The Complete Giving Tuesday Toolkit for Nonprofits [Updated for 2023]
Your complete Giving Tuesday 2023 toolkit is here! Find everything from how to create a logo and a graphic image for your Giving Tuesday campaign to event ideas to your ultimate Giving Tuesday workbook - everything, all in one place!
Starting in 2012 in the United States, Giving Tuesday is a day of giving back to nonprofits within the community, either monetarily or by taking action in support of the nonprofit’s mission. It was inspired by the various days of shopping following Thanksgiving, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
Giving Tuesday was created by the Belfer Center at the 92nd Street Y, with the help of the United Nations Foundation, to push back against the consumerism of the holiday season and remind people to support their favorite nonprofits for that end-of-the-year push.
It’s grown from a simple concept to a global celebratory day of the year, with millions taking part. Giving Tuesday is the perfect time for nonprofits to gear up and launch a fundraising campaign to reach potential donors.
In 2022, a whopping $3.1 billion was raised in donations on Giving Tuesday in the U.S. alone. This record-breaking amount was a 15% increase from that in 2021, as highlighted in the Giving Tuesday 2022 impact report.
In the United States in 2023, the post-Thanksgiving holiday season shopping days will take place on these dates –
Black Friday – November 24th
Small Business Saturday – November 25th
Cyber Monday – November 27th
Giving Tuesday – November 28th
The sooner you start planning your Giving Tuesday strategy, the better! In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to have handy for the big day.
Listen to this 15 minute podcast on how to make your Giving Tuesday planning as easy as possible. Covering five critical Must-Do steps for a successful Fundraising strategy, Cara and Lindsey Baker Bower set out a well-paced plan to optimize every element for meeting your fundraising goal on the day and build on that momentum to keep donations rolling in throughout the end of the year.
▶️ Subscribe to our YouTube channel to master fundraising with pro tips and actionable advice from nonprofit and fundraising experts.
Importance of Giving Tuesday for Nonprofits
End-of-year giving is a vital time for nonprofit organizations to raise up to a quarter of their annual revenue, and Giving Tuesday serves as the kick-off for the giving season. It’s the perfect opportunity to set the tone for end-of-year giving while bringing in significant donations to support mission-based work.
Because Giving Tuesday has become a worldwide phenomenon, much of the work related to promoting the day and sharing its meaning has already been done. However, nonprofits still need a solid strategy to direct donors to their sites and donation pages in the midst of a wide sea of Giving Tuesday solicitations.
With the right strategy, your nonprofit will be able to stand apart from the crowd this Giving Tuesday to raise more money for your important work.
Giving Tuesday Toolkit for Nonprofits [Updated for 2023]
1. Include key messages
The Giving Tuesday key messages are the standard communication that should be used by all nonprofit organizations. Giving Tuesday has released its key messages so the whole community can understand the meaning of the day and share it effectively.
A great way to share these key messages is to put them directly on your donation page. Use Donorbox’s donation pages to craft the perfect Giving Tuesday 2023 campaign.
Choose to host your donation page on Donorbox or embed a donation form right on your website. Customize your donation form with colors that match your branding and donation levels that illustrate the impact of each donation.
Check out how JOYA Scholars created a compelling donation page and raised over $26,000 for their Giving Tuesday and year-end campaign in 2022!
Giving Tuesday and Small Business Saturday are both movements that have expertly utilized social media to grow – and you can use it for your campaign, too!
Social media is one of your primary playgrounds for Giving Tuesday – it is a cost-effective and high-impact way nonprofits can reach their audience and encourage Giving Tuesday donations. It can also help you cut through all the noise from Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Brand your online channels with Giving Tuesday and talk about your participation. Remember to not change the name of your nonprofit account anywhere on social media – this can make it hard for your supporters to find your profile.
Create Giving Tuesday content that talks about your mission, your impact, and the current work and situation of your nonprofit. Your content needs to educate your audience about your cause and work. Further, your content should give people a reason to support your cause – it should build an emotional connection to your mission.
