BlogFundraising Giving Tuesday 2023: FAQ + How to Create a SMASH Campaign in 16 Steps Fundraising Giving Tuesday 2023: FAQ + How to Create a SMASH Campaign in 16 Steps Author: WildApricot September 14, 2023 Contents 🕑 14 min read If you want to crush your nonprofit’s annual fundraising goals, look no further than Giving Tuesday! Aside from December 31st, Giving Tuesday is the most charitable day of the year. With a simple hashtag and some marketing creativity, you can spotlight your organization and bring in a heap of donations FAST. Here’s your all-in-one FAQ about Giving Tuesday—and some key tips to rock your campaign for #GivingTuesday 2023! What is Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a global movement dedicated to charitable giving. On the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving, people are encouraged to donate to nonprofits and charities all over the world. If you search online, you’ll see the hashtag #GivingTuesday across social media platforms! Nonprofit organizations build special Giving Tuesday campaigns to boost visibility and bring in those end-of-year donations. Participating in #GivingTuesday2023 shows your nonprofit’s dedication to being part of a worldwide commitment to philanthropy! What’s the history behind Giving Tuesday? The history of Giving Tuesday began in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y in New York, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Director Henry Timms notices the surge in spending (and overspending!) holidays after Thanksgiving—Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the recent Small Business Saturday. In order to capture the spirit of holiday generosity, he helped launch Giving Tuesday as a dedicated day for charitable giving. The founders intentionally kept Giving Tuesday uncopyrighted and encouraged nonprofits and charities to use the branding and hashtag all over social media. The movement caught on like wildfire! Within a few years of Giving Tuesday being launched, organizations including Facebook, Paypal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were offering to match massive donations. In 2019, GivingTuesday became its own organization, with co-founder Asha Curren acting as CEO. While the organization became official, not much changed logistically—Giving Tuesday is still celebrated and promoted across the nonprofit sector and raises millions of dollars each year. In fact, in 2021, 2.7 billion dollars were donated in the US alone! In May 2020, GivingTuesdayNow was launched as an emergency response to needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the financial uncertainty of the time, $503 million dollars were raised that day. Now THAT’S the spirit of generosity! The highlights from last year’s Giving Tuesday? For it’s 10th anniversary, over $3.1 billion was raised during the 24 hours of global generosity – that’s a 15% increase from the previous year! It’s estimated that 37 million U.S. individuals participated, proving this event is constantly growing and inspiring everyone to give back. Is GivingTuesday an American thing? No, Giving Tuesday is a global movement that currently involves more than 85 official partner countries around the world! Which countries celebrate Giving Tuesday? Too many to list here! You can read the full list of countries on the GivingTuesday website. In 2022, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, North Macedonia and Zimbabwe joined as official GivingTuesday country movements. When is Giving Tuesday 2023? Giving Tuesday 2023 will take place on November 28th, 2023. Mark your calendars with the hashtag: #GivingTuesday2023! How does Giving Tuesday work? If you’re working with a nonprofit organization, think of Giving Tuesday as a day when your fundraising efforts get a power-up! The movement is driven primarily through Giving Tuesday social media posts, and is a great example of hashtag activism. By using the #GivingTuesday hashtag across platforms, people can discover your nonprofit and donate with the click of a button. While GivingTuesday has become its own organization, it does not have any part in promoting your campaign or collecting your donations online. What they do is: Promote Giving Tuesday as a movement Calculate the total amount of money raised (donations are all public record!) Offer in-depth resources for nonprofits that get involved Because the organization is so hands-off, you have full control over how you’d like to manage your Giving Tuesday campaign! You can choose to fundraise for a specific project, or simply get more eyes on your nonprofit’s overall mission. Just be sure to take donor intent into consideration. You can trust that people are already going to be primed to give, so Giving Tuesday is also a good time to get creative with your marketing. You might be surprised by which strategies end up working best! How long does Giving Tuesday last? Giving Tuesday is a one-day event scheduled for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. However, promotion usually builds up through November (if not earlier!) to get the campaign on peoples’ radar in advance. The Giving Tuesday 2023 campaign from the Canadian Cancer Society is a great example of this! They match gifts of up to 50k all the way