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Giving Tuesday

How to plan an epic Giving Tuesday campaign in 7 steps

Explore resources, tools, top tips, and best practices for planning epic Giving Tuesday campaigns.

Grace Woodward
August 18, 2023
October 14, 2021
Nerd Mr Butter

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We've assembled all the steps you need to plan your campaign and crush it this Giving Tuesday. Keep reading to discover top tips and best practices for planning epic Giving Tuesday campaigns. We even share examples of real-life Giving Tuesday campaigns that nailed it.

Step 1: Choose your campaign type 📣

Giving Tuesday campaigns can take different forms depending on your needs, goals, and capacity. What kind of campaign will help you unleash the most generosity for your cause this Giving Tuesday?

Here are some tried-and-true options:  

  • Plan a fundraising event 
  • Launch a crowdfunding campaign
  • Harness the power of team fundraising
  • Create volunteer opportunities 
  • Host a virtual silent auction
  • Livestream your event 

No matter which kind of campaign you choose, Givebutter's entirely free donation forms, pages, and event features are here to set you up for success. 

Step 2: Set up your campaign on Givebutter 🧈

It only takes a few minutes to sign up and get started with our full suite of free fundraising features. Most Givebutter users create a fundraising page or fundraising event for Giving Tuesday because they're easy to set up, give you space to share your story, and engage donors in real time with a live supporter feed. You can kick it up a notch by adding a silent auction onto your event, or keep things simple using our modern and donor-friendly donation forms.

If you prefer to use your website to host your Giving Tuesday campaign, you can easily add a donate button to any page or embed your Givebutter donation form directly. Check out The Dream Center's unique #Make20Matter landing page that linked to a Givebutter form to collect donations.

For more resources and in-depth tips for building out your campaign, check out our Giving Tuesday peer-to-peer fundraising guide or hit replay on any of our past webinars.

Step 3: Put a spin on traditional fundraisers 💡

If there's a fundraising idea your team has been interested in trying out, this is the time to give it a whirl. Plus, you won't be the only one trying something new. NeonOne reports that 82% of participating organizations use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to experiment or try something new. Giving Tuesday is such a significant day of giving; most nonprofits receive a massive spike in donations on the day compared to the rest of the year. Don't be afraid to take risks and add a creative twist to stand out! 

Pick a Giving Tuesday theme and customize it 🎨 Donors respond more to campaigns highlighting a specific program or outcome than just supporting your organization's general operating expenses. The easier it is for donors to visualize how their gift will make a real-life impact, the more likely they are to give. Highlight stories demonstrating your impact or ask donors to skip what they'd pay for a cup of coffee in a week to your cause instead (e.g., $15 = 3 warm meals). And don't forget to make it fun! 

For a recent Giving Tuesday campaign, Just Say Something asked their community to give $36 in honor of its 36th anniversary. They also created several custom donation amounts with meaningful labels for donors to select the program they wanted to support. 

Inspire engagement ✨ In addition to reaching your monetary goal this Giving Tuesday, create and share benchmarks for bringing in a certain number of new supporters, donations, or volunteer sign-ups throughout the day. This method motivates more supporters to donate and helps raise awareness of your cause. You can even create and pin campaign updates on your supporter feed to keep everyone in the loop about the milestones you reach.

Make it monthly 🗓️ Allow your donors to contribute monthly right off the bat. Even small recurring donations can bring significant funding to your mission throughout the year. Givebutter makes it easy for donors to contribute sustainably by selecting to give monthly, quarterly, or annually. Don't skip this lucrative step! 

Go for matching gifts 👯 If your organization works closely with a corporate, community, or foundation partner, consider joining forces to provide a matching gift for Giving Tuesday. You'll double your visibility and empower more people to give. Donors are always more inclined to donate when they know their gift counts as double (or triple!) the amount. In fact, 84% of donors say they're more likely to donate if there's a matching gift involved.

Don't forget to track offline donations and periodically update your campaign's progress. Your supporters will be more motivated as they see that goal bar increasing. Plus, marking these offline donations is a great opportunity to recognize and thank your matching partners by including a message and image (like their logo) on your supporter feed.

