4 Things to Do Before Giving Tuesday

Fundraising Ideas

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You’ve heard the hype about Giving Tuesday. And yeah, it’s pretty neat. It’s the unofficial start of the year-end fundraising season, and it can be totally thrilling to see new donors show up in your donor database. But, let’s be honest — if you look past the hype, Giving Tuesday is more than a one-day fundraising extravaganza. It’s a valuable opportunity to expand your reach and engage new donors, but it takes careful planning and execution if you want to make the most of it.

Well, here are some steps you can take to make the most of it! Start working on these elements now so you can focus on being excited when Giving Tuesday rolls around.

1. Figure Out Your “Why”

“Why WOULDN’T people donate to us on Giving Tuesday?” you might ask. “This is THE DAY for people to support nonprofits!”

And you’re totally right… and nonprofits everywhere know it.

You’re immersed in your organization, and it’s easy to think that your donors think of your nonprofit as much as you do. But there are thousands of nonprofits out there who are going to capitalize on Giving Tuesday. Other nonprofits will be vying for your donors’ attention — and it’s your job to make a case for why they should support you.

Why should someone give you their money? What mission can they accomplish by supporting you? Why will giving to you make a difference in the world?

Once you’ve established your “why,” you can start building your other Giving Tuesday assets, like social posts, blog entries, and email appeals. Basing all of them on your “why” will make your appeals and messaging consistent, coherent, and compelling.

2. Build Your Assets

Every fundraising campaign needs thoughtful, well thought-out assets. Giving Tuesday, for all its emphasis on personal interactions, is no different!

You’ve already got your “why” — building your assets should be the next step. Focus on five different kinds of assets:

  • Your donation form (building a unique donation form, including Giving Tuesday branding, will help you keep track of your success)
  • Your email appeal(s)
  • Your social posts (you can even schedule some of them in advance!)
  • Your receipt/thank-you note
  • Your follow-up email (to update donors on how much they raised/donated on Giving Tuesday and what they’ll accomplish with those gifts)

Building these ahead of time will give you more time to focus on the fun parts of Giving Tuesday when the day arrives. It’ll also ensure your messaging stays cohesive and consistent even when you and your staff are caught up in all the excitement!

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3. Put Together a Giving Tuesday Follow-Up Plan

You know you need to send donation receipts to everyone who gives to you. You might even plan on sending a follow-up email to Giving Tuesday donors to update them on whether or not you met your fundraising goal and showing them how they’ll make a difference with their gifts.

But what will you do after that?

You’ll almost undoubtedly see an influx of first-time donors on Giving Tuesday, and it’s important that you have a donor follow-up plan in place.

Now’s the time to create that new-donor follow-up plan! There are tons of different ways to do it (for ideas, check out this donor stewardship template or this webinar on using email series for your donors). Try to include elements like:

  • An intro to your nonprofit (if they’ve never donated before)
  • A donor survey (to help you gauge how you can improve your next Giving Tuesday campaign)
  • A plan for when you’ll make future asks

Setting up a follow-up plan ahead of time will help you ensure no one slips through the cracks!

4. Assign Roles

We’ve all been in situations where an important task is left undone, and we’ve all been in situations where too many people are trying to manage one task. Avoid those situations by setting roles and expectations for you team ahead of time.

Do you want to post Giving Tuesday updates every half hour? Assign it to someone!

Want to do a couple of live-stream videos on Facebook? Make sure someone owns that project.

Every person on your team should know what their roles and responsibilities are on the day of the event, and every task should be owned by at least one person. Make a list!


Giving Tuesday is a fun, crazy day that marks the unofficial start of the holiday fundraising season. If you want to run a successful campaign, make sure you’re ready by establishing a case for support, building and scheduling your assets ahead of time, establishing a donor follow-up plan, and making sure everyone on your team knows exactly what they need to do on the day of the event. Taking these steps ahead of time will leave you more time and mental space to have fun on Giving Tuesday!

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