Giving Tuesday can be an effective fundraising tool with the proper planning and strategic approach.

GivingTuesday allows nonprofits to unlock donations from the millions of individuals who participate in this global giving movement each year—but it also puts pressure on them to plan and run a successful campaign to reach their lofty fundraising goals.

Viewing Giving Tuesday not as a burden but as a donor engagement opportunity makes it easier to follow a strategic approach that alleviates some of the stress of planning a successful event for your nonprofit. Giving Tuesday can become a tool that helps you strengthen your culture of philanthropy, engage your board members, retain new donors, and further develop your online presence. 

STEPS FOR CREATING A SUCCESSFUL Giving Tuesday campaign

Creating a successful Giving Tuesday campaign requires effective planning, extensive communication, and enhanced donor motivation strategies. The following steps ensure that you have a comprehensive approach to the day.

1. Look to the Giving Data

First, set specific, measurable, realistic goals for your Giving Tuesday campaign after examining your staff capacity and year-end fundraising needs; after setting the goal, look at the data to drive your plan. CCS’s 2023 Philanthropic Landscape revealed that: 

These statistics show how powerful Giving Tuesday can be, as it solicits donations from individuals through digital giving. In 2022, a record 35 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday in the US alone—roughly 13% of the country’s adult population.

2. Focus on the Donors

Giving Tuesday is an exciting opportunity to maximize your donor cultivation efforts considering donor retention is one of the top fundraising challenges for nonprofits. Your Giving Tuesday campaign should include all donor types through a broadly appealing theme and encourage unrestricted support of your organization.

When crafting your Giving Tuesday campaign, make sure to tailor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies by generation. For example, the 2023 Philanthropic Landscape highlights that younger generations are driven by being part of something bigger than themselves. Consider stewarding your board members to raise a pool of matching funds as a donor retention tool. It will empower your board and provide a compelling call to action for other donors to belong to a larger initiative.

3. Gain Campaign Advocates

Engage in frequent, transparent, and impact-driven multi-channel communication with younger constituents and leverage Generation Z and Millennials as strong advocates for your nonprofit’s mission and philanthropy efforts. As seen over the last two years, calls to action or disaster relief requests are more likely to motivate Generation Z and Millennials to donate compared to Generation X and Boomers. Generation Z and Millennials are also three times more likely to advocate for an organization than older generations.

Storytelling is a powerful anchor for campaign messaging. Sharing stories of impact increases relatability and encourages others to share their stories of impact or involvement. Gaining additional voices to amplify your mission is often an overlooked benefit of Giving Tuesday. Although raising funds is the main qualifier of a successful Giving Tuesday, the advocates you gain, donors you retain, and new audiences you are exposed to will have a much longer-lasting impact.

4. Leverage Multi-Channel Marketing in Your Giving Tuesday Campaign

Many nonprofits retain new donors through online programming or social media (53%) and targeted mailings/emails (79%), so disseminate your Giving Tuesday promotions through various communications channels, including email, social media, your website, and even printed marketing collateral to broaden your audience. Then, create a content calendar outlining when you plan to post on each platform to ensure you are providing holistic messaging and maximizing your audience engagement. Interact with your audience on each platform as much as possible. 

Your communications should highlight the time-limited nature of Giving Tuesday by encouraging donors to act quickly through countdown clocks or limited-time offers such as gift-matching opportunities.

5. Simplify the Donation Process

Provide donors with the ability to quickly give in a straightforward and mobile-friendly way. Thank them for their support soon after they have made their gift, and share campaign updates to indicate the impact of their donation(s).

6. Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning well will help your Giving Tuesday succeed. Treat the day like an event by creating a run of show and scheduling outposts, emails, and individual outreach. You can also use the day as a network extending opportunity, giving your donors other ways to contribute, such as encouraging them to forward or re-post your messaging or asking them to introduce your organization to a new contact. Once Giving Tuesday is over, analyze the results to see what worked for your organization and what did not so you can improve future campaigns.

creating a successful Giving Tuesday campaign Can Be Easier Than You Think

Beyond simply raising funds, Giving Tuesday can be a simple cultivation tool for you to engage and steward donors. Focus on a big-picture goal, let the data drive your activity, and plan ahead, remembering that success can look different for everyone—dollars raised, number of shares, open rates, new donors retained, and increased gifts, for example.

With the proper planning and realistic goals, this Giving Tuesday (November 28, 2023) can be the best yet!

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