Do you know how you’re going to raise money for #GivingTuesday? Or are you still coming up with creative Giving Tuesday ideas?

A common mistake that most organizations make when participating in this iconic giving day is not coming up with a concrete strategy. While you might get donations by publishing a few posts on social media with links to your online donation forms, you won’t truly maximize your potential unless you plan ahead.

And with Giving Tuesday just around the corner, there’s no better time to start preparing for this dedicated day of fundraising than right now!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas, along with some useful background information and planning tips, to help you brainstorm new ways to raise money and promote your cause. In this guide, we’ll cover the following:

Feel free to skip around to the sections that interest you most—otherwise, read along with us from the top. Are you ready to learn more about how to leverage this powerful fundraising opportunity? We’ll start with the basics. Let’s jump in!

Before diving in to Giving Tuesday ideas, let's cover the basics.

What Is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving in which millions of generous individuals around the globe choose to support mission-driven organizations and other charitable causes. The annual tradition began in 2012 as a way to celebrate the generous nature of humanity. The worldwide event is always held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving—landing on December 1 this year. The idea is to leverage the giving spirit that rises significantly during the holiday season and encourage individuals to make a positive difference in any way they can.

In 2019 alone, donors across the United States brought in nearly $2 billion

Here are some key stats to support your Giving Tuesday ideas.

This year, amid a global health and economic crisis, the team behind Giving Tuesday introduced a new initiative called Giving Tuesday Now. Held on May 5, 2020, Giving Tuesday Now encouraged millions to show support for healthcare workers, first responders, and organizations working on the frontlines to help others. As a result, participants from 145 countries across the globe worked together to raise more than $503 million.

Fast forward just a few months, and Giving Tuesday is still being held on its regularly scheduled post-Thanksgiving date. That means it’s time for your organization to start thinking about (and preparing for) your own Giving Tuesday campaign.

Here are some planning tips for any Giving Tuesday ideas.

Planning Tips for Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a huge event for nonprofits everywhere, which means it will take a significant amount of preparation beforehand to make your campaign stand out. Here are a few tried-and-true tips to get started with an effective fundraising plan:

When planning any Giving Tuesday ideas, keep these tips in mind.

Have an online donation page in place.

Your nonprofit may already have an online donation form that supporters can use to give. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, many organizations have flocked to online giving, even those who had little to no prior experience with it.

However, it’s not good enough to have just any donation page. You have to have a fully-optimized, informational, and user-friendly form in order to truly maximize your online fundraising. Check out the six key features we suggest implementing in any online donation form:

Many of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas require the use of a donation page.

  1. Organization background: Be sure to provide a brief background on your nonprofit, including an explanation of how donations will be used. This is especially important for your Giving Tuesday campaign because you’ll likely be exposed to new and potential donors who may not know much about your mission.
  2. Donor contact information: This is important to collect because it’s how you’ll communicate with donors going forward, including for donation receipts and thank-you messages. It’s a good idea to get their full name, phone number, and email address.
  3. Fundraising thermometer: When donors see that you’re close to reaching your overall fundraising goal, they tend to be more inclined to give. Therefore, it’s a great idea to embed an automatically updating fundraising thermometer in your donation forms.
  4. Suggested gift amount: Although you should allow donors to enter their own dollar number if they’d like, it’s a good practice to also provide a few suggested donation amounts. This way, potential donors have a better understanding of what a “normal” donation is, and you can even increase your average gift size.
  5. Payment information: Of course, you’ll need to collect each donor’s payment information at this point. Accepting multiple forms of payment can provide a more convenient donor experience, such as ACH bank payments, credit/debit cards, or even PayPal.
  6. Recurring gift option: Make sure donors always have the option to easily turn their one-time gift into a recurring one. You might be surprised at how many people register for a regular giving program when it’s as easy as checking a box.

Many of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas involve the use of an online donation form—from mobile giving to dedicated email fundraising campaigns. Plus, it’s a good resource to have year-round regardless.