through November 29th, which gives individuals and organizations extra time to donate. The campaign builds right up until Giving Tuesday itself—and then offers one extra day for people who might’ve forgotten! If your Giving Tuesday campaign is successful, the energy can also be carried through into an end-of-year fundraising campaign. How to Sign Up for Giving Tuesday There’s no need to sign up for anything in order to participate in Giving Tuesday 2023. Like we said, the organization is simply a hub of resources and information. If you want to participate all you need is to build your own campaign and use Giving Tuesday hashtags. If you’re looking for how to sign up for Giving Tuesday in your own community, check to see if there’s already a local movement set up. This is another way to find support for your campaign! How to Create a Giving Tuesday Campaign: 16 Simple Tips! Now that you know all about Giving Tuesday, you might be wondering how to create a Giving Tuesday campaign that really stands out. The majority of nonprofits will be fundraising on this day, so it’s important to make sure your organization gets noticed in a sea of great options! Here are 16 simple tips for taking your Giving Tuesday campaign to the next level: 1. Conceptualize Your Campaign (Be Creative!) What are the best ways to raise money on Giving Tuesday? It starts with getting strategic! Visualize your Giving Tuesday campaign beyond the hashtag. How do you want this campaign to be different from your other fundraising campaigns? What is the heart of the message you want to send on this high-visibility day of giving? While you don’t want to copy another organization’s strategy, research Giving Tuesday campaign examples from similar nonprofits. With a few tweaks, you can make those strategies perfect for your organization’s specific needs. We mentioned earlier that Giving Tuesday is a good time to experiment with your marketing strategy—and it’s true! Work with the innovative ideas you’ve been floating with your team. A little creativity can go a long way. Looking for some help brainstorming your campaign for Giving Tuesday 2023? Check out these 28 unique Giving Tuesday ideas for campaigns and marketing strategies, including: Peer-to-peer fundraising Fundraising thermometers Text-to-give campaigns Connecting with ambassadors Creative video design And more! 2. Seek Out Gift Matching One of the most powerful strategies you can use for Giving Tuesday is calling for matching gifts. Reach out to companies (especially ones with ties to your nonprofit’s mission!) and ask if they would be willing to match a donation amount. This is a fast way to double the amount of donations that you receive while building partnerships! Asking for gift matching isn’t an unusual thing—large companies often have charitable incentive programs in place. Don’t be afraid to reach out to small businesses too. If they’re just coming off of Small Business Saturday, being involved with your Giving Tuesday campaign will give them an extra boost. Matching gifts are also a huge incentive for prospective donors. A survey from Double the Donation shows us that 1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger gift if it was being matched, and 84% of people surveyed said they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. Encourage donors to check in with their employers about matching gifts! Your supporters want to feel involved with your organization, and this lets them go the extra mile. 3. Choose Your Team A Giving Tuesday campaign is not your typical fundraiser. It connects to a larger movement, and requires energy and creativity to really kick off! This means you want to assemble a dream team to really make a splash. The people you might want on this campaign include: The “ideas guy” who always brings something fresh to meetings The person who is super online and knows the latest trends The seasoned marketer who’s seen it all The passionate teammate who breathes your mission The community organizer who seems to know everyone A variety of perspectives will help you take your campaign to the next level! And once Giving Tuesday 2023 is over, you’ll have even more ideas for your next fundraiser. 4. Decide on Your Platforms When it comes to launching your Giving Tuesday social media posts, there are tons of platforms to choose from. Each hub has its pros and cons, so be sure to consult your social media experts on where they think your message will land the strongest. Here are some of the best ways you can use four of the biggest current platforms: Facebook: Facebook fundraisers are simple and effective! Here’s a simple guide for how to set up Giving Tuesday on Facebook as a nonprofit. Plus, you can encourage your donors to set up fundraisers of their own to bring in some peer-to-peer fundraising. Twitter: The best tweets are snappy, concise and have two hashtags at most. This platform is made for interaction, so be sure to engage with comments and quote tweets. Instagram: This is where your branded visuals can really shine! Unlike Twitter, Instagram is made for a bunch of hashtags—choose the ones that will reach your ideal audience. TikTok: Videos bring in some of the most engagement on social media. Work with the latest TikTok trends (and