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The Ultimate Guide to GivingTuesday

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Table of Contents

  1. What is GivingTuesday?
  2. How can GivingTuesday help your nonprofit?
  3. How to participate in GivingTuesday?
  4. Plan your campaign
  5. Prepare your messaging
  6. Launch your GivingTuesday campaign
  7. What do you need to do after GivingTuesday is over?
  8. A tool to help you succeed this GivingTuesday!

What is GivingTuesday?

Imagine a day where people from all walks of life come together, united by the common goal of doing good. Everyone is encouraged to give generously, companies match gifts, and there is general excitement around supporting nonprofits. That's the magic of GivingTuesday!

GivingTuesday is a global movement that celebrates generosity and encourages people to support causes that matter to them. Whether you're passionate about education, the environment, healthcare, or animal welfare, GivingTuesday is your chance to join hands with millions of others around the world to make a positive impact!

This year GivingTuesday will fall on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

How can GivingTuesday help your nonprofit?

GivingTuesday transcends traditional fundraising efforts, offering your nonprofit a chance to align with a global movement that goes beyond monetary contributions. GivingTuesday is about fostering connections, igniting a spirit of giving, and creating a ripple effect of positive change. Your nonprofit should get in on the action, and here’s why:

GivingTuesday amplifies your cause

A woman of color holding a megaphone and walking with two other women
Photographer: Clay Banks | Source: Unsplash

GivingTuesday is more than a day; it’s a movement! With over 37 million adults participating in GivingTuesday in 2022, it’s like a megaphone for your mission. By joining in, you're raising awareness at a time when people are actively looking for nonprofits to support!

This is a great opportunity to showcase your impact, share success stories, and paint a vivid picture of the change you're making. By telling your story in a compelling way, you can engage lifelong advocates and build momentum for your nonprofit!

Tap into the spirit of generosity

After all the Thanksgiving celebrations, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals have finished, people are itching to give back! Many corporate sponsors or major donors see GivingTuesday as an opportunity to showcase their generosity through matching gifts. According to Double the Donation, when a nonprofit has a matching gift incentive, donors are likely to double or even triple their giving!

1 in 3 donors say they’d give a larger gift if their donation was matched.*

So, by participating in GivingTuesday, you tap into this outpouring of generosity!

An opportunity to build community

While fundraising is a big part of GivingTuesday, it's not the only goal. This is a great chance to engage volunteers and inspire others to take action beyond just writing a check. By participating in GivingTuesday, your nonprofit joins a larger community of organizations and individuals striving for a better world.

This is a chance to build connections, to collaborate with other nonprofits, and learn from one another! Everyone has something to give and every act of kindness counts!

How to participate in GivingTuesday?

Now that you know what GivingTuesday is and how it can help your nonprofit, how do you take advantage of this opportunity to be part of a global movement for good? GivingTuesday is your moment to shine, so let's get you ready to be swept up in the wave of generosity and positive change that this incredible day brings! Here’s how to start:

Plan your campaign

First, you need to decide what your participation will look like. There are so many ways to get involved, but you only have so much time in your day! Step one is to decide what you have the time and capacity for. While going all out might sound fun and exciting, starting small and doing one or two things well will set you up for future growth.

Set your goal(s)

Set an exciting GivingTuesday goal that inspires and motivates your team! GivingTuesday is about more than just donations, so remember that when setting your goals. Goals around gaining new volunteers, event participation, the number of new donors, contacts added, or thank you notes delivered are just as important as those donations! Think about what goals will best support your work and mission in the next year, and plan those objectives into your GivingTuesday goals.

Options to consider:

1. Online giving campaign

This can be as simple as creating a separate donation page for GivingTuesday. By tying it directly to GivingTuesday, you’ll be able to see how well your messaging is resonating with your donors. If you’re not sure how to build a compelling Online Giving page, check out our Donation Page Playbook.

2. Matching gifts

Leading up to November is a great time to seek out local companies or solicit your major donors to see if you can secure a matching gift. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by raising enough for a matching gift campaign, don’t worry! A matching gift campaign doesn’t have to be massive. Starting small with a handful of donors who commit to giving $500 to $1000 to a matching gift fund can have a big impact on your GivingTuesday campaign.

3. Virtual event

Engaging your donors online is a great way to reach out to your constituents. Virtual events are accessible to pretty much anyone regardless of their work schedule, physical ability, location, or resources. This allows you to reach a wider audience, which is great for building hype on GivingTuesday.

Ideas could be doing a Livestream with your team to publicly recognize donors or share stories of the work accomplished by your nonprofit over the past year. You could also host a silent auction online or partner with a business to do a virtual giveaway.

4. Community event

A group of volunteers handing out food on GivingTuesday
Photographer: Joel Muniz | Source: Unsplash

Are there ways you can bring your local community together to support your nonprofit? Perhaps a drive for in-kind gifts or an activity or action that serves your community in a tangible way. Consider events that can bring people together on GivingTuesday and build excitement and hype around your nonprofit.

One option is to partner with a local business that is willing to be part of your GivingTuesday campaign. A great example is a donut shop that partners with a local nonprofit. They make a special donut for that day, and any profits from its sale are donated. This kind of partnership works well for both the business and the nonprofit. Locals are excited to go to the donut shop on that day, and often the entire store is sold out of all donuts before the morning is even over. It’s a win-win for everyone. People get donuts and are excited to help a local nonprofit. The nonprofit gets a large donation. The donut shop has a fantastic day of sales and gets positive PR.

Are there any local businesses in your area that you could partner with in a mutually beneficial way?