Be sure to have your Giving Tuesday ideas ready by December 1st!Start promoting early.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start promoting your Giving Tuesday campaign. Instead, start as early as possible (like now!) to make progress on planning and marketing your fundraiser. Otherwise, you risk your campaign getting lost in all the commotion surrounding the big day of giving.

Dedicated donors are likely aware that Giving Tuesday is approaching—just like every year. Therefore, it’s crucial that you let them know that you’re participating before they decide to support another campaign.

Determine a fundraising goal.

Fundraising goals are essential for any campaign you run, Giving Tuesday included. Because of the popularity surrounding the giving day, you may want to set your goal a little higher than you normally might. If you’ve participated in prior years, you may want to consult your previous fundraising data to determine a good starting point.

We recommend setting a SMART goal:

  • Specific: Be very clear about what it is you’re striving toward.
  • Measurable: Use numbers, percentages, or dollar amounts to easily calculate success.
  • Attainable: Make your goal lofty (to encourage donors) but not unrealistic.
  • Relevant: Your goal should relate directly to your Giving Tuesday campaign.
  • Timely: Be sure to set a date by which you hope to reach your goal.

An example of a SMART goal might be: “To raise $10,000 in donations to our Giving Tuesday campaign by the conclusion of December 1, 2020.” This way, you’ll know to set your fundraising thermometer to $10,000, and you’ll know exactly when you hit your goal.

Giving Tuesday planning is not something that should be left until the last minute. Instead, it’s a good idea to begin preparations several months beforehand. The more you can have ready to go ahead of time, the better equipped your organization will be as the big day approaches.

Let's walk through some of our favorite Giving Tuesday fundraising ideas.Giving Tuesday Ideas

Now that you understand the meaning behind Giving Tuesday and the basic elements that go into planning a successful campaign, it’s time to talk fundraising ideas. In other words, where is the revenue going to come from? Here are nine of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas:

A text-to-give campaign is one of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas.

1. Text-to-Give Campaign

Text-to-give campaigns have grown in popularity in recent times—and for good reason! Mobile fundraising is effective because supporters can give whenever and wherever they want, whether that’s from the couch, during a lunch break, or practically anywhere else. As such, the convenience of mobile giving is what makes it the perfect fundraising idea for Giving Tuesday.

In case you’re new to the idea of mobile fundraising, the process is simple. A donor texts a predetermined keyword to your dedicated text-to-give phone number. Then, they automatically receive a link with instructions to complete a brief online form.

Here are the essential steps involved with launching a text-to-give campaign:

  • Choosing a text-to-give provider: Because there are many great platforms to consider, it’s a good idea to take the time to find the best match for your cause. For example, you may want to compare different pricing plans, key features, and additional giving solutions before making a decision. Our favorite? Snowball’s powerful text-to-give software for organizations of all shapes and sizes.
  • Receiving a dedicated mobile giving number: Once you’ve selected a text-to-give software provider, you’ll receive your mobile giving number. Essentially, this is the phone number that donors will text to make a gift. Within seconds of sending a message, the donor will receive a link to follow with instructions for completing a quick mobile-friendly donation form.
  • A text-to-give campaign is a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Setting a memorable keyword (or keywords): Speaking of choosing a platform, be sure to look for a provider that allows you to utilize as many keywords as you’d like. For example, you can use keywords like “GIVINGTUESDAY” for any donations directed for that particular campaign, while more generalized keywords like “DONATE” or “[Your nonprofit’s name]” can go toward your overall fundraising budget.
  • Promoting your campaign: Use social media, email, direct mail, and other communications tactics to spread the word about your text-to-give campaign. Not only should donors know that you’re participating in Giving Tuesday and offering a mobile giving solution, they should also understand how convenient it is to give via text message as well.
  • Explaining the process: For some donors, especially the less tech-savvy ones, the text-to-give process may be new and potentially overwhelming. In order to minimize these negative preconceptions, be sure to provide an easy-to-follow explanation walking through the mobile giving process step by step. Take a look at this infographic detailing the process below:

Mobile giving is one of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas.

