Fundraising 101

Making the Most of Giving Tuesday 2019

Last year, my colleague Lisa Tarshis shared her valuable insights on the age old question: ‘Should You’ or ‘Should You Not’ perform a Giving Tuesday campaign? If you’re feeling on the fence, she lays out the top five questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you have a plan for Giving Tuesday in place?
  2. Do you feel pressure to do a Giving Tuesday campaign because other nonprofits are?
  3. What do you want to receive on Giving Tuesday?
  4. Do you have a year-end appeal in the works?
  5. When was the last time you contacted donors en masse?

If Lisa left you feeling psyched about this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign, let’s talk about how to make it your best one yet.

Preparing your donors

Despite its name, Giving Tuesday fundraising actually starts well before December 3, 2019. What messaging can you share now that will get your audience in the mindset of giving? Maybe there’s a matching grant that can be “unlocked” between now and then or a social media challenge for the post that gets the most likes. It takes multiple touchpoints to inspire action, so consider your donors and what will motivate them to start the conversation.

Motivating the masses

One way to multiply your reach on Giving Tuesday is to provide tools for peer-to-peer fundraising. For most people, this means posting on social media and emailing their networks. Organizations who see success on this day often receive donations from individual Facebook fundraisers that are set up by their supporters. This allows you to reach the second and third degree connections that aren’t seeing posts coming right from your page. To ensure your supporters are successful in reaching their networks, provide images and language to help them tell the story you want the world to see.

Standing out in the crowd

If you’ve ever scrolled through your newsfeed on Giving Tuesday, you are well aware that it is a crowded market. What you may not know is that Giving Tuesday donations have grown each year, with an estimated 3.6 million people making a donation in 2018. That’s a lot of donors! There is room for everyone to have a slice of that pie, but it’s important to think about some best practices in order to make sure yours isn’t sugar free:

  • Set a clear goal for the day rather than just asking people to give because of the date on the calendar. This goal might be in dollars raised, number of donors, increased gifts, or another metric that makes sense to your organization.
  • Better yet, consider a non-fundraising goal altogether. What better way to stand out than with a call to action that is really action oriented? Call your senators. Write a letter to a school in need. Sign up to volunteer at your annual thank-a-thon.
  • According to Nonprofit Source, 17% of donation forms are viewed on a mobile device on Giving Tuesday. Make sure your website and online content is mobile friendly so that you do not lose that audience!
  • Time of day matters! In 2018, Classy, an online fundraising platform, saw that donations peaked above $1 million at 10am, 6pm, 7pm, and 8pm. Think about these benchmarks when mapping out your communications for the day.

If this post has you thinking of new ideas for your 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign, we want to hear about them! Send me your thoughts, questions, and groundbreaking initiatives to