Giving Tuesday Checklist: Plan for Greater Success

Fundraising Ideas

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a renowned French author, once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This sentiment rings especially true when it comes to reaching your Giving Tuesday fundraising goals. Approaching Giving Tuesday with a goal without making plans to reach that goal can stifle your results. Avoid a fundraising flop by creating a Giving Tuesday checklist. This checklist should help you plan out your campaign tasks for before, during, and after Giving Tuesday. Your checklist should spell out the details of your fundraising campaign and explain the responsibilities of each member of your team.

But first, what is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday

New fundraisers may be unfamiliar with what Giving Tuesday is all about. In the simplest sense, it is a day that encourages people to do good.

Giving Tuesday got its start in 2012. Over the past 10 years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. For nonprofits, Giving Tuesday presents an opportunity to raise more funds to support their missions and recruit new volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

Each year, Giving Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Giving Tuesday fundraising campaigns often take place online via social media, but as this day of giving has become more popular, nonprofits have launched full-fledged fundraising appeals to inspire donors to take part. This giving movement has been incredibly beneficial to nonprofits who take part. According to this Nonprofit Times article, nonprofits raised nearly two billion dollars in donations during Giving Tuesday 2019.

Your pre-Giving Tuesday checklist

✔️ Set a (realistic) fundraising goal for the day

When setting a fundraising goal, make it realistic. Consider the number of donors you have in your database and their capacity to give. It also helps to note if any of your donors are also past Giving Tuesday donors. If so, they may be more inclined to give again and that gives you more flexibility when setting a fundraising goal. If Giving Tuesday is new to your donor base, make sure the goal you set is attainable.

Get the most out of your Giving Tuesday fundraising goal! Determine if there is a specific, non-monetary goal you need to reach. Donors respond favorably to being asked to work toward a tangible goal that helps those you serve.

If possible, try approaching your donors with a goal that’s related to your mission rather than just asking donors to reach a certain dollar amount.

Qgiv client Blount Memorial Foundation set a goal to provide feeding therapy tools, update their toys and books, and fund sensory motor projects for pediatric rehabilitation. They reached 91% of their $25,000 fundraising goal during Giving Tuesday.

✔️ Create a content and communications calendar

Giving Tuesday success relies on engaging your donors and community. Create a content and communications calendar to set a timeline for appeal creation and execution of communications. If you’re new to planning out your Giving Tuesday content in a calendar, use our Giving Tuesday Ultimate Guide! It contains tons of helpful Giving Tuesday resources including a calendar template with timelines for posting and what should be posted.

Here are helpful things to keep in mind for your communication strategy:

  • Take a multi-pronged approach to reach as many donors and community members as possible.
    • Create content for emails, social posts, text communication, direct mail, your donation page, and phone calls.
  • Communications should include pre-Giving Tuesday content, content for the day of Giving Tuesday, and post-campaign follow-up communications.
  • Your donate button should be easy to see (so put it in a contrasting color).
  • The call to action should be consistent across the board for all Giving Tuesday campaign content.

Assign team members to their roles and hold them accountable for their part. Ensure each member of your team can get their work done according to your communication timeline.

Save time and find Giving Tuesday inspiration with our Giving Tuesday donor communication templates!

✔️ Get your donation form Giving-Tuesday ready

Giving Tuesday may not seem like the best time to give your donation form a facelift, but it’s necessary to cut down on donor confusion. If your campaign is accepting donations for a specific goal on Giving Tuesday, landing on a donation page that doesn’t mention that goal can lead donors to believe they’re in the wrong place. Donor confusion can hurt your form’s donation conversion rate (the number of people making gifts) and can hurt their confidence in your organization (if they think your form is somehow a scam).

Even if you don’t have a specific fundraising goal for Giving Tuesday, an unbranded donation form or a donation form containing old branding and verbiage can deter donors. Before Giving Tuesday begins, modify your existing donation form. If you’re a Qgiv client, you’ll already be able to add your branding and customize your online donation form. Qgiv users can also create a specific form just for Giving Tuesday!

Your Giving Tuesday checklist

On Giving Tuesday, you’ll want to ensure your campaign proceeds according to your timeline.

✔️ Check one last time to make sure your donation form is up and ready to accept donations. Run a test to be sure!

✔️ Check off different communications as they go out.

✔️ If you’re planning a Giving Tuesday livestream, get the speakers ready and practice the script before you go live. During the livestream, direct viewers to your donation form and ask for support.

✔️ Thank your donors.

✔️ Regularly post updates on your fundraising and remind supporters of your overall goal. This can mean providing live updates on social media or scheduling communications when fundraising milestones are reached.

✔️ Thank your donors.

✔️ Promote any challenges or matches.

✔️Thank your donors.

✔️ At the close of Giving Tuesday, collect data on the amount raised and the number of donations received so that you can provide a final update the next day.

✔️ Thank your donors again. (Can you tell this is important? ?)

Your post-Giving Tuesday checklist

Just because Giving Tuesday is only 24-hours long doesn’t mean your campaign ends that day. Post-event communication is key to retaining donors and inspiring them to continue giving.

✔️ After Giving Tuesday, ensure you’ve provided a final fundraising total that includes the number of individual gifts. If possible, explain the impact of those donations.

✔️ Execute your donor thank-you communications. This includes sending an email or handwritten card or calling donors to thank them over the phone.

✔️ Determine if any Giving Tuesday donors gave to you for the first time and execute your new donor welcome strategy.

✔️ Write a press release sharing your Giving Tuesday fundraising results and how those funds will help. If your goal will take time to execute, regularly update Giving Tuesday donors.

✔️ After your immediate post-event communications have gone out, meet with your team to discuss what went well and identify opportunities for improvement for next year.


Creating a Giving Tuesday checklist and following it faithfully helps make your Giving Tuesday fundraising goal possible. A solid plan for your campaign will help ensure things go smoothly so you can make the most of this global day of giving. Looking for more advice for Giving Tuesday success? Check out our interview with GivingTuesday’s Director of Digital Strategy, Kat Murphy Toms and our Giving Tuesday Resources for tips, tricks, and templates for successful Giving Tuesday campaigns.

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