Even if your organization is already utilizing text-to-give, it’s important to make sure that your giving process is optimized for the most efficiency.

You should start promoting your text-to-give tool at least a week before Giving Tuesday, letting donors know that the option will be available on the big day and boosting excitement leading up to it.

A matching gifts drive can boost any of your Giving Tuesday ideas.

2. Matching Gifts Drive

Matching gifts are a foolproof way to quickly multiply any amount of money you raise through your Giving Tuesday fundraising ideas. However, many donors and even nonprofit teams are unaware of the extent to which matching gifts can make a difference.

A matching gift drive is a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.As a nonprofit leader, you likely have a basic understanding of corporate matching gifts—where companies financially match donations made by employees to eligible organizations, usually at a 1:1 ratio.

While you should be promoting matching gifts year-round, it’s especially important to amp up your marketing efforts during Giving Tuesday to let donors know how their gifts can (easily) go farther.

To do this, you can:

  • Create a dedicated matching gift page on your website. Use this as a place where supporters can learn more about guidelines and requirements for submitting a request and how to find their employer’s matching gift program.
  • Embed a matching gift search tool on your donation forms. These tools allow donors to easily search for their companies’ matching gift programs. The information provided will let them know if their gifts qualify and also suggest the next steps in the process for requesting a match.
  • Share information about matching gifts on social media. Use visuals and videos to grab your donors’ attention—and don’t forget to link to your matching gift page where donors can learn more.

Make sure to brush up on the matching gift programs of the companies your supporters work for. That way, you can provide donors with specific information on their matching gift guidelines and how to submit a request before it’s too late.

360MatchPro has a great list of the top matching gift companies to help you get started.

In addition to corporate matching gifts, you can ask a local business or major donor to participate in a challenge grant. After you reach a certain amount of funds, the major donor or business will match the fundraising goal. This can be a great opportunity to raise awareness within your community and perhaps be the start of a powerful partnership.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of our favorite Giving Tuesday ideas.

3. Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser

While Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to encourage existing donors to contribute more to your cause, if you want to maximize your fundraising potential, you should also be using this as a chance to draw in new supporters.

And what better way to acquire new donors than to launch a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign?

Peer-to-peer fundraisers are a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.In a peer-to-peer fundraiser, your dedicated supporters become volunteer fundraisers themselves, soliciting donations on behalf of your organization.

These fundraisers will create individual fundraising pages, set personal fundraising goals, and ask their friends and family members to contribute. Since your fundraisers will be asking for donations from people they already have a close relationship with, their loved ones are more likely to contribute.

Keep in mind, just because your fundraisers are the ones soliciting donations, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the funds roll in. Your organization needs to take an active part in assisting fundraisers and welcoming new donors into your organization’s family network.

As such, your organization should:

  • Recruit your fundraisers by looking for supporters that regularly contribute or attend fundraising events.
  • Create email and social media templates and resources to help your participants ask for donations.
  • Host online or in-person workshops before the campaign launch date to teach fundraisers how to create their peer-to-peer fundraising page and share some tips and best practices.
  • Send out thank-you letters to fundraisers and supporters, along with welcome packets and other resources to your first-time donors.

Creating a peer-to-peer campaign for Giving Tuesday can help you discover new donors and provide unique opportunities for loyal donors to support your organization on a new level.

Try incorporating your favorite Giving Tuesday ideas with a virtual event.

4. Virtual Event

Another way to encourage donors to participate in Giving Tuesday is by hosting a live event. While fundraising events have largely been held in person in previous years, 2020 has been all about the power of virtual solutions. By hosting a virtual event, this will give your organization the opportunity to gather supporters together and celebrate your cause — from a safe distance.

Moreover, you can use your event to promote your various giving methods and encourage donors to make additional donations through your other online giving solutions.

