- Giving Tuesday: A Little Bit of Background
- 10 Ways to Raise this Giving Tuesday
- Quick Marketing Insights
- Email Marketing Tips and Resources
- Social Media Marketing Tips and Resources
- Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
- Putting it All Together
If you’re running behind for Giving Tuesday—and let’s face it, who isn’t?—don’t worry, the RallyUp team has you covered. The uber-important day of global generosity that’s driven by social media and digital fundraising platforms can turbo-charge awareness of your cause and boost the funds in your coffers, which is exactly why we’re here.
In this article, our fundraising experts cover the background of Giving Tuesday and why it’s important for nonprofits to get on board. Then we’ll show you how to raise funds like a pro. We’ll share handy marketing tips and campaign-ready resources that you can just plug in and go!
Giving Tuesday: A Little Bit of Background
Some traditions are thousands of years old, while others are much more recent. Giving Tuesday was born in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y, or 92Y, a local nonprofit and cultural center in New York City. The intention was to create a way for people to give back to their communities. They chose the Tuesday just after Thanksgiving to encourage charity after consumption-fueled Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The idea was spearheaded by 92Y staffers who built the Giving Tuesday program step-by-step with a small budget and almost no institutional support. They reached out to other philanthropic organizations for collaboration. It worked! They expected 100 partners but were delighted to see 2,500. The bright and noble idea quickly grew into a movement, and by 2013, the original 92Y team was joined by 40,000 nonprofits.
By 2022, helped along by social media where it sees billions of impressions (literally—billions!), Giving Tuesday had transformed into an annual global day of giving. Tens of thousands of organizations across the world participate in the movement each year, with each community creating its own priorities to support. RallyUp is a proud data partner of the GivingTuesday Data Commons, helping keep track of giving trends to encourage collaboration between generous donors and nonprofits.
While most Giving Tuesday campaigns are based on monetary donations, many others focus on volunteering or sharing valuable resources. Some legal organizations, for example, donate pro bono services to those who do not have the means to fund their own legal representation. Some communities run local food drives. In short, there are infinite ways to give, and Giving Tuesday celebrates them all.
When you sign up for our exclusive campaign-ready resources, your nonprofit can channel the spirit of global kindness to launch an extraordinary fundraiser!
10 Ways to Raise this Giving Tuesday
When your organization doesn’t have time to craft an elaborate fundraiser, it’s a relief that there are 10 effective ways to raise funds that your supporters will love!
Have you ever noticed that people are much more likely to give generously to people they already know and love? For example, a father would sooner contribute $50 to his daughter’s favorite charity to support her than to a stranger in the street asking for donations for the exact same cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising harnesses the innate trust we place in our friends, family, and loved ones. Your supporters can reach out to their social networks to drum up new donors and contributions. This is welcome news for last-minute planning because it means that your supporters basically do all the advertising and fundraising for you!
Learn more about Peer-to-peer
3 Steps to a Giving Tuesday Peer-to-Peer Campaign
Peer-to-peer fundraising doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow these 3 steps to get started.
- Recruit Supporters. Find a core group of supporters who will raise funds on your behalf. A good place to look is within your organization’s past donors and supporters, of course. But don’t be shy about reaching out to family, neighbors, and friends—people get really excited about a good cause!
- Support Your Supporters. While your supporters will promote and fundraise on your behalf, you can make the most of their efforts by providing a helpful schedule. Include things like: when they should post on social media accounts, talking points about your organization’s cause and values, and email and social media templates for effective communication with donors. (Download some campaign-ready resources here!).
- Check In. Encourage supporters to post and share regular updates about the status of their campaigns. Not only does it keep morale high, but it inspires other donors to lend a hand.
- Say thank you. Don’t ever be perfunctory with gratitude. Supporters take a ton of time and initiative to go to bat for you, so show them how much you appreciate it. Whether it’s social media shoutouts, personal emails sent directly to their inbox, or even a phone call. (Yes, hearing a warm human voice is a beautiful thing!).
From marathons to walk-a-thons to read-a-thons to dance-a-thons, the same peer-to-peer principle applies: supporters rely on their own networks to drive awareness and ask for donations as they walk, run, read, or dance the night away on behalf of your cause!
The best part about a-thons is how creative and diverse they are. For organizations that are running late for Giving Tuesday, a virtual a-thon is easy and quick to set up. For example, supporters can log their own miles as they walk in support of your Giving Tuesday campaign no matter where they are in the world as you cheer them on through social media shoutouts.
Learn more about A-thons.
