If you run a nonprofit, you’re probably already familiar with Giving Tuesday.
If not, it’s a national day of giving that’s celebrated each year on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It’s similar to days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, except rather than shopping at their favorite businesses, people have the chance to make donations to the organizations and causes that are important to them.
Is Giving Tuesday really worth it for my nonprofit?
As a former nonprofit communications director, I know it can feel like Giving Tuesday is really noisy and crowded and that it’s better to put your focus on planning your end-of-year (EOY) campaign. But I promise, Giving Tuesday is worth your time and effort.
The truth is, Giving Tuesday gets bigger every year. In 2021, Giving Tuesday generated over $2.7 billion in donations from over 35 million participants.
If you’re worried about managing another campaign on top of your EOY planning, here’s what I recommend: Use Giving Tuesday as a soft launch into your EOY campaign. You can build momentum around your cause, generate some donations, experiment to learn more about your audience, and grow your contact list — all of which will make your EOY campaign stronger.
Giving Tuesday is on November 28, 2023
If you’ve already started promoting for Giving Tuesday, now is a great time to finish up strong. Even if you haven’t, you still have time to get your organization ready and take advantage of this important day of giving.
3 Ways to Get Ready for Giving Tuesday
1. Spread the word
Donors who know you’re participating in Giving Tuesday are much more likely to join in and donate.
Begin emailing donors and posting on your social media channels in the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday.
Here’s what to include in your Giving Tuesday messaging:
- A brief explanation of Giving Tuesday
While it seems like a no-brainer in the nonprofit world, not all of your donors (or potential donors) are likely to know about Giving Tuesday unless you give them the details. At the end of your explanation, be sure to welcome donors to celebrate with you.
- Your organization’s fundraising goal
Set and share your expectations of what your organization would like to achieve by participating in Giving Tuesday. It could be a general dollar amount to support your organization as a whole or to meet a specific need. Give donors an idea of what your goal is, so they can see just how impactful their participation will be.
- How your donors can help you promote
In addition to contributing funds, your donors can also contribute to your promotional efforts through word-of-mouth advertising.
2. Set up and test your website for collecting donations before the big day
It’s important to make sure you’re prepared to collect the influx of donations that you’ll receive on Giving Tuesday. If you aren’t currently set up to accept donations online, this web-based fundraising holiday is a great reason to start.
Two things you want to double-check before Giving Tuesday:
- Your website’s donation form
Send your website to someone outside of your organization and time how long it takes them to spot your donation form. If they see it right away, you’re set! If it takes a minute, consider repositioning your donation form in a place where potential donors can’t miss it.
In addition to placement, design is also a factor in ensuring your donation form catches the eyes of potential donors. Switching up its color and style can make a big impact on visibility.
- Your donation processing service
Don’t wait until the day of to discover something’s wrong. Have a few people within your organization make test donations, so you can pinpoint any glitches prior to Giving Tuesday.
Testing is crucial to making sure you receive every donation that comes your way. Not to mention, payment processing support lines will likely have quite a long wait on #GivingTuesday, so you’ll solve issues faster by calling ahead of time.
3. Get social with planned Giving Tuesday posts
Giving Tuesday takes place in the social media spotlight. From your favorite NFL quarterback to your distant cousin Bill who you only see at reunions, many people on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds will be sharing who they’re supporting on #GivingTuesday.
Ways you can leverage Giving Tuesday posts on social media:
- Plan Facebook status updates in advance
Facebook is a great space to share fun, visual content that highlights the heart of your organization and the impact of your work. Delve into your archives so you can debut your Giving Tuesday Facebook asks alongside photos that let potential donors see donations in action.
- Draft your day-of tweets days before Giving Tuesday
Take the stress out of whittling down lengthy sentences into 140-character punchlines by drafting your tweets beforehand. Once written, place them in a handy spreadsheet next to a column of post times. On #GivingTuesday, highlight tweets as you post them to avoid accidental repeats.
Scheduling social media posts in advance is a breeze when you use Constant Contact’s all-in-one social media management tools.
Maximize visibility by using buzzy Giving Tuesday hashtags
Pair each of your social postings with hashtags that will increase their visibility. Always use #GivingTuesday, but be sure to use hashtags specific to your organization as well.
For example, an animal rescue could use the following: #animalrescue, #adoptdontshop, #rescuedog, etc.
To find the hashtags that best complement your organization, use this handy hashtag search. Some of the top Giving Tuesday hashtags we found include:
Tools to help your organization reach its fundraising goals on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season
With our Giving Tuesday email templates, we are making it easier than ever to reach out to potential donors and encourage them to participate.
We also have other professionally-designed holiday templates you can use to support your fundraising efforts throughout the rest of the year.
And don’t forget — your campaign isn’t over after Giving Tuesday. Make sure you’re ready to send a Giving Tuesday thank you message the following week.
Some of our favorite resources for busy nonprofits
Nonprofit digital marketing basics
- Learn how to build a year-end fundraising marketing plan in 6 steps
- Get the Nonprofit Year-End Marketing Checklist
- See how to host a virtual fundraising event
- Learn how to attract and engage younger supporters to your nonprofit