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Nonprofit Leaders 5min read

#GivingTuesday 2018: It’s Time to Start Planning!

#GivingTuesday is on November 27, 2018 and will be here before you know it. Okay, I know what you’re thinking: it’s way too late to start planning! But that’s not the case. In fact, it’s never too late to start working to get in on all the energy, excitement, and benefits of Giving Tuesday.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when nonprofits and/or places of worship focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

In 2017, the social sector raised $300 million online, a record total and a 69 percent year-over-year increase that proves the movement is only gaining momentum.

To help your nonprofit and/or place of worship to stand out during Giving Tuesday, we’ve compiled a few tips and resources to help you plan your most successful Giving Tuesday campaign yet.

1. Develop Your #GivingTuesday Campaign Concept & Goals

First, you need to figure out what you want the campaign to be about, and how much money you need to raise. If you already have a holiday or end-of-year fundraising or marketing campaign in place, consider integrating #GivingTuesday into it to save time and resources, while joining the global giving conversation.

Try to focus on a specific campaign target, i.e. raising $10,000 to help provide coats to children, provide meals to X number of people, or help find shelter for 20 dogs, etc.

2. Craft Your #GivingTuesday Communication and Story

You may not have a lot of time, but you cannot forget to craft a compelling message and story that resonates with your audience and inspires new and existing donors to give. Create stories that show short and long-term impact. Donors want to know how and when their gift will make a difference.

Remember that your message needs to be powerful and impactful to stand out during Giving Tuesday when thousands of nonprofits are competing for attention.

3. Join Forces with Corporate Partners

If you have a corporate partner, discuss teaming up with them for your #GivingTuesday campaign. In exchange for some major publicity, corporate partners can match up to a certain amount of each donation, which often helps nonprofits meet and surpass fundraising goals.

If your organization doesn’t have a corporate partner, check out your volunteers’ employers. You might find many companies that are renowned for their workplace giving programs. Imagine how much money is sitting on the table, right in front of your volunteers!

4. Tell Your Story Through Images

Pictures are worth a thousand words – and this is especially true online. Content with relevant graphics can receive up to 94% more views than the same content without visuals. Photography, video, and infographics are all great visual elements to boost engagement with your content.

Use free tools like Canva and Crello to create eye-popping graphics to help tell your brand story with visuals.

5. Get Social

Stay engaged with your supporters online by posting messages, videos, images and blogs highlighting your cause, using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Need ideas? Utilize #GivingTuesday’s Social Media Toolkit to help you generate motivating messages for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. As you near #GivingTuesday itself, increase the frequency of your posts and ramp up the anticipation of the big day.

Check in with your platforms throughout the day to re-tweet and share your supporters’ messages about your campaign, as well as your own content. Don’t forget to mention and thank those who shared your posts and give shout-outs to donors as they make donations during the day. The more you engage your online audience, the more you will cultivate a buzz around your campaign.

6. Make Your Cause Mobile Ready

Mobile giving is quickly becoming a must-have in nonprofit fundraising. With that in mind, you’d be wise to make it easy for donors to give from any device, anywhere. Givelify can help. Your organization can sign up for Givelify with no monthly costs or contracts, and donors can download the app for free. Then, when a donor is inspired by one of your fantastic YouTube videos, she can go to Givelify, tap three times, and immediately turn her inspiration into a donation.

One of the best parts of #GivingTuesday is its underlying message: the sky’s the limit. Your organization can think outside the box, wage friendly competitions across state lines, and inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. With the right nonprofit fundraising plan, you will have a very real possibility to reach your goals.

7. Get the Word Out

Your campaign is a big deal! Make sure your local community knows about your campaign by getting local newspapers, radio stations, and news channels to cover it. Get your local government’s support by requesting a mayoral proclamation. This will add credibility to your campaign, formally recognizing it as a significant contributor to the community.

Use #GivingTuesday sample press release and a mayoral proclamation toolkit to help get the word out about your campaign.


Whether you plan six months ahead or two days before, it’s still worth your time and effort to participate in #GivingTuesday – even if it’s a last-minute campaign. Planning a last-minute campaign isn’t ideal, but you can take steps even now to engage donors and maximize support day-of. Visit our #GivingTuesday landing page for more information on how to join the movement.

Most importantly, a little planning can still harness this event as an opportunity to jumpstart your year-end fundraising efforts. It’s time to get to work!

About the Author

Basha Coleman