A few fundraising events that pair well with the excitement of Giving Tuesday include:

Whichever virtual fundraising event you decide to host, make sure that you include activities that encourage guests to make additional donations. For example, if you’re hosting a themed party, consider organizing a raffle to go with your event. The incentive of winning an additional prize can motivate donors to participate and give more.

Fundraising events are a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.

Events can also be a great way to gather information on your donors. Before Giving Tuesday arrives, you can set up an online event registration page that captures your supporters’ contact information with additional fields that can help fill out your donor profiles.

Even if your event is free to attend, it’s in your nonprofit’s best interest to set up a page where guests can RSVP. This way, you can gain a sense of the number of people planning to attend, and you’ll collect valuable data while you’re at it. Recording your RSVPs can also help you anticipate the extent of future Giving Tuesday events.

Additionally, be sure to use your event as an opportunity to share your achievements and thank donors for all the support they’ve given throughout the year. You might even consider asking a few constituents who have been significantly impacted by your mission to share their own stories so that donors can see firsthand who they are supporting.

Throughout the length of the event, make sure to display your fundraising goal in a prominent location so guests know how much they’ve raised so far—and how much is left to go.

One of the most popular Giving Tuesday ideas is selling branded merchandise.

5. Branded Merchandise Sales

Selling branded merchandise is a great way to help your organization boost funds on Giving Tuesday. In fact, studies show that donors are more likely to donate if it means receiving an item in return. Plus, having a t-shirt or mug with your nonprofit’s logo means that your supporters are actively promoting your campaign whenever they use that item.

Here’s how it works:

  • Product sales are a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Choose a fundraising platform. There are plenty of options available, from crowdfunding websites that offer merchandise as giving incentives to dedicated product fundraising platforms that allow you to sell merchandise directly to your donors. The important thing is to look for a vendor that will print and distribute your products for you. That way, you can focus on promoting your campaign and building relationships with new and existing supporters.
  • Design your merchandise. The design of your merchandise is completely up to you, but the items should be branded with your nonprofit’s logo and colors to best represent your cause. In other words, when people see your merchandise, they should have a decent idea about your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Set your prices and goals. This is where your organization will determine a price for your merchandise. Keep in mind that most sites take a percentage of the funds raised to complete printing and distribution, so it’s important to take those fees into account when creating your price. When it comes to goals, it’s a good idea to aim high without being unrealistic.
  • Start promoting to your community! At this stage, you’ll be able to share your online sales page or product store with donors via email and social media. Encourage your supporters to make a purchase, and be sure to reiterate that proceeds go to support your mission.Some favorite Giving Tuesday ideas include selling branded merchandise.

The items you sell can very much be adjusted to best suit your particular audience. However, t-shirts have long been a fan favorite across organizations of all shapes and sizes. Or, you may even choose to sell branded face masks to leverage the current pandemic in your fundraising tactics this Giving Tuesday.

Online auctions can be effective Giving Tuesday ideas.

6. Online Auction

Charity auctions are powerful fundraisers for all types of nonprofit organizations. This year, due to social distancing guidelines and the overall COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of fundraising auctions and other events have been moved to the online space.

That being said, an online auction is a great way to engage with your supporters and raise money for your cause on Giving Tuesday in an exciting way. 

Let’s walk through the main steps involved in planning and pulling off a successful virtual auction:

