You’re sitting in your office on November 21st. You’re fielding texts from your mom about what time your flight home lands. At the very moment you begin to map out your Turkey Day plate real estate (mashed potatoes at 3:00, green beans at 9:00, please), you scroll across a teaser for a #GivingTuesday donation match a partner organization has organized and that feeling sinks in. You missed the #GivingTuesday boat. Again. #sad

That was 2016. And here we are in 2017… the #GivingTuesday planning you vowed to map out in August has gone by the way of your hydration and decluttering goals (read: it never happened).

Enter: We’re here as your trail guides for all things #GivingTuesday (or GT for short). We’ve got the maps, the bug spray and the snacks. Follow us and you’ll be only steps away from a successful November 28. (This is a good time to add that date to your calendar. No shame if it isn’t on there yet. This is a safe space.)


First, let’s get some of the basics out of the way. When does #GivingTuesday occur? Great question, you green bean loving nonprofit rockstar. #GivingTuesday is celebrated/observed the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The key is to think about it in the same vein as Black Friday and Cyber Monday — #GivingTuesday officially kicks off the end-of-year giving season.

The impact of #GivingTuesday is huge. According to the good people at, “On #GivingTuesday 2016, $180+ million was raised online in the United States alone to benefit a tremendously broad range  of causes.” Let’s get you a piece of that $180 million, shall we?

Next up: some real talk. Similar to the stretchy pants you may or may not incorporate into a Thanksgiving appropriate outfit, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to #GivingTuesday planning. Every organization is different so take these suggestions with a dash of nutmeg.

Also: plan plan plan and then plan to plan a bit more. #GivingTuesday is made up of just one day, but your online fundraising strategy is composed of 365. You heard me. Allow #GivingTuesday to be that bright spot of sage stuffing in the center of your plate but don’t forget to build all kinds of other juicy things around it too. Ensure your donor base is good and warmed up before #GivingTuesday arrives and don’t let ‘em forget how much they loved you in November when December, January and even February roll around, either.

Next, wear the big hat. I am talking about a bold, personal fashion statement worn to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner AND the concept of including folks from all different departments within your organization in your #GivingTuesday planning. Include everyone with even an ounce of creativity in your brainstorming and don’t forget that your pals in program and friends in finance may have something to contribute to your strategy, too.

Lastly, do some testing and don’t forget to measure. If this is your first or fourth year coordinating a #GivingTuesday strategy, it never hurts to create some goals to measure your organization’s success against. Check out organizations in a similar field and of a similar size. (Free idea: tools like the M+R Benchmarks Report make finding this data really easy.) Also! If you’re not sure what’s going to work, don’t guess! Test! I mean half your list gets the photo of the puppies and the other half gets the photo of the kittens. See: testing is fun!

So put on your hiking boots and join us. This year’s #GivingTuesday’ll be a breeze.

Download our Toolkit for your full guide to #GivingTuesday.