reach out to some influencers!) to make waves with Gen Z. This is also a time to check in on your analytics! Who is your target audience, and which platforms have helped you reach them best so far? 5. Set SMART Goals SMART Goals are designed to help you reach your goals to the fullest extent possible. Saying “we’ll raise money” might be true, but it doesn’t set you up for success. Here is an example of how you can follow the acronym for your Giving Tuesday campaign: Specific: There’s a lot you could aim for with a Giving Tuesday campaign! Keep your focus with a goal that is specific to this campaign. Measurable: Decide how much you aim to raise for Giving Tuesday 2023. You can also measure things like audience engagement on social media or the amount of new people on your email list. Achievable: Have high goals, but keep them reasonable—it’s better to blast through a modest goal than be disappointed when you don’t reach an unrealistic one. Relevant: Choose a goal that serves your larger mission as an organization. This will keep you on track for the rest of the year. Time Bound: Is this goal for Tuesday itself? The month of November? Make sure your plan is clear! 6. Choose How You’ll Measure Success Speaking of measurable… how do you plan on gathering that data? You can measure how much money you raised pretty easily, but you also want to know where your strategies worked best for your Giving Tuesday campaign. With your goals and targets set in advance, all you have to do is read the data. Search for information such as: Which channels brought in the most donors Which demographics were most responsive What time of day got you the most clicks How long people spent on your website How far your social media posts reached Google Analytics is your best friend here. It’s free, gathers your data and pulls together reports on all sorts of information. In order to improve your strategy, it’s important to know how things are currently looking! 7. Build a workback schedule and content calendar Creating a workback schedule is a surefire way to hit all of your deadlines! Before launching your Giving Tuesday campaign, it’s essential to decide on your milestones. A workback schedule will help you visualize your goals and keep you on track. Scheduling all of your Giving Tuesday social media posts (as well as your email campaigns!) will show you the flow of your campaign. This is where a pre-planned content calendar can make all the difference. Each step in your campaign should highlight your mission and goals, but not end up being redundant. If you’re looking to share your success with your donors, try scheduling public check-ins where you share how much you’ve raised so far! This is one way to build momentum and encourage people to be the heroes who finish off the campaign. 8. Write your messaging Look, there’s probably a lot you can say about your organization. Along with a central mission, many nonprofits have child campaigns that get shared throughout the year. Remember that a Giving Tuesday campaign is its own creature, and it needs clear messaging. Start with highlighting the basics: Who are you? What are you raising funds for? What is your fundraising goal for Giving Tuesday 2023? It can be tempting to try and add more to your campaign as you go, but do what you can to stay focused. This will help you stick to your goals! 9. Design Your Giving Tuesday Images A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in marketing! It’s important to write strong copy, but nothing grabs a donor’s attention quite like a compelling image. When you’re designing your Giving Tuesday images, try using pictures of who or what donations will go towards helping. You can also share images of your team hard at work in the field or enjoying themselves at a community event. While heavy or difficult imagery can elicit an emotional response, most people respond best to positive messaging. Giving Tuesday graphics are also a fantastic way to share the numbers at each fundraising milestone. This gives the casual scrollers a quick look at your campaign, and might even inspire them to donate themselves! Brand your images with the Giving Tuesday logo clearly visible, and then use them for banners, cover images and Giving Tuesday social media posts. If you can make a frame for Facebook images, your supporters can share their own pride in donating. 10. Create a Giving Tuesday Donation Page Your nonprofit website should have a donation page year round—but it should also have a donation page especially designed for Giving Tuesday 2023. Stick to your donation page best practices, but also be sure to include a Giving Tuesday logo and other distinct branding. Remember to have a big bright button that directs right to your form on the main page! The best Giving Tuesday donation pages: Make donating quick and easy Have suggested donation amounts Note where peoples’ donations will go If you want to build a donation page nice and easy, check out WildApricot! Our website builder comes with mobile-friendly site construction, advanced customization options, easy integration with tools like WordPress and more. Plus it comes with a 60-day free trial! 