Giving Tuesday Tips from Kat Murphy Toms of GivingTuesday

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Kat Murphy Toms of Giving Tuesday

We recently interviewed Kat Murphy Toms, Director of Digital Strategy at GivingTuesday, about ways nonprofits can host successful campaigns this Giving Tuesday. Kat shared her tips and best practices. Read on to learn how you can boost your Giving Tuesday fundraising performance this year.

Q1. Do nonprofits need to change their messaging in light of COVID-19 and the additional ask on Giving Tuesday Now?

We believe that generosity has the power to unite and heal communities, and in this current moment, our world has never been in greater need of connection and healing. It’s really important that we all recognize that nonprofits and changemakers are the other essential workers in our communities. And if you think you’re not essential for some reason, just think about what your community would look like without you. And tell that story. The more integral you are to people’s lives, the more they see you as vital to the community that they want to live in, the more likely they are to prioritize supporting you.

Q2. What tools do you recommend nonprofits use to implement their Giving Tuesday campaigns (social media, text fundraising, email appeals, etc.)? Can you speak to the importance of nonprofits using multiple channels to market their GT campaigns?

You should use the tools that work best for you and your supporters. Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to experiment with all kinds of things—new technology, new strategies for fundraising, new messaging—and most participants do tell us they tried something new for Giving Tuesday. Understanding that everyone is strapped for bandwidth, now might not be the time to try a half a dozen new things. It’s ok to stick with the regular tools in your toolbox. Do test everything ahead of time so you can make sure you’re providing a delightful giving experience.

Q3. Where can nonprofits get resources such as a toolkit and social media graphics ahead of Giving Tuesday?

Lots of different places! The best part of Giving Tuesday is the collaboration that happens. There are tons of tools at but there are others from dozens of donation platforms, marketers, fundraising consultants and more—all for free. If you haven’t yet tapped into your local Giving Tuesday community, we can’t recommend it enough. Many offer free workshops, support, and marketing opportunities to help amplify your cause collectively with your local community.

Q4. How can nonprofits incorporate livestreaming into their Giving Tuesday campaign?

During Giving Tuesday Now, we saw lots of livestreaming, and I expect we’ll see more of it on December 1. Most platforms are prioritizing live content in the algorithm so you’ll get the most organic reach. You can even pre-record much (or even all) of it. Figure out which platform you want to livestream to first, then plan your program or run of show, then choose your technology (Restream, Twitch, Tiltify, Streamyard, etc). There’s a virtual events toolkit at Make sure to plan your livestream enough in advance to get the word out – include a mention of it in every email you send throughout November and send a calendar invite if possible.

Q5. Do you have any tips for nonprofits on engaging with their supporters on Giving Tuesday?

For starters, make sure you’re thanking every donor that gives to you on social. If you have a team of peer-to-peer fundraisers, equip them to engage with supporters as well. Encourage them to share stories about why they gave or challenge them to tag three friends to learn more about your cause. Design interactive elements of your campaign and seed those throughout the day to keep people motivated and inspired. Shoutout your volunteers or donors who haven’t yet given to you on GT and just thank them for their ongoing involvement in your community. Invite your donors to come on to your IG (Instagram) Live to talk about what your mission means to them.

Q6. How should nonprofits engage their donors after Giving Tuesday to retain and cultivate first-time donors?

The welcome email drip campaign is an under-utilized opportunity. Use it to introduce new donors to your mission, why it matters, and why your organization is so effective at moving the needle. Then at the end of the series, give them an option to dig in even further by volunteering, doing advocacy work, joining your junior board. Make sure they know they’re welcome to raise their hand to dive in deeper.


Giving Tuesday 2020 is fast approaching. In these uncertain times, rely on your supporters to keep you going. They care about your mission and want to see you succeed. To ensure your message gets out there and your donors respond to it, use these tips from Kat Murphy Toms. They’re sure to help elevate your Giving Tuesday performance.

Want more Giving Tuesday tips? Download your free copy of the #GivingTuesday 2020 Ultimate Guide.

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