epic acts of giving ALL DAY, so let us know what you're up to!


Please reach out at [email protected]. 👋 We'll continue to update this Giving Tuesday guide and our private Facebook group as we hear about new ideas, campaigns, and resources. Until then, happy fundraising! We're rooting for you.

Want more help building out your campaign? Try Givebutter Pro →

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.