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Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday ideas: 7 strategies to stand out and gain donors

Discover creative ideas for Giving Tuesday, including top tips and best practices for bringing new people to your mission.

Grace Woodward
August 18, 2023
August 6, 2020
Nerd Mr Butter

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Mark your calendar, nonprofits! Giving Tuesday is an annual event that connects people worldwide with causes they care about, resulting in lots of new donors and substantial contributions for many nonprofits and other fundraising groups.

However, with 63% of donors only giving on Giving Tuesday, you’ll face some pretty steep competition. Use these ideas and fundraising strategies in your Giving Tuesday campaign planning to stand out and get seen by the right people.

1. Lead with video 📽

Video isn't just a trend—it's one of the most successful fundraising tools at your disposal for Giving Tuesday. According to Nonprofits Source, crowdfunding campaigns with personal videos raise 150% more than those that don't have videos. About 57% of people who watch nonprofit videos go on to donate. Furthermore, tweets with video receive 10x more engagement than those without.

The power of video goes back to the basics of storytelling:

Show, don't tell.

Video testimonials and images offer a direct window into a problem or opportunity. Instead of reading about how far someone has to walk to access clean water, they can see the long, hot, harrowing journey themselves. Viewers feel emotionally connected and immediately understand what their money or time will accomplish.

Campaign videos don't need to be lengthy. The most-viewed nonprofit videos on YouTube are 31 to 60 seconds long. Tell a specific story, show engaging imagery, and clearly state the next action step, like a link to donate.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Highlight a compelling individual story: Interview a person or members of a community your organization has impacted. If you're fundraising for a personal cause, create a brief video explaining what people's support will help you achieve.
  • Launch a viral video challenge: Campaign videos don't have to be serious. Everyone loved the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because it was unique, fun, and interactive. Come up with a viral video challenge and create a special hashtag to generate buzz.
  • Host a livestreamed special event: Live video is also powerful and lets you engage with supporters in real time. Try livestreaming a webinar, workshop, or even a comedy show!

2. Make it multichannel 🌈

Creating a multichannel experience is key to a successful Giving Tuesday.Share one consistent message across multiple channels (email, website, social media, radio, newspaper, online ads, podcasts, etc.) to get maximum visibility for your campaign. 

While you don't have to utilize every platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok), sharing content on multiple channels is a best practice. If you focus on just one, like Facebook, a potential supporter could miss your entire campaign because they didn't check their timeline when you posted. And if your campaign announcement email gets trapped in their spam folder, you lose an opportunity for support.

Your best bet is to cover all your bases and keep your ask simple and specific. A clear, detailed message builds credibility and gives people confidence you'll use their donations effectively.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Update your website and online fundraising page: Your website should have a Giving Tuesday call-to-action front and center, whether it's a donate button, embedded donation form, or volunteer sign-up form. 
  • Spruce up your social media accounts: Include engaging images in your Giving Tuesday social media posts and give a clear prompt to participate, share, and comment. Likes are nice, but comments from real supporters help you build authenticity, stand out, and motivate others to give.
  • Plan out your Giving Tuesday emails ahead of time: Organizations are sending people tons of emails during the holiday season. Determine your email strategy with your team, get creative with your subject lines, and use language your target audience is comfortable with.
  • Set up mobile donations and sharing: Mobile giving already makes up 25% of fundraising revenue, and it's rising. Make it easy with convenient text-to-donate and scan-to-donate options.

3. Recruit Giving Tuesday ambassadors 💞 

People are more likely to give to someone they know, so put an enthusiastic face and name to your year-end campaign. For this strategy, you'll need to recruit a group of Giving Tuesday ambassadors and determine how they can advocate for your cause.

Simply put, your Giving Tuesday ambassadors should be your champions—loyal supporters, dedicated donors, enthusiastic volunteers, and longtime sponsors. The more passionate they are about your cause, the more effective your campaign will be. 

These folks can help elevate your Giving Tuesday event or campaign by sharing it with their social circles and colleagues. Groups like these are also great entry points for people who might want to become board members in the future.

Some ambassadors may create their own peer-to-peer fundraising page and raise money from their network. Others may serve as event speakers or commit to . There's tremendous potential here; just make sure you provide each ambassador with the resources they need, whether it's an engaging script, fact sheet, or merchandise.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Empower your people: Prepare your ambassadors with a document or toolkit of talking points, social media graphics, and captions so they can help amplify your cause all day long.
  • Harness the power of peer-to-peer fundraising: The beauty of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is that you'll essentially ask current supporters to amplify your mission to their friends, family, and colleagues, bringing new supporters to your mission easily. "P2P" fundraising is one of the best strategies new and seasoned organizations can use to widen their following. Even if someone chooses not to donate, they could still learn about your mission, follow your organization on social media, or sign up to volunteer.
  • Make it a matching day: Matching grants are highly effective for relatively short campaigns like Giving Tuesday. See if a major donor or company will agree to match each donation on the big day. In return, thank them publicly and highlight their work.
  • Add a little friendly competition: If you're running a special event like a gala, game night, or auction, make it a contest to see which ambassador can raise the most money, bring the most attendees, or sell the most tickets. Remember to incentivize your ambassadors with rewards and recognize them throughout your campaign.

4. Host a virtual or in-person volunteer day 💛

Allow your supporters to get hands-on this Giving Tuesday. After all, it's Giving Tuesday, not Donation Tuesday. 

Although it's an effective day to raise money, not everyone can spare the funds for your campaign. However, most people can carve out an hour or two to contribute to a mission they're passionate about. People love to give back with in-kind donations or volunteer hours and show that they're doing something positive on social media. 