Remember to use #GivingTuesday to amplify your reach on the day. Giving Tuesday also promotes tagged posts on their channels.
Having a communications plan will help execute your campaign successfully. Note that after announcing your participation, you have to expand promotions and accelerate communications in November. And, as the countdown begins, start preparing social media communications for the day of Giving Tuesday.
2.1 Create eye-catching graphics
You can create social media graphics using platforms like Canva. Download all sample images and logos here. Create collaborative graphic work, co-branded with Giving Tuesday. You’ll also find Instagram stickers and GIFs on this page that you can use for promoting your campaign on social media.
The Giving Tuesday website also recommends Pexels stock images nonprofits can use for their graphics.
Pro tip: Encourage donors to share your Donorbox donation page on their social media channels! It’s easy to do – simply enable sharing on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter from your campaign builder and donors can share right from your donation page.
Now, let’s dive deeper into how to leverage each platform in the best way possible.
Facebook is one of the most fluid platforms to use for spreading Giving Tuesday awareness and raising funds.
Use the description box to your full advantage. Introduce your nonprofit, explain what makes it different, describe what the funds are going toward, and include examples of past successes.
Have individual members post to their walls, then invite their friends who are passionate about the nonprofit, its mission, and/or its employees.
Note whether you’re matching donations, and post this in your description and social sharing.
Make it possible for all to support you. For those who may be unable to donate money, encourage them to share the posts.
Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need – be it monetary donations, in-kind donations, partnering with larger companies, or sharing your mission statement across Facebook.
Don’t be too pushy for donations. Some people do not have the option to donate. Again, it’s important to emphasize that sharing your post is just as helpful.
Short and sweet is the name of the game on Twitter. Twitter is also great for linking up with potential donors by engaging in conversation and searching through hashtags.
Follow hashtags relevant to your nonprofit, then utilize these hashtags in your own tweets.
Don’t forget to use #GivingTuesday with camel caps.
Engage with your followers!
Link to your donation page in every tweet. Followers are unlikely to search around for the page – give it to them immediately.
Don’t be afraid to tweet multiple times per day. Just make sure to convey your message in multiple ways, rather than tweeting the same thing ten times in an hour.
Don’t forget to do your research on the best times to post – find out when your tweets are most likely to be seen and engaged with.
Pro tip: Organize Twitter chats or AMAs with your nonprofit’s key members to talk about your cause, work, and impact.
Use eye-catching graphics for Instagram. For captions, you have two options: short and to the point (think one to three sentences), or long and personal. People are less likely to read a long paragraph if they can’t relate to it, so hook them in with a cool graphic and poignant caption to follow.
Create a logo specifically for Giving Tuesday. Use your colors (or the colors of the cause you’re representing) for a custom design that stands out from other organizations.
Include photos of volunteers and staff at work. It shows donors where their dollars are going and includes them in your good work.
Engage with other nonprofits. Whether you’re commenting on other Giving Tuesday posts, responding to your posts’ comments, or following fellow nonprofits, engagement is key and will often be reciprocated in likes and in donations.
Utilize stories. This way, you’re not clogging people’s feeds and coming off as annoying – people will still see your story, but they won’t feel irked.
Don’t, under any circumstances, copy someone else’s graphics. Not only can it get you into legal trouble, but you might also appear lazy to your followers for not creating your own, therefore alienating your base.
Don’t spam other pages. Comment thoughtfully and in response to the caption, then gently promote yourself. This is best to do a few days in advance.
The most professional of the social media platforms is LinkedIn, specifically built for networking and finding work opportunities. Your posts should be interesting, conversations, and goal-focused. Showcase what’s special about your nonprofit, and therefore draw in donors.
Link back directly to your donation page. Note that it’s best to put links in the comments on LinkedIn.
Break up paragraphs so there are approximately two to four sentences in each one.
Go through your connections for potential partnerships. Post about Giving Tuesday, then personally reach out to those you are connected with who would have an interest in supporting you.
Don’t use slang or overly familiar language. Professionalism is key.