If you really want to keep it easy this Giving Tuesday, launch a crowdfunding campaign and invite your biggest supporters to be ambassadors for your cause. Not only does crowdfunding tap into a global audience, but it lets people donate without leaving their couch. A digital-first movement like Giving Tuesday aligns perfectly with the storytelling power of crowdfunding campaigns.
The key strategy is to share a compelling, interesting narrative about all the good your nonprofit does in the world and highlight exactly how donations will be used. Donors want to know that their contribution matters, so don’t be afraid to get really detailed here. For example, $100 builds a well. Don’t forget to be creative with crisp, relevant images to really inspire giving!
Learn more about Crowdfunding.
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to inspire donors! Auctions are fun, lighthearted, and bring people together to bid on thrilling prizes on behalf of your nonprofit.
If you opt for an in-person auction this Giving Tuesday, give attendees an easy way to bid on fun items and keep track of their bidding status with smart mobile bidding software that’s optimized for mobile phones and devices. For efficiency and broader reach, why not hold an online auction? It lets supporters quickly scroll through crisp images of what’s on offer on branded, customized donation pages. They’ll have a blast bidding against one another as they’re alerted to their bid status by email or text in real time!
The best part of an online auction—aside from eliminating worries about finding a venue and booking entertainment and refreshments—is that it gives donors plenty of time to bid on prizes. Instead of a one-night affair, a virtual auction can last weeks!
You could start your online auction in early November, making Giving Tuesday the last day to bid.
Learn more about Auctions.
5. Events and Ticketing
The pandemic showed the world that people can connect and support one another wonderfully online, but they also crave in-person events. With a super simple event management platform that bypasses the hassle of paper tickets and sign-up sheets, it’s a piece of cake to plan, promote, and hold a Giving Tuesday event online or in-person.
From intimate, curated experiences for your top donors (a virtual wine and cheese party, anyone?) to in-person galas and events, you can save a lot of time and resources with online ticketing, registration, and seamless communication.
Learn more about Events and Ticketing.
Entice donors with exciting giveaways by organizing a Giving Tuesday Sweepstakes on an easy-to-use landing page. Your nonprofit can give away fun and maybe valuable gifts to supporters while creating a sense of community and suspense.
Since Giving Tuesday is all about boosting global awareness through social media, supporters will love giveaways that make it easier to connect with one another. Think slick earbuds and headphones for smaller gifts and an impressive digital gadget as your main showstopper!
Learn more about Sweepstakes.
On a day like Giving Tuesday, mindless consumption takes a backseat as donors support their favorite causes by making meaningful purchases that help improve the world.
Whether your nonprofit is selling lovingly made DIY items or kindly donated gifts, make it easy for your supporters to get one. Give them a hassle-free, intuitive browsing and purchasing experience with our sales software. With beautifully designed product listings that reflect your unique brand, donors will be delighted to explore what you’re offering!
Learn more about Sales.
Ah, the thrill of suspense as donors wait to hear who got the lucky golden ticket! Raffles invite supporters to purchase tickets to enter a drawing for a special prize. With our intuitive platform, your Giving Tuesday raffle will be more successful than ever. Another option is holding a 50/50 raffle, which means that the winner gets extra lucky: not only do they walk away with the big prize, but they also receive 50% of the cash that’s raised!
From ticketing to communication, it’s easy to hold an online raffle that draws big crowds. Raffle ticketing tiers further excite and incentivize supporters. The more entries they buy, the more they get for each dollar!
For a fun twist on the traditional raffle, channel the Giving Tuesday spirit by offering something small for everyone who purchases a ticket, whether it’s branded merchandise or free entry to your next event.
To remind donors of the unique history of Giving Tuesday, why not make the big prize a weekend getaway to NYC, where supporters can snap a pic of themselves in front of the iconic 92nd Street Y? You can feature them on your web page, social media, and newsletter.
Learn more about Raffles.
If you don’t livestream it, did it even happen? In all seriousness, for nonprofits that are running late with their Giving Tuesday campaign, livestreaming is a brilliant solution that lets you connect with supporters anywhere in the world.
While you can certainly livestream an impressive event—a gala party or a concert, for instance—it’s perfectly acceptable to livestream something much more ordinary while giving your supporters a peek behind the scenes. For example, a livestreamed sit-down with the board of directors or a coffee break with your volunteers.
You can take donations, run spotlight auctions, raffles, and much more since they’re built right into our easy-to-use livestreaming.
Learn more about Livestreaming.