  • Begin the item procurement process. The items you plan to auction off are essentially the stars of the show. That means the collection of items is one of the most important parts of the planning process. Put together a procurement team of volunteers and staff members who will bring in auction items for your event by asking for donations from family, friends, and local businesses.
  • Decide on the type of auction. When it comes to hosting an online auction, you have a few key stylistic decisions to make. For one, you’ll have to choose whether to hold a live or a silent auction. While a live virtual auction will include a significant live-streaming element, a silent auction depends more on having the right online and mobile bidding tools.
  • An online auction is a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Invite supporters to your upcoming event. Now that you have a basic plan in place, it’s time to start spreading the word about your auction far and wide. Be sure to promote the event through social media and other mass digital marketing tactics, while also sending personalized invitations to previous donors and supporters. Encourage those who plan on attending to register and/or purchase a ticket online beforehand.
  • Release your online catalog and open for bidding. While the main event should take place on Giving Tuesday itself, you may want to consider opening your catalog early for attendees to get a sneak peek. This is a great way to boost the excitement surrounding your auction, which leads to increased revenue as a result.
  • Collect payments and send out items. At the conclusion of your event, it’s time to announce the winners of each item, notify individuals, and collect payments equal to the highest bids. Most likely, the auction software you used to run the event will have basic functionality to streamline each of these processes. Finally, you’ll have to send items to the winners. Be sure to effectively communicate your shipping plans to guests so they’ll have an idea of what to expect and how soon they might receive their winnings.

Much like merchandise sales, auctions are effective fundraisers because donors get to walk away with something for themselves while simultaneously supporting a good cause that they care about. In all the excitement surrounding Giving Tuesday and the holiday season, an auction can fit right in!

Donation wishlists are effective Giving Tuesday ideas.

7. Donation Wish List

When requesting donations for a cause, it’s important to take into account that some supporters are unable or unwilling to provide financial support, but may consider non-monetary donations instead. That’s where donation wish lists can really come in handy, both for Giving Tuesday fundraisers and otherwise! Here are two easy ways to get started with collecting in-kind donations:

  • A donation wish list is a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Accept physical donations: If your organization has a large local network of support, you might want to consider accepting donations of goods in-person. For example, you could encourage supporters to drop off food, clothing, or supplies at your nonprofit office or another meeting place. Perhaps you could even partner with a local business or restaurant to collect physical donations on your behalf in a dedicated drop-off area.
  • Provide an online wishlist: For supporters who want to get involved but might be outside your geographic location or otherwise unable to bring physical items to donate, it’s a great idea to start an online wishlist as well. Popular online retail sites like Amazon allow individuals and organizations to easily create and populate an online registry to share with your supporters. Then, individuals can browse your list and purchase items to be sent directly to your organization.

Donation wish lists are popular with donors because it’s quite clear how their contribution will be used. By reducing the mystery surrounding nonprofit donation usage, cautious donors are able to help out in a way that best suits them. Plus, considering the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some supporters may not have the money to spare. However, they might be willing to clean out their closet, for instance, and donate any unused clothing items.

Reach out to supporters via email to promote your Giving Tuesday ideas.

8. Email Campaign

More than likely, you already have a substantial contact list with donors’, volunteers’, and other supporters’ email addresses. That can be one of your most powerful fundraising tools, and one that we definitely suggest making the most of for your Giving Tuesday campaign.

To get started, let’s walk through the main steps involved in hosting an email fundraising campaign:

  • Email campaigns are a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Craft intriguing email subject lines. This is arguably the most important element of any email. It’s the first impression you make on the recipient and precisely the message that decides whether donors will click on your message or send it to trash. Be sure to include a sense of urgency or curiosity to really encourage supporters to click through and read the rest of your message.
  • Write the body of your email text. Next is the body text. Here, you’ll want to provide a brief description of your organization and your mission. Share what you’re doing for Giving Tuesday and how the recipient can get involved.
  • Use software to customize messages. This can be as simple as addressing each recipient by name, or as detailed as summarizing a donor’s previous giving history with your organization. Either way, personalizing your emails to each individual leads to higher click through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR).
  • End with a clear call to action. Once the recipient has read through your email, it’s important that they quickly and clearly understand what the intended next step is. For a Giving Tuesday campaign, it’s probably to make a donation. Therefore, it’s crucial that you include an eye-catching call-to-action that links to your online donation page.

Email is a great way to connect with donors during any fundraiser. However, because of the significant popularity of Giving Tuesday, it might take a little extra to make your messages stand out in your supporters’ inboxes. After all, other organizations are likely vying for the same support that you are!