Step 4: Map out your timeline 📅 

Even though Giving Tuesday is technically only one day, many organizations choose to fundraise for a more extended period. Giving Tuesday can kick off, close out, or occur right in the middle of a longer campaign. Choose a timeline you think will help you reach your goals. Here are some ideas: 

  • Start your campaign a week before Giving Tuesday.
  • Use Giving Tuesday to kickstart a year-end campaign.
  • Host a virtual fundraising event on Giving Tuesday but leave the recording up so people can share the event or hit replay.

We recommend not closing off donations at midnight regardless of your timeline. At Givebutter, we see significant donation activity even after Giving Tuesday and well into the holiday season. Setting a later end date (or none at all) will allow momentum to build for your campaign as more people engage and share it with their friends and family.

Step 5: Create a communications plan 📣 

There are dozens of ways to engage your donor base before, during, and after Giving Tuesday. To avoid last-minute stress, determine how and when you want to communicate your Giving Tuesday plans to your community. A multi-channel communications approach that includes email, social media, text messages, and even livestreaming will help you reach a wide array of supporters. 

With Givebutter's engagement tools, you can easily:

  • Design beautiful, targeted emails right in your dashboard.
  • Email and text your donors with custom-branded messages.
  • Filter supporters to deliver personalized messages that matter most.
  • Customize messages with images, embedded YouTube videos, Canva-integrated designs, and more.
  • Schedule messages for later or send them instantly with the click of a button.

Additionally, GivingTuesday and Canva have made it super simple to share your mission with ready-to-use social media templates. Don't forget to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag!

Ready to dive in? Start planning your Giving Tuesday email and social media strategies with Givebutter. ⭐

Step 6: Enlist the help of your community 💛  

Does everyone in your organization or group know about your Giving Tuesday plan? Your team members and coworkers are just as much a part of your community as your donors. Connect with your team to determine how everyone will engage with your supporters on Giving Tuesday. 

Fostering any interaction is crucial for success—especially in a virtual setting. Sure, it's important to hit your fundraising goal. But it's arguably just as (or more) important for new and existing donors to come out of Giving Tuesday feeling empowered and connected to your cause. 

Here are some fun ways to rally your entire community through your Giving Tuesday campaign:

  • Challenge 💪 Get some friendly competition going by enabling team fundraising. Invite board members, volunteers, donors, and community partners to make teams as part of your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
  • Engage 💛 Encourage interaction on your supporter feed. With Givebutter, donors can leave messages on your supporter feed as they give. Show them some love by liking and commenting on their posts. You can even pin your favorite messages to the top of your feed.
  • Go live 🎥 Broadcast a livestream on your page to engage and thank donors in real-time. With Givebutter, you can broadcast your livestream on any major platform, including Facebook, Zoom, Twitch, and YouTube (Check out how Kirkland Performance Center raised $150K on Giving Tuesday through an awesome Star-Wars-inspired livestream event!).
  • Get social 📣 Ask your team and your donors to share their support for your campaign on social media. Ask them to tag your account, so you can engage with them and share their posts on your organization's pages. Don't forget to include a link to your Giving Tuesday campaign in your every post. 

Step 7: Design a Giving Tuesday follow-up strategy 🙏 

Don't let this step become an afterthought. New and existing supporters are just as invested in your cause on this special day and want to see the impact of their contribution. Keep in mind: Donors who receive a thank you message in a timely manner are four times more likely to give again!

Here are some ways you can show your gratitude:

  • Send an automated thank you email with their donation receipt.
  • Follow up with a personalized video.
  • Mail handwritten letters or make phone calls.
  • Highlight supporters on social media.

Saying thank you to supporters promptly (without asking for more money) is the best way to set your next big fundraising campaign up for success. With Givebutter, you can make segmented lists of your Giving Tuesday supporters and engage them with targeted emails and text messages.

Make this your most successful Giving Tuesday campaign yet with Givebutter

Every year at Givebutter, we go all out for Giving Tuesday because it's a day that truly brings out the changemaker in everyone. As the holiday season approaches, we gear up to champion the inspiring causes that put to use Givebutter's free, state-of-the-art fundraising tools to reach their Giving Tuesday goals.

Givebutter provides all the tools and resources you need to raise more and unleash maximum generosity on Giving Tuesday. Givebutter will also be donating $35K to select Giving Tuesday campaigns churning out change like no other. 

Ready to make your Giving Tuesday campaign butter then ever? Create your free account on Givebutter today! We can't wait to see how you rally support for your good cause on Giving Tuesday and beyond.

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