Make the Most of Giving Tuesday

September 16, 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Home 9 Donor Engagement 9 Make the Most of Giving Tuesday

Mark your calendars! Giving Tuesday, a day of global generosity held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, falls on November 30th this year! 

In its first year (2012), organizations collectively raised $10 million on Giving Tuesday—and the day’s impact has only grown since then. Now, it’s a key fundraiser on most nonprofit calendars, extending across social media platforms and into 75 countries. Last year, Giving Tuesday propelled 34.8 million people to donate $2.47 billion to U.S. nonprofits—a 29% increase in donations from 2019!

With over two months to spare, the time to prepare for Giving Tuesday is right now

Whether you’re a Giving Tuesday pro implementing a legacy program, trying to get a budding program off the ground, or looking to reach supporters in a brand new way, now’s the time to get started on a creative, holistic plan!  (Did you know that 82% of nonprofits report using Giving Tuesday to try something new? Even donors themselves use Giving Tuesday to interact with their favorite organizations in unique ways—35% of donors give time or goods in addition to financial support!)

If you’re ready to make this year’s Giving Tuesday the best (and most creative) yet, here are a few helpful tips.

Secure a matching gift for donations on Giving Tuesday

A matching gift is the perfect way to build momentum and interest in your campaign. Research has shown that donors are more likely to give when an organization is able to leverage a matching gift, and one-third of donors make larger gifts with the guarantee of a matching donation.

Usually, the most likely candidates to provide a matching gift are ones that are already close to your organization—so think about asking board members, major donors, or corporate sponsors who are already in your donor file. Who are people in those categories who have not yet made their donation this year? Could this be a unique way to activate them?

Approach the ask with confidence and gratitude. Come to your meeting with potential donors prepared: have a plan to market the match and share exactly what programs their match would support. Remember, a matching donation doubles their gift, too.

Create energy on Giving Tuesday. Use it as a day of celebration and excitement!

The end of the year is an exciting time for many organizations—and Giving Tuesday is no exception! Think of it as a celebration, and use it as a way to build excitement for giving during the remainder of the year. We all want to be part of a celebration, and that sentiment applies to your donors, too. Create a culture of excited giving by planning ahead and tailoring your asks to individual supporters.  

Giving Tuesday sets the tone for the remainder of your year’s giving; do your organization (and your donors!) a favor by entering the season with celebration!

Be ready to thank everyone who gave on Giving Tuesday

The most thoughtful thank yous are the ones you’re ready to make. We all know that thanking our supporters frequently and consistently is important. Gratitude for donors is a key indicator of how likely we are to retain them, and keeping your current donors is far more cost effective than finding new ones. Our tip: prepare your thank yous in advance. That way you can make those acknowledgments as unique as your donors, while ensuring the process is seamless by the time Giving Tuesday comes around. 

Feeling stuck in your typical thank you routine? Freshen up your plan with a few tips from us (think: handwritten notes, magnets, and more!).  

Have a plan to ask for another gift before the year ends

Giving Tuesday is just the beginning of the year’s busiest giving season and it’s in your best interest to view your Giving Tuesday plan holistically. How can this event prepare you for the remainder of your year-end asks? 53.8% of nonprofits begin planning their end-of-year campaigns in October, so make your Giving Tuesday and year-end plans work in tandem. Use this time to add momentum to your year-end campaign. 

(Need a jumpstart on planning your campaign communications? We’ve got you covered!)

Don’t forget: the two biggest giving days of the year fall after Giving Tuesday and 12% of the year’s total giving happens in the final three days of December

Evaluate your Giving Tuesday efforts quickly so that you can gain valuable information for the remainder of your year-end campaign. Did you find any new donors? Notice any unique giving patterns? Discover that one social media platform propelled more gifts than another? Take these insights into the remainder of your year-end campaign, and continue using the communication and marketing strategies that worked!

Your donors want to support your work. Follow the tips above and communicate the things that make your organization vital and unique. Celebrate your mission with your community on November 30th—and beyond! We’ll be cheering you on the whole way.

Sydney Bartlett

Sydney is a freelance copywriter at Swell+Good, where she helps nonprofit organizations tell their stories and amplify their good work. Talk to her about 17th-century books, and she'll fill you in on personal projects related to John Milton and what Paradise Lost has to do with... everything. She spends as much time on academic writing as she does creative, and when a pen isn't in her hand, she's either running or reading the book closest to her.
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