A letter-writing campaign is a personal touch for any Giving Tuesday ideas.

9. Letter-Writing Campaign

Direct mail is a favorite Giving Tuesday idea.Taking things a step further from email is a direct mail campaign. When you consider the costs of writing and sending each letter, it’s also a bit more expensive than an email campaign. However, the payoff is usually worth it due to the high ROI. Here are some tips for ensuring the most effective letter-writing campaign possible:

  • Write each letter by hand. Hand-printed notes show a higher level of interest and care than photocopied pages of the same letter over and over again. It’s a more personal touch that communicates that someone at your nonprofit took the time to write and send each donor a letter.
  • Sign every letter you send. While your notes can be written by anyone on your team (including volunteers!) you might want to consider getting them signed by a key board member or executive director. Regardless of who signs your notes, the most important part is that it’s signed by a real person—rather than by your organization as a whole.
  • Put thought into the look and design. What you don’t want is a letter scribbled down on a sheet of notebook paper. Instead, make sure it looks like you put some time and effort into it. Choose nice stationery, write neatly, and incorporate your organization’s color scheme.

Finally, don’t forget to thank your donors in every letter you send. This may be an acknowledgment of a previous donation, a future gift, or even just the consideration and time taken to read your letter.

If you can’t narrow it down to just one fundraising idea—no problem! A multi-channel approach can be a powerful way to boost engagement, reach a wider audience, and bring in more total fundraising dollars. For example, you may choose to run a text-to-give or email campaign alongside a matching gifts drive. Or, start an email campaign to boost excitement and invite donors to participate in your online auction.
Pull some Giving Tuesday ideas from these powerful past campaigns.

Best Giving Tuesday Campaigns

Sometimes the best way to prepare for a fundraiser is to take a look at the examples that have seen success for organizations in previous years. Let’s take a look at three effective Giving Tuesday campaigns—and why they were so powerful.

Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is known for its powerful fundraising skills and Giving Tuesday participation. Raising money for critical Parkinson’s research, the team behind this foundation decided to boost donations by offering a dollar-for-dollar donation match up to $2 million for their 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign.

Take a look at this example from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for more Giving Tuesday ideas.

What you can learn from this campaign:

Donation matches can provide extremely powerful motivation for your supporters to get involved. Without having to reach back into their own pocket, they know their donation is essentially making twice as much impact on the cause.

While your organization may be unable to provide the match yourself, it’s a great opportunity to encourage donors to seek matching gifts from their own employers through eligible corporate giving programs.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a powerful organization raising money for cancer research along with support for patients and their families. For their 2019 Giving Tuesday approach, they encouraged individual supporters to take on a larger role in the campaign by becoming fundraisers themselves.

Here is an example of one person’s fundraising page who raised nearly $1,500 for LLS from their own family, friends, and other supporters. 

Take a look at this example from LLS for more Giving Tuesday ideas.

What you can learn from this campaign:

A peer-to-peer fundraising campaign like this one is a great way to increase your reach and connect with new supporters. When an existing donor takes the time and effort to promote your organization, especially on a big day like Giving Tuesday, their own social networks are significantly more likely to respond and donate than if you had asked them yourself.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization working to prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth in America. For their 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign, the team behind the Trevor Project took to Facebook to host an effective fundraiser and bring in thousands of dollars for their cause.

Take a look at this example from The Trevor Project for more Giving Tuesday ideas.

What you can learn from this campaign:

The power of social media is not something to be forsaken when planning any fundraiser, but especially one for a significant international day of giving like Giving Tuesday. Thanks to much-used social media platforms, users are able to donate quickly and easily, as well as share the campaign with their own friends and followers. As you can see in the above example, the fundraiser ended up bringing in more than 110% of its original fundraising goal. 

Learning from the wins (and losses) of organizations before you can be a great way to ensure your fundraiser goes off without a hitch. For example, you can pick and choose elements from each that you’d like to emulate in your own campaign while excluding those that might not fit your own.