11. Write and Schedule Your Giving Tuesday Social Media Posts Have we talked enough about social media yet? Seriously though, optimizing your social media platforms is your greatest asset for winning Giving Tuesday! Pre-write and schedule your Giving Tuesday social media posts in advance with tools like Hootsuite. With everything set, you can spend your time organically engaging and troubleshooting as necessary. Plus, you can check out your analytics in real time. Keep your messaging strong and consistent without getting too repetitive, and follow each platform’s best practices for your Giving Tuesday graphics. Each platform is good for something different, so use their individual quirks and specialities to your benefit! 12. Create Your Giving Tuesday Email Campaigns Email campaigns continue to be one of the strongest tools in the box when it comes to fundraising campaigns. Where social media brings in an influx of new supporters, emails reach the people who are already invested in your mission. Think of it this way: if someone is on your email list, you can trust they already know and care about your nonprofit. A strong email campaign can be what motivates them to donate for Giving Tuesday specifically. Explore some Giving Tuesday email examples to get ideas for how to make your campaign shine in peoples’ inboxes, including: Opening with snappy subject lines Keeping things mobile friendly Avoiding text walls with Giving Tuesday graphics And more! 13. Start Advertising Early (Months!) Giving Tuesday might only be one day long, but your campaign should be going months in advance. Remind people that Giving Tuesday 2023 is coming early on, and people will already know where they want their money to go. Plus they’ll have time to tell their friends! An early promotion period can also help you test how your messaging is being received. Try a few different campaign strategies and check what the analytics say. Table the strategies that aren’t getting much response, and invest more into the ones that are really reaching people. 14. Use Content from Supporters Using content from your supporters is key to reaching a broader audience. It also makes your donors feel more involved with your organization, which helps you foster donor stewardship. Better yet, it’s free! Encourage people to take a photo with #GivingTuesday2023 and a message about why they donated to your nonprofit. A personal touch goes a long way in getting prospective supporters’ attention. Those Facebook profile frames we mentioned earlier also let people show their pride in donating! Along with calling for donations, encourage your supporters to do random acts of kindness. Giving Tuesday isn’t just about raising money—if people can’t afford to be donors this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t build a relationship now. Make sure you comment on, like and share all of the content your supporters make. You can even check in about using their Giving Tuesday quotes in future campaigns. 15. Launch! What’s a campaign without a launch? Before you kick off in full, hold a soft launch specifically for your board members, staff, volunteers and trusted longtime donors. Along with early donations, you can get valuable feedback on your campaign. With this information, you can go full speed ahead on Giving Tuesday! Keep your energy high as you execute all of the ideas you’ve planned. If surprises come up, stay flexible—you can always shift your strategies if you need to. As your campaign works its magic, be sure to focus on building relationships with new donors ASAP. Being prepared with donor management software will help you keep up with those connections post-campaign. 16. Give a Big Old Giving Tuesday Thank You The name of the game is gratitude! Send out your first thank you emails the moment you receive a donation, and then follow-up at the end of your campaign with a specific Giving Tuesday thank you. This is also an opportunity to update donors on the success of your campaign. This lets them immediately see the impact of their donation, which emphasizes that their donation really meant something. Did you know that WildApricot can send out automated thank you letters? You’ll have a lot of thank yous to send once your Giving Tuesday campaign is done—it’s helpful to have a time-saver in place. How do I win Giving Tuesday? By contributing to this global day of giving, you’ve won Giving Tuesday already. But it’s certainly a personal win when you also achieve your goals! Once your campaign is over, focus on building donor stewardship. From the initial welcome package to your regular follow-ups, it’s important to keep fostering your relationships with your donors. If you take the time to build trust, they’ll be sure to stick around come next campaign. WildApricot has all the tools you need to manage your relationships with donors new and old. Build a website, gather donor information in a database, and streamline communication all in one place. Sign up for your 60-day free trial to get ready for Giving Tuesday! Rocking Giving Tuesday 2023 So let’s review—why is Giving Tuesday important? It gives your nonprofit a burst of fundraising visibility, connects you to new people and (most importantly!) raises billions of dollars for good causes worldwide. Who wouldn’t want to get involved? 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