10. Donation Pages
To tap into the sharable, digital, go-viral-or-go-home nature of Giving Tuesday, a donation page is an absolute must. Not only does it share your cause with millions of supporters all over the world with engaging images and powerful storytelling, but it makes donating so easy. Best of all, it encourages one-time contributors to become recurring donors with an automatic invitation to become a monthly supporter. On Giving Tuesday, that offer is hard to resist!
Learn more about Donation Pages.
Quick Marketing Insights for an Extraordinary Giving Tuesday Campaign
It’s important to pull out all the advertising stops on Giving Tuesday, even when you’re in a hurry. We share our top marketing insights to skyrocket your nonprofit’s revenue big time.
Email Marketing Tips
In an increasingly online world, people are checking their email several times a day. That’s why email marketing is one of the most fruitful ways to connect, engage, and get the word out about your Giving Tuesday campaign. Here’s how to make it work for you:
With only a few seconds to capture a potential donor’s attention, an email headline has to be interesting enough to click on. Our Giving Tuesday campaign toolkit shares fresh ideas for email headlines, but here are a few headline Do’s and Don’ts to help you get started:
- DO: Be upbeat and inspiring. Making donors feel good goes a long way to boosting engagement.
- DO: Show impact. Even in a brief headline, it’s possible to state exactly how donations will be used. This works because donors want to know how they’re helping to make a difference!
- DON’T: Be wordy. Emails with long headlines get deleted!
- DON’T: Be boring. Find a way to remind donors that Giving Tuesday is coming up without sounding generic or recycling material from last year.
Click-Worthy Email Headline Ideas
Use the following attention-grabbing email subject headings:
- What do you stand for? Make your mark this Giving Tuesday.
- This year, we have just one word for you: Generosity.
- Ready to shake things up this Giving Tuesday?
- Join the global #GivingTuesday movement!
- This Giving Tuesday, be a part of something BIG.
- With just $5, YOU can save the Blue-Legged Frog this Giving Tuesday!
Powerful Narrative and Imagery
Stories connect people across cultures, languages, and generations. On Giving Tuesday, when the entire world comes together to support philanthropic organizations, storytelling is more important than ever. An email that includes a powerful, moving story is more likely to inspire donations than an ordinary letter that simply makes a request for contributions, or one that bombards readers with facts.
People like stories with clear heroes or relatable characters—can you imagine a good movie without a main character to root for? We can’t. That’s why it’s helpful to focus on how your organization benefits individuals or families.
For example, instead of stating that a literacy program benefited more than 1,000 children, focus on just one child and describe how the program changed their life. Instead of explaining that your nonprofit helps protect the environment, focus on one specific region, community, or even plant and animal species that you’re helping.
Use plenty of crisp, interesting, and emotionally compelling imagery to support your narrative and help donors connect with your main characters!
Say Their Name
Like most people, donors want to know that they’re valued contributors to your cause and that their support matters to you. Never send messages that begin with a generic opener like “Dear Friend or “Dear Donor.” The only message that sends is that you don’t know who they are and didn’t bother to take the time to find out.
Make your opening personal and authentic: “Dear Susan” or “Hi, Mark!” work wonders, and this is especially true for social media
Nearly half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. If your meticulously written email looks awkward on a small screen, either because there’s too much text or the images are too big, supporters will skip reading it!
Get to the point
Emails aren’t novels, and this is especially true for donors who are reading your messages on the go. Whether you’re inviting supporters to join your campaign or blasting out updates, always remember that less is more.
Center the Call to Action
Your CTA, whether it’s a big Donate Now button or a link that encourages supporters to learn more about your nonprofit, should be prominently displayed in your email. Don’t make people scroll to the very bottom of the page to see it—many of your busy supporters may never get that far into the email in the first place!
Social Media Marketing Tips
Since Giving Tuesday got its major boost from social media, nonprofits will see the most engagement by improving their social media efforts. Here are some solid tips to help you get the ball rolling.
Start As Soon as Possible
Don’t wait until the day before to start advertising your Giving Tuesday campaign. The more times supporters hear your message, the more it sticks! So start posting as early and as often as you can, nudging supporters as you get closer to the day.
Count it Down
A clever way of drumming up support as Giving Tuesday draws near is to post a daily countdown.
For example: Just 30 days until Giving Tuesday! How will YOU drive change this year? The next day, you’d post: Giving Tuesday is 29 days away! And so on. A countdown builds anticipation and gives you a great theme to schedule your posts around.