After completing your Giving Tuesday ideas, here are some things to keep in mind.

What to Do After Giving Tuesday

So what happens when the clock strikes midnight after Giving Tuesday and the global day of generosity has officially ended? This is where many organizations tend to get it wrong. Just because the event is over doesn’t mean your job is done! Let’s walk through a few of the most important elements to keep in mind post-campaign.

After pulling off your Giving Tuesday ideas, be sure to follow these best practices.

Thank your donors

As one of the most crucial aspects of any fundraising campaign, the importance of thanking your donors is no different here on Giving Tuesday. Although there are hundreds of tactics that should be adjusted to fit your particular donor base, we recommend the following ways to say thank-you:

  • Phone call: This is great for mid-sized to large donations that deserve a little more than a basic thank-you note. Plus, a phone call gives you the opportunity to build deeper relationships with your donors and allows them to feel more connected to the cause.
  • Handwritten letter: Who doesn’t love getting a handwritten letter in the mail? It shows that someone really took the time and effort to write out a message specifically for each recipient, rather than just copying and pasting a generic note.
  • Email: A thank-you email is the easiest, although the most impersonal, way to say thank you. Even so, the right email software can help you customize each email to the recipient, including personalized subject lines and salutations, as well as specific gift details.

Be sure to pay special attention to any first-time donors who give to your organization through your Giving Tuesday campaign. They may have only limited background knowledge of your mission, so it’s a good idea to share educational resources about your cause, your history, and your current operations.

Share donation impact

Following your Giving Tuesday fundraiser, it’s crucial that you take the time to update your supporters on the impact that it had toward your overall mission. For example, you might consider sending out an email or social media blast to let every donor know when you’ve hit your initial fundraising goal.

Even more specific, many donors like to know exactly where their money is going. In that case, a follow-up email like this can be useful: “Thanks to your gift of $X to our Giving Tuesday fundraiser, X families were provided with toys to make wonderful holiday gifts. Kids like Bobby and Allison are so grateful!

By adjusting the wording to fit your cause and individual donors, you’re able to easily and effectively communicate the impact that each donation has on your community. In doing so, supporters can clearly understand their role in helping and will be more likely to give again in the future.

Encourage continued support

Throughout the promotion and execution of your campaign, you’ve likely expanded your network of support to include eager new donors. However, you don’t want this to be their first and final donation! Instead, make sure each individual is educated about and invited to partake in any upcoming fundraisers for your mission as well. You might even use this opportunity to promote recurring gifts!

Extending the hype around Giving Tuesday is a crucial part of leading your nonprofit into a successful year-end fundraising season. In fact, more than 12% of total annual giving takes place in the last three days of the year—which means you’re just getting started!


Now that you’ve read through our tried-and-true Giving Tuesday ideas and best practices, you’re ready to start planning your own fundraising strategy. Find one (or more!) ideas that best suit your mission and audience, and see how fast you’ll be able to reach—or exceed—your fundraising goal.

If you’re looking for more fundraising ideas and suggestions, check out these additional resources:

  • Virtual Fundraising: The Comprehensive Guide for 2020 & Beyond. In light of the coronavirus, nonprofits everywhere have rapidly shifted to entirely virtual fundraising strategies. Read through our guide to find out how to maximize virtual practices and bring in more revenue for your organization.
  • Free Fundraising Software for Nonprofits: 15+ Top Providers. Are you looking for powerful fundraising software that won’t break the bank? Check out our list of favorite free and low-cost fundraising software providers designed specifically for nonprofits like you. Find out the best tools to use—and how to use them with this guide.
  • Text-to-Give | Complete Guide for Nonprofits and Fundraisers. Mobile giving is a popular strategy for organizations employing virtual fundraising tactics. In as few as two clicks, supporters are able to make a donation to your nonprofit, which makes it an efficient resource for both you and your donors. Learn more with our complete guide.

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