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Fundraising Tips

What is Giving Tuesday? The Complete NonProfit Guide

December 26, 2023

What is Giving Tuesday?

"I believe in the collective pursuit of a world built on radical generosity."
Asha Curran, CEO of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that appeals to the generosity of the holiday season. The popularity of this movement helps raise millions, encourages volunteering, and spreads awareness for nonprofit organizations around the world on a single day every year.

Giving Tuesday website encourage radical generosity

The History of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 thanks to a collaboration between the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation. The goal was to piggyback on the popularity of Black Friday and prioritize giving during the Christmas season. The idea was to harness the power of social media to kick off the giving season. Since its start, the movement has grown to include tens of thousands of nonprofits around the world and millions of dollars raised.

When is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday always takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2024, Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2024. The goal was to use the popularity of Black Friday and return the holiday season to one of radical generosity.

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The Importance of Giving Tuesday for Nonprofits

United States nonprofits raised $3.1 billion on Giving Tuesday in 2022. The money nonprofits can raise on this day is only part of the reason they should create a Giving Tuesday campaign.

Awareness and Engagement

Giving Tuesday helps promote the Spirit of the Season. Many nonprofits start their annual campaign on Giving Tuesday thanks to worldwide awareness of the campaign. The #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media allows nonprofits to reach a larger audience of potential donors. The Giving Tuesday organization also has a toolbox of graphics and logos that nonprofits can use to participate in this global generosity movement.

New Donors

Young people are more likely to notice Giving Tuesday campaigns online. Using hashtags and social media makes these fundraising campaigns ideal for receiving coverage and connecting with these supporters.

Nonprofits that create online Giving Tuesday campaigns with videos, compelling images, and powerful storytelling have a better chance of reaching new donors and encouraging charitable giving.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Giving Tuesday is also an excellent way to partner with local organizations and corporate sponsors. Nonprofits can appeal to small businesses for matching grants that inspire more supporters to donate money. Local nonprofits can also form givingtuesday communities to host events and run Giving Tuesday campaigns.

How to Participate in Giving Tuesday?

Individuals, nonprofits, companies, and community organizations can participate in Giving Tuesday.

Nonprofits

Nonprofits can benefit from various marketing tools supplied by the Giving Tuesday organization. Their GivingTuesday Toolkit includes key messages and sample press releases, a campaign timeline to follow, along with logos, images, and social media marketing ideas.

Giving Tuesday logos

Check out our GivingTuesday email templates for nonprofits →

Individuals

Individuals can also participate in Giving Tuesday by donating, volunteering, or starting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for their favorite charity. Use the GivingTuesday hashtag on all social media posts to ensure more people see your campaign.

Companies

Businesses that want to reach more customers must focus on their social responsibility. There is no better way to share your support for local nonprofits and your community during the holiday season than participating in Giving Tuesday. Corporations and small businesses can do several things on Giving Tuesday, including:

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4 Best Ways to Encourage Charitable Giving During the Holidays

1. Join the global generosity movement

Giving Tuesday is a global movement of individuals, nonprofits, and businesses. Fundraising campaigns during this time of year should promote feelings of community and radical generosity. Nonprofits can do this with at least one #GivingTuesday post on social media weekly. They can build stronger givingtuesday communities by sharing posts from other nonprofit organizations in their town.

2. Share compelling images and stories

Storytelling remains the best way to encourage charitable giving around the year. The holiday season is no different. Sharing impactful stories about how your nonprofit organization makes a difference in people's or animal's lives will entice more people to give.

3. Make it Easy to Donate

Donors have so many choices during this season. If it is challenging to give to your nonprofit, they will go somewhere else. 63% of donors would rather give online than by direct mail, so an online fundraising tool is necessary. Zeffy is the only 100% free online fundraising platform! So, if money is your concern, you no longer have to worry.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Year-end campaigns already have an ingrained sense of urgency thanks to tax requirements. Donors that want more tax deductions next year only have another month to give. Your Giving Tuesday and holiday campaign pieces should include key messages about this fact.

5. Thank your supporters

Giving Tuesday campaigns are the perfect opportunity to thank supporters for their donations and work throughout the year. By starting with a thanks, you're reminding donors and volunteers that you are a community with the same passions and goals. You can share how much your organization has already raised together and be transparent about annual fundraising goals you have yet to meet.

