Get Ready For #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday sprint

#GivingTuesday sprint

#GivingTuesday is a quick sprint, but if you want to make the most of it, you need to start getting ready now.  You don’t want to sink too much time and too many resources into the 24 hour campaign, but a little strategic planning and a dash of creativity can help you bring in end of year donations and reach some new donors.  Don’t let December 1st sneak up on you!


#GivingTuesday (December 1st, 2015)

In 2012 #GivingTuesday was introduced.  Of course, the day was designed to raise money, but the goals were actually broader and more ambitious than just raking in cash. #GivingTuesday was an effort to reach a broader and younger audience and to leverage the power of social media to engage a community of people and make giving less private and more public.  A 2012 NPR article quotes Kathy Calvin, one of the original organizers as saying one of the goals was to make giving a group experience where they’re sharing that passion with others.”

From the start, #GivingTuesday proved to be a success and it has continued to see better results year after year.  In 2014 $45.7 million was raised.  With global media hype around the event, it just makes sense to participate in whatever way you can to take advantage of the exposure.  To really see success, however, you’ll want to plan ahead and make sure your campaign is crafted to be Targeted, Mobile-Friendly, Shareable, and Personal.  Here are some things to keep in mind:



Put some thought into your message.  Be succinct.  Be Emotional.  Incorporate compelling visuals.  You are appealing to an online audience and competing with a sea of other nonprofits’ messages.  You need to grab people’s attention quickly and be sure that you are poised to convert that attention to a donation.

1.  Create specific landing page(s) for your #GivingTuesday campaign.  Don’t just drive people to your organization’s website.  You want to minimize distraction so people clicking through from a tweet or a Facebook post see one clean, clear message and a prominent call to action.

2.  You may be getting attention from people unfamiliar with your organization.  Communicate the impact of a gift so they know what their donation will accomplish.  (READ MORE about how to do this)

3.  Be sure your page is optimized.  Minimize clicks and page transitions.



Your giving pages should already be mobile friendly.  If they’re not, here’s one more reason to make a change in preparation for #GivingTuesday – last year 17% of donation pages were viewed on a mobile device.  If your website is not mobile-friendly, at least make sure donation pages are.

How do I know if my page is mobile friendly?

1.  Fields should fit the screen without the need for scrolling, swiping, or “pinching”

2.  Fields should be limited to collect only the information you absolutely need.

3.  Fonts should be large enough to be easily readable on a small device.

4.  Buttons should be large and easy to click.


Want to see what your pages look like a variety of mobile devices?  Take a look at

Need an easy, optimized, mobile-friendly donation page?  CONTACT US.  We’ll give you one for free.



1.  Make your appeal shareable – create a heartfelt video or image.  Production value doesn’t have to be great, but content has to be good and it has to inspire action.

2.  Make it easy to share.  Pre-configure tweets and FB posts that people can easily share with a single click.  Brainstorm interesting facts or thoughts that you can tweet and link to your landing page.  Don’t just tweet “Donate Now” – that’s not compelling and will get lost in the fray.

3.  Approach local celebrities and ask them to support your campaign by endorsing your cause and promoting you on social media on #GivingTuesday.  Keep in mind that a “celebrity” can be anyone in your community with a solid Twitter following.

4.  Promote a creative #unselfie idea to engage supporters and get the word out.  Not sure what they are or how they work?  CLICK HERE for great examples from 2014

5.  Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag in your communications and create your own dedicated hashtag for the day.

6.  Specifically ask people to share and tell them why it’s important that they do.

7.  On #GivingTuesday, dedicate a staff member to social media.  They should actively promote your campaign, reply to posts, thank donors, reach out to supporters and prospects via all social media channels where your organization has a presence.



#GivingTuesday falls in the midst of the holiday frenzy.  People are busy thinking about gifts, planning meals, running to the mall, the grocery…They are tired.  They are frazzled.  They are simultaneously excited and irritated.  Remind them to pause and think about the real meaning of the holiday spirit.  Encourage them to remind others. Give them an opportunity to participate in something bigger than the fleeting joy of wrapping paper and cranberry sauce.

A 24 hour peer to peer campaign can help you get your message in front of new donors and can give your current supporters the chance to be heroes.  What you need to be successful:

1.  Set a fundraising goal – be ambitious, but not unreasonable.  Share your goal and show progress towards it throughout the day.

2.  Prepare your content – Create Impact Stories.  Craft an invitation for fundraisers.  Craft an appeal to donors.  Write good thank yous.

3.  Be sure you offer your fundraisers easy sign up &  page creation.

4.  Start early.  Ask your supporters to set up their #GivingTuesday fundraising pages a week or so early so pages are in place and ready to go when 12:01 December 1st rolls around.

5.  Actively promote via email, Twitter and Facebook.

6.  Follow up – Special thank you to fundraisers.  Special thank you to donors.  Share how much you raised and what you will do with the money.


Other resources

#GivingTuesday webpage

29 Ideas for #GivingTuesday 2015 you haven’t thought of