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Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday guide for nonprofits: What it is and how to participate

We’ve got everything you need to know about Giving Tuesday. Learn what it is, when it is, why you should participate, and top tips for how to stand out as a nonprofit.

Anna Bean
August 3, 2023
June 24, 2020
Nerd Mr Butter

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Even though there's a good chance you've heard of it, you might still be wondering, "What is Giving Tuesday, exactly?" We'll share everything you need to know about this international celebration and show you how to create your own Giving Tuesday campaign any time of the year.

​​What is Giving Tuesday?

A self-described "global generosity movement," Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving that began in 2012 as a response to holiday consumerism.

What is the history of Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. The Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at New York’s 92nd Street Y worked with the United Nations Foundation to ​​designate the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving a day of giving back. The timing was intentional—and, as it turned out, impeccable. 

In its first year, Giving Tuesday generated more than $10M in donations for participating campaigns, and by 2021 that figure soared to a record-breaking $2.7B with tens of billions of social media impressions of the hashtag alone. Since its inception, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity—with more than 80 countries now participating.

When is Giving Tuesday 2023? 

Giving Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Think of it like this: Thursday is Thanksgiving, then comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and finally… Giving Tuesday!

How to participate in Giving Tuesday

There are many ways to join in as an individual, group, or organization. And this special day isn't only about donating money. While you can certainly make a financial contribution on an organization’s official site or give to a campaign that resonates with you, Giving Tuesday is ultimately about encouraging people to do good in any form, whether it’s your time, energy, or expertise. Volunteer with a community clean-up project. Donate diapers and self-care items to a local women's shelter. Or even lend your skills to tutor high school students. 

In the words of the official GivingTuesday organization:

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. Any organization or individual can add the Giving Tuesday hashtag and logo to social media posts and donation forms. For nonprofits and groups that want to participate as recipients of this wave of giving, we’ve laid out everything you need to know to build a successful Giving Tuesday campaign. 

Best practices to make the most of your Giving Tuesday

Almost one-third of annual giving happens during the final weeks of the year, and Giving Tuesday has the potential to be your biggest donation day. But you’ll be facing some steep competition at this time of year, so it’s important to make a game plan. We’ve got some great strategies and tips to guide your planning, spark some inspiration, and make your campaign stand out among the crowd. 

⭐️ More to explore: 6 Giving Tuesday ideas and strategies that help you stand out →

Anchor your campaign on an all-in-one fundraising platform like Givebutter ⚓ 

Create and customize your own fundraising page on Givebutter with hundreds of features for collecting donations, planning events, and connecting with your supporters—all completely free to use. It’s easier than ever to collect donations with convenient features like Text-to-Donate and easy integrations with PayPal, Venmo, Zapier, and more. With Givebutter, nonprofits can sell tickets, stream events, and collect donations all in one place and in real-time—online, in person, or a mix of the two. 

The best part? Givebutter is donating $35K to select organizations that use our platform to fundraise this Giving Tuesday! 

⭐️ More to explore: Top 10 reasons why Givebutter is the best fundraising platform for your Giving Tuesday campaign →

Stream your Giving Tuesday event live 🎥

Whether you’re planning a Giving Tuesday dance party, happy hour, telethon, or something else entirely, you can reach an even bigger audience of donors with livestreaming. No matter where you or your Giving Tuesday supporters are located, a livestream can personalize the entire experience and help create a greater sense of connection. 

Virtual events on Givebutter can stream video live from any of the major providers (Youtube, Facebook, Twitch, Vimeo, Zoom), right at the top of your fundraising page. Watch as your community comes together on your supporter feed, your goal bar inches forward, and donations light up the screen—no refreshing necessary. You can also add pre-recorded videos from anywhere, share updates with supporters, and answer questions in real-time. Best of all, Livestream is included with every free Givebutter account. Check out how one #GivingTuesdayNow team raised $100,000 using Givebutter Livestream.

⭐️ More to explore: Reach more donors this Giving Tuesday with video & livestreaming →

Make it a team effort 🏅

Another way to engage a ton of donors around Giving Tuesday is through team fundraising, a fun and social strategy commonly referred to as peer-to-peer fundraising. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create and customize a campaign page dedicated to your cause where your supporters can make donations and leave GIFs, photos, messages, likes, and comments on your wall—similar to a Facebook or Instagram feed.
  2. Make use of Givebutter’s built-in features like one-click social sharing and automated email invites to spread the word about your campaign. Encourage supporters to share your campaign too!
  3. Take it a step further by inviting supporters to create fundraising teams within your campaign. Team members can make their own personalized pages, and donations to all of these pages feed directly back to your main Giving Tuesday campaign total. Warning: Friendly competition may ensue!  

⭐️ More to explore: Raise more with Giving Tuesday peer-to-peer fundraising →

Keep it social 📣

Don’t forget to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag on your social media networks! Join in on the worldwide conversation and get noticed by people who wouldn’t otherwise see your campaign. GivingTuesday has even more resources for you as you plan your email outreach, social media posts, text messages, and events. Be sure to check out their Canva templates, logos, stock photos, and GIFs to add extra Giving Tuesday flair to your own branding. 

⭐️ More to explore: Learn top tips for planning Giving Tuesday social media posts (plus, a free content calendar template!) →

Givebutter is your Giving Tuesday hub

We love Giving Tuesday because it creates a tidal wave of opportunities to bring out the changemaker in all of us. So whether you're part of a nonprofit organization, student group, sports team, big business, or simply rocking it solo, we hope you'll join Givebutter in unleashing generosity this Giving Tuesday. We’ve got everything you need to make this your best Giving Tuesday yet, including a chance to receive up to $5K from us!

Create a free Givebutter account to churn out change this Giving Tuesday—and beyond. 🚀

Get started
Set up your peer-to-peer fundraiser for free in just a few minutes →

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