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Planning for GivingTuesday: A nonprofit’s ultimate checklist

November 01, 2021
A smiling man checks an item off his planning for Giving Tuesday checklist.

GivingTuesday is a global day centered around generosity of all forms. Its goal is to build a better world that everyone wants to live in, which makes it an ideal day for nonprofit organizations hoping to boost their fundraising efforts. Some nonprofits choose to launch their year-end fundraising campaigns during GivingTuesday, leveraging the spirit of philanthropy and goodwill to start their campaigns off strong.

This article will cover the things you need to do to ensure a great GivingTuesday. Let’s begin!

1. Plan your campaign.

To prepare for GivingTuesday, you’ll want to plan your fundraising campaign. Here are the steps you’ll want to take:

  • Develop a unifying theme for your campaign that represents your nonprofit’s purpose and year-end focus.
  • Set a concrete and realistic Giving Day goal.
  • Map out which marketing channels you’ll use for promotions.
  • Create a campaign calendar and timeline to organize your efforts.
  • Assemble your team and assign roles.
  • Line up peer-to-peer campaign leaders to expand your outreach.
  • Recruit a team of board members, loyal donors, and volunteers to act as your ambassadors who will help build early word-of-mouth.
  • Finalize your matching gift donors to help double the impact of GivingTuesday.

Take the time to be thorough with your plan. The more robust it is, the smoother your GivingTuesday fundraising efforts will be.

2.  Create GivingTuesday materials.

You’ll want to create promotional materials for your nonprofit’s GivingTuesday fundraising to ensure that your supporters get the message and know how to make an impact on your nonprofit. Here are the things you should do to prepare your GivingTuesday materials:

  • Include your unique logo, tagline, and hashtag in your promotional materials.
  • Create a special GivingTuesday giving page that all messages for that day will link to.
  • Design a homepage pop-up for your website so all visitors will immediately see your GivingTuesday message and call to action.
  • Prepare your impact stories from people who have benefited from your programs.
  • Draft your social media posts, texts, and emails in advance.
  • Distribute messaging, logos, and images to your ambassadors to share on their social media.
  • Prepare the mobile giving pieces of your campaign.
  • Test your emails and donation page across desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
  • Create your follow-up communications, press release, and thank you emails and letters in advance.

Having well-designed promotional materials makes your nonprofit seem more professional, and creates greater brand awareness. They will greatly help you with outreach to potential new supporters. Make sure that when people visit your webpage or social media, they immediately know that you’re participating in GivingTuesday.

3. Build excitement.

Not only do you need to make supporters aware that you’re fundraising during GivingTuesday, but you’ll also need to generate excitement about it. You can do that with the following strategies:

  • In the weeks before GivingTuesday, roll out a series of Save the Date communications to spread awareness and remind supporters to participate.
  • Feature GivingTuesday reminders in your newsletters.
  • Invite your social media followers to create a special Facebook Fundraiser in support of your GivingTuesday campaign.
  • Contact your ambassadors and peer-to-peer team the day before for one last pep talk.

Before launching, test your giving page and email blast one last time to ensure that you can successfully convert your supporters’ excitement into gifts. After building anticipation, you want to focus on making sure the day itself runs smoothly.

4. GivingTuesday: The day itself.

On GivingTuesday itself, there are many things your nonprofit will need to do to maximize fundraising. You’ll want to:

  • Launch your unique, GivingTuesday branded online donation page, homepage pop-up, and social media imagery.
  • Make sure you registered your charity with Facebook so supporters can make donations directly through your page.
  • Feature your donation button prominently on your website and link directly to your GivingTuesday donation page.
  • Update your donation thank you page with your special GivingTuesday message so donors can immediately share the news of their gift on social media.
  • Send emails and text messages promoting day-of giving with your GivingTuesday logos and hashtags included.
  • Send a personal email to your ambassadors and peer-to-peer leaders to check in, thank them for participating, and offer encouragement to finish out the day strong.
  • Inspire donors to give throughout the day by regularly posting impact stories and updates on social media as you reach special milestones.

By doing all of these things, you’ll help your nonprofit garner the support it needs to have a great GivingTuesday. 

5. Show your gratitude to supporters.

Even before GivingTuesday is over, make sure to show your gratitude to supporters who choose to make gifts to your nonprofit. You can do this by:

  • Thanking donors on social media regularly throughout the day.
  • Sending your thank you communications to your donors promptly.
  • Personally calling donors who make significant gifts and saying thank you.

Make sure that your donors understand the significance of their gift and the impact they are helping your nonprofit make. You might also consider sending a little GivingTuesday-themed gift to donors to show your appreciation, such as a mug branded to your nonprofit and GivingTuesday.

Keep the momentum going through year-end

The end of the year is one of the best times to fundraise, as 30% of annual giving occurs in December. Use GivingTuesday as a springboard to launch your nonprofit into a great year-end fundraising campaign by stewarding your GivingTuesday supporters, celebrating a great Giving Day, and transitioning your communications to be more holiday-focused.

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