Last Minute Tips: Top Ways Nonprofits Can Leverage Giving Tuesday

By amanda Disilvestro on November 28, 2016

Almost everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the 2 days following Thanksgiving where people get out and buy, buy, buy. Fortunately, though, Giving Tuesday the Tuesday after Thanksgiving that is dedicated not to purchasing, but to giving back, is starting to become a part of the craze. This day is slowly picking up steam and publicity year after year, and considering last year an estimated $373.25 billion dollars was donated, this should be a marketing opportunity not to miss for all nonprofits. We’ve listed some tips below that your organization can use to best leverage Giving Tuesday in your favor:


First Things First: Create a Goal

Figure out what you want to get out of Giving Tuesday before you do anything else. The Able Altruist says to “establish what your organization’s mission is, what your donation goal is, which donors you’re looking to raise money from (new or existing) and if you’re trying to increase your brand and social media profile as well. You also need to determine how your #GivingTuesday efforts will align with your organization’s existing end-of-year campaign” (This second point is explained further below). Overall, just make sure you know what you’re working towards before you actually start putting in the work, and make sure the rest of your team knows as well. You can learn more about creating a “cause marketing” campaign here.

Incorporate Giving Tuesday into Your Existing Fundraising Efforts

It’s better to incorporate Giving Tuesday into your current holiday fundraising efforts as opposed to running a completely separate campaign. That way, you can use your current audience and promotions to promote this new addition to your campaign as well, instead of having to start from square one with your promotions (this is assuming you started your holiday fundraising around Thanksgiving). And vice versa, you can use the attention you receive from your Giving Tuesday campaign to direct consumers towards your business and your other holiday promotions and fundraisers, making it a win-win for everybody.

The example below shows how they incorporated a matching program into their campaign, and offered data to show progress and create interest—and it worked!


Make your Call to Action Clear

When you are creating your call to action, make sure it’s easy to understand and allows people to connect with your organization. The screenshot below shows a great example of not only a call to action and a contest that can also get people engaged, but also what you get when you do participate:


Consider holding an open house or a virtual live event where people can either come in person or online to learn more about your organization and its goals for Giving Tuesday. You can also incorporate a Q&A into this event, or hold a separate one. If your first event is in person, considering holding an online live Q&A session so you’re not asking people to travel twice. Consider having a list of volunteer opportunities on hand as well for those who want to do more than just give money. The turnout to these events should give you some indication of whether you need to step up your promotions.

Utilize Social Media to Promote Your Campaign

Promote, promote, promote! It doesn’t matter how lofty your goals are or how genuine your campaign is, if no one knows about it you’ll never achieve your goals. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post regular updates on your efforts (don’t forget to use the #givingtuesday hashtag when you do). Share success stories, personal accounts of people who have been helped, and real-time updates on where you’re at with your goals. As a social media management company, we always tell our clients to be transparent—don’t try to hide anything from your followers. Be honest about where you’re at and how close (or far) you are from meeting your goal. Below is a great example:


Besides promoting your efforts online, make sure you also announce your plan at any events you might attend, such as board meetings, volunteer orientations, press releases and gala events.

Don’t Forget about Email Marketing

According to, there are four stages of Giving Tuesday emails that you should be sending out to your consumers. The first is the announcement email that lets everyone know that your business will be participating in Giving Tuesday. You want to give a brief explanation about what this is (and consider providing a link where they can learn more) as well as what your business’s specific goal or target will be this season. The next email adds a personal element to your campaign. Consider telling the story of someone who has been, or who will be, helped by your donations. Consider adding a picture or video to this email for added emphasis. Campaign Monitor also suggests having the owner of the nonprofit send out an email explaining more about what the organization does and their particular goals for this holiday season. Finally, once Giving Tuesday has passed you’ll want to send a thank-you email thanking everyone for their participation. Definitely include whether or not you met your goal, and remind them again what their money is going towards. Be specific and include pictures.

The example below from the nonprofit Workshops for Warriors shows an email campaign that tells the story of how a donation will help (left), outlines the goals (right), and even launches a new video to hook in readers:


Finally, don’t forget to register your nonprofit at In addition to receiving a lot of helpful, free materials to use throughout your campaign, your nonprofit might end up being featured nationally—you can’t buy that kind of free publicity that will help your organization long after Giving Tuesday is finished. What are your goals for this year’s Giving Tuesday? Comment in the section below!

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Image 5 & 6 Credit: Screenshot Taken by Author November, 2016

About The Author

amanda Disilvestro /