Giving Tuesday:
Five Fundamentals for Success

Megan A. Ritter, Vice President of Communications

A creative idea: Notice anything about your Facebook feed last Giving Tuesday? Mine was swamped with requests from every cause I’d ever heard of (and a few that I hadn’t!) More than 40,000 nonprofits participated in last year’s Giving Tuesday, and that number will only grow this year. Don’t be afraid to let your organization’s personality show – it’ll capture more attention.

Pro tip #1: Use images in every Giving Tuesday post; social media algorithms will give them higher priority, and they’ll see more engagement than text-only posts.

 Buy-in from your team: Get everyone in the organization involved in Giving Tuesday. Your programs team can provide colorful human-interest stories. Your board members might be willing to offer a matching grant, which tends to spur increased giving. Everyone in the organization, from interns to your CEO, can like and share posts.

Pro tip #2: Consider who in your organization might have a unique story to tell about the work you’re doing, and have them appear in a video or sign an email.

Soup-to-nuts testing: Nothing sinks the best-planned Giving Tuesday campaign faster than a technical glitch. Test both the user experience and basic functionality of everything, from the initial landing page to the email receipt. (You have an email receipt set up to auto-send, right? And you’ve checked to make sure it’s up-to-date?)

Pro tip #3: The single best way to test every part of your online giving process is to get out your own credit card and make a donation. 

Reasonable expectations: Is Giving Tuesday going to bring in piles of cash or plug a hole in your budget? Not likely. But it provides an opportunity to communicate with your audience on a day when they’re primed to give. It also allows you to test particular messages (or messengers!) and learn more about what motivates people to give. Temper your expectations and those of your team.

Pro tip #4: Many groups will keep a running tally of what they’ve raised on Giving Tuesday and alert their donors as they progress toward a goal. That’s a fine strategy – but to make sure your goal is achievable, tie it to a small, concrete need, like an intern scholarship or new equipment for staff.

A plan for follow-up: Giving Tuesday is over and it was a big success – you raised money from both existing donors and a few new ones who found you through Facebook. What will you do with that information? Will you change the way you communicate with those existing donors? Will new donors go into your general house file, or remain segmented out as online-only givers? Going into Giving Tuesday with a plan for follow-up is the best way to ensure that follow-up actually occurs.

Pro tip #5: Even if your Giving Tuesday donors got an email receipt, take the time to mail a thank-you letter as well. Update them on your final results and make sure that the letter refers back to the message or messenger on which your campaign was based.

Need help developing a plan for Giving Tuesday? Contact A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates to get started!

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