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 Giving Tuesday. 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 Giving Tuesday early and set your nonprofit up for success.
Giving Tuesday FAQ
Before sharing some tips for your organization’s campaign, let’s get started by answering a few common questions about Giving Tuesday.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday 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.
Giving Tuesday is also one of the best-known giving days, which are 24-hour fundraising campaigns that bring the community together with the goal of maximizing awareness, engagement, and donations. While you can host other giving days specific to your organization, Giving Tuesday provides an opportunity to reach a wide audience because of its worldwide presence.
When is Giving Tuesday held?
Giving Tuesday always falls the week after Thanksgiving. Upcoming Giving Tuesday dates include:
- November 28, 2023
- November 27, 2024
- December 3, 2025
Although the date follows a national holiday in the United States, Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the same day worldwide.
Why should nonprofits participate in Giving Tuesday?
Participating in Giving Tuesday 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 Giving Tuesday 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.
4 Giving Tuesday Tips
Now that you understand what Giving Tuesday is and why it’s important, here are four 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 Giving Tuesday 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 Giving Tuesday 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 Giving Tuesday 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 Giving Tuesday plans:
- Send free branded merchandise to everyone who donates a particular amount
- Offer a one-time matching fund from a major donor or corporate sponsor
- Pair your campaign with a fundraising event like an auction, gala, or family fun activity
The more creative you want your Giving Tuesday 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 Giving Tuesday, 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 Giving Tuesday 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. Thank and steward your supporters
Even though your campaign ends at midnight on Giving Tuesday, your nonprofit’s work is far from over. Showing appreciation for every campaign 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 is transferred to your donor management system. Then, send out thank-you emails personalized with each supporter’s name and donation amount. In this message, share your nonprofit’s Giving Tuesday fundraising total, provide concrete examples of how their contributions will benefit your cause, and emphasize that they made your success possible.
To keep your Giving Tuesday 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. If supporters are aware of the variety of available options that might interest them, they’re more likely to stay involved long after Giving Tuesday.
By preparing strategically for the global celebration of generosity on Giving Tuesday, 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.