Create a donor persona

Who are you hoping to reach during GivingTuesday? While it’s important to cast your net wide, you’ll want to make sure you’re still aiming for the donors that make the most sense to your organization. By creating a donor persona, you’ll be able to choose the best ways to communicate with your donors and make sure that your marketing is connecting in a meaningful way!

Choose your channels of communication

Once you’ve determined your ideal donor profile, you’ll need to decide what channels of communication you think will work best to reach them.

Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

One of the easiest ways to engage with your donors is through marketing emails. Plan out a few emails that tie directly into your GivingTuesday campaign, get your constituents excited, and link directly to your Online Giving page. You can send out an email that lets your donors know the ways you plan to participate in this year's GivingTuesday.

Text Messaging
Including text messaging in your GivingTuesday campaign is a game-changer. It's like having a one-on-one chat with potential donors, making them feel more connected. Plus, texts get opened and answered fast. And let's not forget how easy it makes donating! So, go ahead and add texting to your campaign to make your GivingTuesday campaign super successful!

Social Media
Social media is a great choice for GivingTuesday because so many people are actively searching for nonprofits to support. When you post to social media and use the #GivingTuesday hashtag, you’re opening yourself up to the millions of people worldwide who are actively participating. Take advantage of digital marketing to reach a wider audience and connect with other nonprofits!

Phone Calls
While more time-consuming, phone calls can be a really effective part of your GivingTuesday campaign. Reach out to major donors to ask about giving to a matching gift fund. If you’re planning to have a live stream, you might want to call specific volunteers, board members, or staff to ask them to join in!

Prepare your messaging

Now that you know your ideal donor profile and how you plan to engage those donors, it’s time to actually prepare your messaging and your content.

When donors see the real-world impact that their gift will make, they’re more likely to donate to your nonprofit.

Plan out your messaging

When donors see the real-world impact that their gift will make, they’re more likely to donate to your nonprofit. Is there a specific need that GivingTuesday donations will go to that you could highlight? When you share individual stories of impact, people are more likely to be drawn into those stories and motivated to give.

Likewise, if you can tie each gift amount to a specific way it will help, donors see the good their generosity can accomplish. An example for a cat shelter could be:

If you don’t have a specific story of impact you want to talk about, you can also choose a theme to center your GivingTuesday campaign around. Is there something specific about your nonprofit, partners you’ve chosen to work with, or campaigns that could be a compelling theme?

Build your content calendar

While GivingTuesday is just one day, it’s important to build up hype over the course of the month. Donors who don’t know about your GivingTuesday campaign won’t give to your GivingTuesday campaign. So shout it from the mountain tops! The more you share, the more likely you are to reach your target donor demographic.

At a minimum send an email or post on social media during the week of November 20th. Ideally, you’ll start your GivingTuesday email and social media push several weeks before GivingTuesday happens.

Make your plan and write out what content you want to put out and when. Will you need photos, written content, or video content? Get an idea of what you’ll need to create over the next month. Having everything written down will keep your thoughts more organized and help you stay on top of your communication.

Create your content

As much as you’re able to, create your content in advance. The fall always seems to shape up to be a busy season of life. Take time before you plan to start promoting your GivingTuesday campaign to collect photos, prepare emails and write blurbs for social media. This can also be a great time to start filming any videos, so you have time to edit in advance.

Launch your GivingTuesday campaign

This is the moment you’ve been building to! This is when all of your hard work and plans get put into practice. You’ll want to send out those emails, post about your giving pages, and share about upcoming events!

On GivingTuesday it’s important to stay on top of posting, sharing, and reaching out to potential donors. Plus, take the time to comment, like, and reach out to other nonprofits in your sphere.

Follow up

You’re not done yet! After the big day of GivingTuesday, you’ve still got the last leg of the race to run. Equally important as your actual campaign is how you engage with donors, volunteers, and other constituents after the fact!

Send out thank you notes

block letters spelling out Thank You
Photographer: Courtney Hedger | Source: Unsplash

This is a great opportunity to engage your board members and ask them to help handwrite thank you notes, especially to your major donors. But also, we get it, the end of the year is a crazy season for nonprofits! Having a donor development system that links its online giving directly into your donor database and can automatically send out thank you notes and receipts is an absolute lifesaver!

Whatever method you choose, take the time to thank your donors and volunteers. By showing your appreciation for their generosity, your thank you notes can be a great way to grow donor engagement and loyalty.

Share about the impact of your donors’ giving

Another great way to connect with your donors is to post an update on social media or send out an email sharing the impact of their gifts. Let them know how much was raised. Share how you plan to use those funds. Let them see how their generosity is making a difference in their community.

This is a great way to grow donor relationships. When you are transparent with your donors, you grow their trust in your nonprofit. They see the good that you are doing, which increases confidence in your work.


In a nutshell, GivingTuesday is that one special day where people from all walks of life join forces for a common cause – spreading kindness and doing good. It's a day that brims with generosity and there's a palpable buzz around supporting nonprofits!

As November 28, 2023 approaches, GivingTuesday offers a chance to link arms with a worldwide movement. It's about creating connections, sparking a spirit of giving, and making a positive difference in the world.

In the end, it's all about building trust and relationships. When your donors see the genuine impact of their generosity, it strengthens their connection to your nonprofit. So, mark your calendars, rally your team, and let's get ready to make GivingTuesday 2023 a day of positive change and lasting connections.

Together, we can turn small acts of kindness into a powerful force for transformation!

Looking for a tool to help you succeed this GivingTuesday?

DonorDock lets you send emails and text messages, accept online donations with automatic receipts, and manage your donors all in one system. Find out more

Elisha Ford
Content Writer
Written by
Elisha Ford
Content Writer

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