Giving Tuesday Thank You

Remember to send donation receipts and personal acknowledgments during your holiday campaign after receiving donations. Zeffy sends automatic receipts after each online donation.

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Tips for Creating a Successful Giving Tuesday Campaign

Set Clear Goals

Giving Tuesday is typically the start of your campaign, but holiday fundraising campaigns don't finish until the end of the year. Many organizations rely on year-end campaigns to cover most of their fundraising needs. With this in mind, financial goals are often more significant than other events and campaigns.

Fundraising is one of many goals that organizations should have for Giving Tuesday and holiday campaigns. Nonprofits that take advantage of givingtuesday marketing tools and ideas will reach more new donors. If they find companies willing to offer matching grants, they can raise more money from these new donors.

Year-end campaigns should have additional goals detailing how many new donors they hope to reach and how many returned from last year. Most nonprofits are surprised to learn the number of donors they lost. A significant part of holiday campaigns must include ways to build relationships with donors year-round.

Don't Do It Alone

Successful fundraising campaigns need more than one person. Nonprofits that form campaign teams, including donors, volunteers, and board members, will have more success. A team means more personal and professional connections that can help your year-end campaign. It also means more ways to connect with and build donor relationships.

Use Matching Gifts and Challenges to Raise Money

Before your Giving Tuesday campaign, it's time to connect with small businesses that may be willing to offer matching grants. Use your team's connections to meet business leaders and contact past in-kind donors and corporate sponsors. Find an amount high enough to excite your donors, but don't push too far from their original gift without forming a personal connection.

Start a Peer-to-Peer Campaign

As we've already discussed, fundraising is primarily relationship-building. One of the best ways nonprofits can use donor relations to raise money is with peer-to-peer campaigns. Nonprofits can solicit donations for general operation funds, but fundraising campaigns for specific programs or projects will have a greater chance of donating money. Create an online donation page with program images and details. Use compelling stories about beneficiaries to share your organization's impact.

Peer-to-peer campaign for Giving Tuesday

Leverage Multi-Channel Marketing

It's crucial to use as many ways to connect with donors throughout your campaign as possible. You should post your campaign and request supporters' help fundraising on all social media accounts. You'll also need to send emails before Giving Tuesday to excite donors about the campaign and its cause. The most common marketing tool for year-end campaigns is a mailed appeal letter. Make sure you reach all donors by adding a message about your peer-to-peer campaign here too.

Connect with Donors and Volunteers

Before Giving Tuesday, connect with donors and volunteers with a solid online presence and ask them to create their campaign pages. If any of your supporters are online influencers, ask them to start their own campaign and mention your organization on their social media accounts too.

A fundraising challenge is one way to entice more participation in your peer-to-peer campaign. You can find a small business to make an in-kind donation and offer a prize to the volunteer who raises the most money.

To ensure fundraising volunteers are prepared for the campaign, provide training and more fundraising tools like images, infographics, and program details. You'll also need to send regular updates on major donations coming in, what total giving for the campaign is, and which volunteer is winning.

At the same time, you must add weekly posts to your social media accounts and send weekly emails with more details on the program or project and updates on the campaign. Adding a donation thermometer to your online donation page and social media posts is an excellent way to do this.

Express gratitude and strengthen relationships

Before, during, and after your campaign, you should express gratitude to all donors and volunteers. Nonprofits must send personal acknowledgments within 48 hours of receiving their gift. You should also find ways to reach out to your current donor base to strengthen relationships and develop connections with new donors.

One way to do that is with a phone-a-thon. After your campaign, you can ask volunteers to call their donors. You can also invite a group of supporters to your office to make calls and order pizza and drinks.

FAQ

Is Giving Tuesday an American thing or a UK thing?

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that started in 2012 with the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation. The UK has been an official partner with the movement since 2014.

How successful is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday helped nonprofits raise $3.1 billion in charitable donations in 2022. Throughout the last nine years, Giving Tuesday has raised $13 billion.

Did the United Nations Foundation start Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday started as a collaboration between the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

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Learn how to maximize the impact of a Giving Tuesday campaign:

10 GivingTuesday campaign ideas for nonprofits

8 GivingTuesday tips for nonprofits

What is Giving Tuesday: A GivingTuesday history

GivingTuesday email templates for nonprofits