Social media sets the perfect stage for stories, especially image-based platforms like Instagram, so don’t be afraid to tug at heartstrings with moving images, powerful stats, and surprising facts. Really connect with your followers in an authentic way that makes them feel something they won’t soon forget!
Blast Out Video Content
Studies show that videos get a lot more engagement on social media than regular posts, so take the time to create fun, informative, and quick videos that pitch your Giving Tuesday campaign to as many followers as possible.
Remember: shareability is key. Would YOU send the video you create to your friend, parent, coworker? If the answer is no, then make another video that’s more fun to watch. The more engaging the video, the more likely it is to get shared with a wide audience.
Do you know what helped make Giving Tuesday the massive movement it is? Hashtags! The iconic #GivingTuesday hashtag made all the difference in getting the word out back in 2012 and by 2020, it was receiving more than 20 billion impressions.
It sounds simple, but it’s critical to be strategic about hashtags when you’re posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn: it’s how potential donors find and share your campaign. Our Giving Tuesday toolkit includes unique hashtags to help catapult your nonprofit to the biggest audience yet!
10 Catchy Hashtag Ideas
Use these hashtags to promote your posts:
Include Donation Instructions
Even if you’re posting often (and you should be!) in the days leading up to Giving Tuesday, it’s imperative to include donation instructions every single time. You never know how far your posts will be shared or whether a potential supporter is encountering your nonprofit for the first time. Make it easy by including a clear Call to Action and donation link on every post.
Engagement boosts engagement, so take the time to communicate with your supporters. If someone comments on your posts, reply! Even a few words are guaranteed to make a good impression. If someone retweets your post, thank them.
The more valued and heard people feel, the more likely they are to go the distance to root for your Giving Tuesday campaign and share it with their own followers.
Send Social Media Shoutouts
If you hit your Giving Tuesday goal, thank your supporters on your social media accounts by calling out specific donors. They don’t have to be your biggest donors, and might even be a special group of volunteers that you’re grateful for.
If you post warm praise of a supporter, they’ll be delighted—who doesn’t like to hear how awesome they are? The likelihood that they’ll repost or retweet is almost 100%, which gives your Giving Tuesday campaign that much more exposure.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
When it’s over, it’s not over. One of the biggest marketing mistakes nonprofits make is neglecting to follow up with supporters after a campaign winds down.
No matter how stellar your Giving Tuesday and marketing campaigns are, a nonprofit sinks or swims with its donor retention strategy. Turn those once-in-awhile supporters into loyal donors by checking in and following up with these tips.
Send an Email
The easiest and quickest way to thank donors is to send them an email. Remember: the purpose of a thank you email is to express gratitude, not to ask for more money. Thank them for their generosity by name and keep it brief. They’ll appreciate your gratitude and feeling valued means that they’re much more likely to donate again next time!
Make a Phone Call
Nobody makes phone calls anymore, which is why they’re increasingly valued as instances of authentic connection. So pick up that phone and start dialing! There’s no reason to make it complicated, either. Whether you’re leaving a voice message or speaking with a donor directly, just follow this sample script:
Good morning, Jean-Luc, this is Annie from the Save the Gorillas Fund.
I promise I won’t take up too much of your time. I’m just calling to say thank you for your kind Giving Tuesday donation. That $100 will go toward building a new enclosure for Gorilla George.
I’m happy to answer any questions that you may have about our organization
And that’s it! No need to ask for anything else at this stage. If the donor gets curious about the campaign or has questions, they’ll ask, you’ll answer, and a lovely conversation will follow
For Extra Brownie Points, Hand-Write a Note
Talk about a lost art! It turns out that people absolutely love to receive handwritten notes in the mail precisely because it’s such a rare occurrence. This is especially true for older generations, which many major donors happen to be.
Simply print up a stack of cards with your organization’s name and write a few sentences thanking your biggest donors for their generous contribution. Sign your name. Voila, you’ve made a human connection with a supporter. If you’re lucky, the donor will tack up your note on their office bulletin board or home fridge, which means more exposure for your nonprofit!
Putting it All Together for Your Best Giving Tuesday Campaign Yet
No matter where your nonprofit is in its Giving Tuesday journey, RallyUp has your back with 10 ways to raise funds on one seamless, easy-to-use platform. You can create amazing fundraisers in minutes.
And if you’re worried you don’t have time to write email, make graphics, and build social media posts, we’ve got your back. Just use these customizable templates in Canva. We give you campaign-ready Canva Graphics, Social Posts, and Emails to help make your campaign a success.
And don’t forget, RallyUp offers live support. We’ll help you organize and promote your Giving Tuesday campaign like a pro!