Think of creative ways you can let your supporters contribute in non-monetary ways. Your supporters will appreciate it, and by removing financial obstacles, more people can support your cause.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Get crafty: If your nonprofit sends health kits abroad, can you offer instructions on hosting a kit-building party for Giving Tuesday? If your choir is holding an online bake sale, can people volunteer as delivery people or donate baked goods?
  • Have your supporters "join" your marketing team: Ask people to email a certain number of friends about your cause or post an #unselfie (a selfie with a message about a cause they support). This helps volunteers raise money without spending money themselves.
  • Bring people together: THE PLACE hosted a livestream event that showed various community members participating in a massive "sleep out" to raise awareness for youth homelessness. They were able to raise over $30K for their cause. How can you apply this same mentality to your Giving Tuesday campaign?
  • Make progress on your long-term goals: Think about other ongoing goals, like acquiring more regular donors, or your main mission, like ending global hunger. Have supporters sign a petition for legal reform or something simpler, like joining your newsletter.
  • Give your supporters options: The Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois launched a Giving Tuesday campaign that encouraged their community to do random acts of kindness throughout the day. They used Givebutter to receive donations as one suggested act of kindness and raised over $6,000!

5. Collaborate with a community partner, influencer, or sponsor 🤝 

If you have a small business, influencer, or corporate partner who has been looking for a way to support your mission, consider partnering with them for a special Giving Tuesday promotion. 

Partnerships and sponsorships give you access to another audience of potential donors, and both parties reap the benefits of exposing your platforms to new people. 

Generally, it's best to partner with a business that caters to a similar audience. For example, if you're a health organization that focuses on women over age 40, you may want to partner with a vitamin shop or grocery store with a similar demographic. There are many ways to approach this and win big.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Get an event sponsored: Reach out to local businesses or even crowdsource ideas for potential business sponsorships from your donor base. In return, thank them publicly and give them visibility in your Giving Tuesday campaign materials. 
  • Try corporate matching gifts: Your supporters' employers may have corporate matching gift programs in which the company will match an employee's nonprofit donation (or even double or triple it). If so, direct supporters to make Giving Tuesday donations through this program.
  • Go live with an influencer or celebrity: Use the power of social media with a Facebook or Instagram Live on your partner's page to promote your Giving Tuesday campaign. 
  • Try a local restaurant fundraiser: This is a low-cost, low-effort method for you and your donors. Simply partner with a local restaurant and see if they'll donate a percentage of sales to your cause the week of Giving Tuesday.

6. Launch or highlight a monthly giving program 🗓

The retention rate for monthly givers is 90%, while the retention rate for the average donor is just 43%. In other words, nonprofits lose half of their one-time donors each year but keep almost all of their monthly donors. It's obvious why the ultimate goal for most nonprofits is to get people to give on a monthly basis.

Monthly donations are for more than just popular charities with huge budgets and thousands of donors. Schools, student groups, churches, and sports teams can easily set it up. Donors will celebrate, too—they can contribute without a considerable upfront financial commitment, which is an easier "ask" for you.

Finally, a monthly giving program helps you continue your Giving Tuesday momentum beyond the 24-hour window and smoothly transition into a new year of fundraising.

💪 Put this Giving Tuesday idea into action:

  • Specify donation amounts: "Why give monthly?" Answer this question upfront. Customize your donation amounts, and give concrete examples of where each dollar is going so donors stay committed month to month. For instance, your website could say, "$30/month provides 10 Happy, Healthy Teeth Kits to children in Nicaragua."
  • Emphasize the significance of smaller donations: Some people are intimidated by donating because they feel the amount they can donate won't be enough to make a difference. However, those of us in fundraising know a large number of small donations can go a long way. Empower supporters by labeling how donations as low as $5 or $10 a month will make a real-life impact on your organization. 
  • Give your program a mini makeover: This is a good moment to refresh your monthly giving campaign. You can temporarily update materials to reflect your Giving Tuesday branding and message or make the changes permanent.
  • Update your donate buttons and donation forms: Add a "Make it a recurring gift" option to your website, emails, and social media pages.

Pro tip: You can even center your campaign around a particular donation amount. The Dream Center launched a Giving Tuesday campaign on Givebutter where they specifically asked for $20 and raised over $20K.

7. Identify new donors using tracking tools 📊 

Givebutter’s free nonprofit CRM and donor management tools make it easy to analyze supporter activity by retaining donor information and history. This way, you can decipher who from your Giving Tuesday campaign is a new supporter, allowing you to send them a warm welcome to your community! 

In the age of data analysis, this information helps assess what marketing strategies are working best for your organization.

⭐ Pro tip: Donors who are thanked for their gift within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. Create donor segments using contact tags and custom filters so you can send personalized thank you messages through Givebutter's built-in donor engagement tools—all for free and all in one place.

8. Use Givebutter to keep the Giving Tuesday momentum going all year long 🧈

No matter which Giving Tuesday idea you put at the center of your strategy, Givebutter is proud to provide changemakers with everything they need to raise more, give better, and unleash generosity this Giving Tuesday. 

Explore our Giving Tuesday hub and discover case studies, best practices, and campaign tips to help you get the most out of this philanthropy-focused day. Your nonprofit may even be eligible for a $5K donation from us! 

Create your free Givebutter account and get started on your Giving Tuesday campaign today. 

We can't wait to see how you rally support for your good cause on Giving Tuesday and beyond!

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