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GivingTuesday: There’s still time for success with these tips

Looking for a nice boost to your year-end giving season? Don’t overlook GivingTuesday.  

I know some nonprofit organizations might be tempted to say, “Bah, humbug!” to this special day of giving. After all, it’s awfully crowded out there with everyone asking for donations on the same day.  

But there are also a whole lot of donors looking to give on that day.  

That means you can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity. I’m sharing a few last-minute tips below to help you succeed on GivingTuesday, which falls on Nov. 29 this year. 

 1. Break through the noise

GivingTuesday has grown exponentially since it started just a decade ago.  

In 2012, GivingTuesday raised just $12 million. An estimated 35 million people participated in 2021, giving a total of $2.7 billion to charities across the U.S. This repeated the record-breaking trend of GivingTuesday, which continues to grow year after year.  

It’s harder than ever to make sure your cause is top of mind for donors, but here are a few ways to get your message out there effectively: 

  • Consider adjusting message frequency in the days leading up to and the days following GivingTuesday to make sure everyone had an opportunity to give. Digital media is a great way to boost your voice. 
  • Don’t forget about your website—lightboxes, home page hero images and countdown timers are all great ways to remind people about this important day. 
  • Have you tried SMS? Texting is such a great way to reach your donors outside their inbox, directly on their mobile device. You might be surprised by the results. 
  • Let your major donors know about GivingTuesday opportunities ahead of time. Have your major gift officers call a week or two before to give them first crack at any special matching gift that you have, before the rest of your donor file gets access to it.

2. Give your donors a reason to give right now

This year has been filled with so much uncertainty. There have been supply chain issues, inflation challenges and talk of an impending recession that have really impacted everyone in the nonprofit sector.  

Don’t shy away from acknowledging how those challenges have impacted your donors. At the same time, you need to remind donors that those same cost increases are being passed on to you and making it more difficult to provide those services that are core to your mission. 

Help donors understand why their gift today is crucial as we head into the holiday season. We simply cannot afford for donors to wait out the uncertainty of the economy when their help is needed right away.

3. Don’t forget about your sustainers

If I had to guess, your sustainer program is probably the largest it has ever been. We know that these individuals are deeply tied to your mission, and many organizations have special offers on GivingTuesday—gift matches, special programs that need funding, etc.  

There’s a good chance that your sustainers want to be aware of these opportunities and be a part of them. While we don’t want to ask too much of someone who is already committed to a monthly gift, don’t be afraid to reach out to them when the time is right.  

With all the economic challenges facing us this year, I would argue that this GivingTuesday is the perfect time to send out a heartfelt appeal for why their additional gift is needed. Or, if you’d like to take a softer approach, just let them know that a match is happening.  

You can ask them to share it with their family and friends, which some will do to help your word-of-mouth marketing. But oftentimes, sustainers will want to take advantage of that match opportunity themselves and will go ahead and give a gift. 

GivingTuesday is an incredible opportunity, so don’t miss out. Use these three tips to make sure your approach this year is a success.  

If you need a little help with your communications, check out our GivingTuesday Toolkit for a timeline of execution, social media templates and more strategies. 

Access the GivingTuesday Toolkit


Molly Roberts

Molly has been helping nonprofits elevate their digital marketing programs since 2016, developing strategies to reach new and diverse donors in a cost-effective manner. She has created strategies that lead to multichannel growth for food banks, hospitals, faith-based groups and international relief organizations.

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