The end of the calendar year is the most important time for fundraising. Research shows that about 30 percent of nonprofit donations take place in December, and the holiday season tends to create a spirit of generosity among nonprofit supporters. It’s critical for your organization to start developing your year-end fundraising strategy early to bring in as much funding during this time as possible.
A great way to kick off the year-end giving season is by launching a campaign for GivingTuesday. This worldwide celebration of generosity toward nonprofit causes can help your organization raise a lot of revenue and engage your entire supporter base. Read on to learn more about how to plan for GivingTuesday early and set your nonprofit up for success.
GivingTuesday for Nonprofits: FAQs
Since its inception, GivingTuesday has soared in popularity, generating $3.1 billion for nonprofits in just 24 hours in 2022. Before we explore how your nonprofit can make the most of this impactful day, we’ll start by answering a few essential questions:
What is GivingTuesday?
GivingTuesday is a global movement that encourages people to give back and celebrate generosity. It’s built on the idea of collaboration, allowing every individual and organization to participate in some way.
GivingTuesday is also one of the best-known giving days, which are 24-hour fundraising campaigns that bring communities together with the goal of maximizing awareness, engagement, and donations. While you can host other giving days specific to your organization, GivingTuesday provides an opportunity to reach a wide audience because of its worldwide presence.
When is GivingTuesday held?
GivingTuesday is always held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, representing a shift in focus from the shopping fervor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday toward bettering the community. Although the date follows a national holiday in the United States, GivingTuesday is celebrated on the same day worldwide.
Why should nonprofits participate in GivingTuesday?
Participating in GivingTuesday allows nonprofits to:
- Leverage the spirit of generosity that accompanies the holiday season.
- Spread awareness about your cause in preparation for your December fundraising push.
- Bring in additional revenue that is useful when budgeting for the new year.
- Retain supporters from the past year and gain new donors for the coming year.
The main challenge of GivingTuesday is that it’s highly competitive because many organizations around the world are fundraising at the same time. But by creating a solid plan and investing in the right resources, your nonprofit can stand out, attract supporters, and join in this global celebration of generosity.
5 GivingTuesday Tips to Raise More
Now that you understand what GivingTuesday is and why it’s important, here are five tips to help your nonprofit launch a successful campaign.
1. Set an attainable goal
As with setting a goal for any fundraising campaign, your nonprofit’s goal for GivingTuesday should aim for realistic growth. If you set your goal too high, your staff and volunteers can easily become overwhelmed and discouraged. However, setting your goal too low prevents you from maximizing your organization’s fundraising potential.
To set appropriate goals, examine data from your previous giving days and year-end fundraisers. Then, evaluate your organization’s overall capabilities and financial position. For example, if your nonprofit raised $5,000 last GivingTuesday and has been growing steadily this year, you might decide to aim for $6,000. Setting a goal of $10,000 would likely be too high, while trying to raise $5,000 again wouldn’t provide a challenge for your fundraising team.
2. Start brainstorming ideas early
Some nonprofits limit their participation in GivingTuesday to a simple 24-hour online giving campaign. However, the most successful organizations add other creative elements to make their campaigns excel above the competition. Consider adding one or more of these ideas to your GivingTuesday plans:
- Accept donation pledges leading up to GivingTuesday.
- Send free branded merchandise to everyone who donates a particular amount.
- Pair your campaign with a fundraising event like an auction, gala, or family-fun activity.
The more creative you want your GivingTuesday campaign to be, the earlier you’ll need to start planning. It’s often recommended to start planning in August or September so your plans will be solidified in time to launch your marketing campaign.
3. Market across multiple channels
At least a month before GivingTuesday, your nonprofit should start promoting your campaign. To reach as many supporters as possible, leverage all of the marketing channels your organization uses, including:
Make sure to incorporate the GivingTuesday logo into your marketing materials, as well as elements of your nonprofit’s brand such as your color scheme, tagline, and fonts. On social media, use #GivingTuesday to help even more supporters discover your campaign as they search for ways to take action.
4. Promote matching gifts
According to Double the Donation, one in three donors would contribute a larger gift if they knew it would be matched by their employers. To maximize your GivingTuesday results, spread the word about matching gift opportunities in the months leading up to the giving day. This type of corporate giving program allows donors to amplify the impact of their donations to nonprofits.
However, many people may be unaware that their company will match their GivingTuesday gifts. Therefore, it’s essential to promote awareness by:
- Mentioning matching gifts in your GivingTuesday communications
- Creating a dedicated matching gifts page to inform website visitors
- Sharing the impact that matching gifts will have on your nonprofit’s mission
- Following up with donors about matching gift opportunities after GivingTuesday
Furthermore, since GivingTuesday inspires many people to volunteer as well as donate, consider looking into additional types of corporate philanthropy, such as volunteer grants, that can generate even more support for your cause.
5. Thank and steward your supporters
Even though your campaign ends at midnight on GivingTuesday, your nonprofit’s work is far from over. Showing appreciation for every donor is essential to retain their support through the year-end giving season and into the upcoming year. As each supporter gives, ensure their information transfers to your donor management system.
Then, send out thank-you emails to supporters that:
- Are personalized with their name and donation amount
- Share your nonprofit’s GivingTuesday fundraising total
- Include concrete examples of how their contribution will benefit your cause
- Emphasize that they made your success possible
To keep your GivingTuesday donors engaged with your organization, send them an additional follow-up email suggesting other upcoming giving campaigns, volunteer opportunities, or events they could participate in.
By preparing strategically for the global celebration of generosity on GivingTuesday, you can set your nonprofit up for success in the year-end giving season and confidently enter the upcoming year. Invest in the right nonprofit software well in advance to help you set a goal, execute creative campaign ideas, market effectively, and thank your donors for their support.