Don’t reach out to just anybody within your network. Think through which types of donors and businesses you’re hoping to partner with, then tailor your message to each person.
3. Email campaigns
An email campaign is your next main playground on Giving Tuesday. While it might seem outdated, people still religiously check their emails every morning.
Crafting a campaign doesn’t have to be difficult! There are plenty of ways to approach creation.
Send out your first email a month before Giving Tuesday. It’s close enough to be relevant, but far enough away to not seem pushy.
Create a Giving Tuesday email schedule and keep the interest alive.
3.1 Choose catchy subject lines
The last thing you want is for someone to delete your email without opening it – or even reading the entire subject.
The best way to start off is with some form of exciting information. Rather than “Donate to Us on Giving Tuesday,” say “Feed a Hungry Child Today.” Make them care!
If you have merchandise, are there any discounts for Giving Tuesday? (This helps tap into the Black Friday spirit!) Put that as one of the first keywords in the subject. “Giving Tuesday Is Here” is vague and doesn’t sound as though a deal is being made by supporting them. Try “Giving Tuesday: All Products 25% Off” instead. People will be enticed to open and read.
3.2 Start with a captivating introduction
Hook the reader immediately. Paint a picture for them – who are they helping by supporting your cause? Why were they having problems before? How are you helping this group now? Personal, touching information is held closer to the heart.
If there is a specific story that you think would tug on the heartstrings, use that to convince the reader to continue and see how they can help. Putting a face to a group does wonders.
“Allan was sick, but he did not have a child specialist at the hospital. [Insert image.] That’s why we do XYZ.”
3.3 Summarize your story
No one has enough time in the day to learn the entire story of a nonprofit. So, in three to five sentences, explain what you do, why you do it, how you started doing it, and what you’ve accomplished.
For example: “Our company was founded in XZY year. Since then, we’ve done XYZ. We’re now looking to accomplish XYZ.”
3.4 Make an obvious Call to Action
Get straight to the point: what do you need and why? If you crafted your email with the past three tips, you shouldn’t need anything more than the point.
For example, if you’re a pet rescue, you might say: “We’re looking to raise $25,000 to provide life-saving surgeries for dogs.”
3.5 Write a day-of email
Giving Tuesday has finally arrived! If you emailed them previously, you are now sending a follow-up on the day of. Promote it as much as possible in the subject line. You won’t come off as too pushy – just make sure the rest of your email has a gentler tone.
3.6 Do not cause donor fatigue
Donor fatigue can work against all your Giving Tuesday campaign efforts, so you must be careful and sensitive to avoid reaching a point that is counterproductive in driving donations. Make sure your content is fresh, appealing, and not repetitive. Provide substance to your audience, and you will be less likely to cause your audience to unsubscribe from your updates due to fatigue.
4. Giving Tuesday press releases
Press releases are straightforward and similar to email campaigns – you announce that you’re joining the Giving Tuesday movement, explain who you are and what you do, where you’ll be hosting your fundraiser online, what these donations will go toward, past success, and a summary of the contents.
You can send press releases to local media, potential partners, and other charities you’re hoping to align yourself with.
Write in the third person. While it may seem appealing to write in the first person, press releases are written from an outside perspective.
Include a quote from someone high-up. Have your executive director, spokesperson, or board president share their insights in the press release.
Don’t rush a press release. This is an official document that, if published, could reach thousands of potential donors, so take the time to be thorough and thoughtful.
Don’t send out press releases blindly. Research organizations that you believe you fit with, partners who share your morals, and media that covers your type of organization.
5. Explore creative giving ideas
Explore some alternate creative ideas to rally your supporters toward your nonprofit. For example, send a calendar invite to your supporters and subscribers for the day of Giving Tuesday. They will receive a reminder on the day of giving from their personal calendars. Explain the exact steps to donate to your organization on Giving Tuesday.
As you execute your campaign, send a series of emails to build anticipation. Share something creative and new in your emails adding increasing value and attention to your cause. Countdown to the day of Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday helps nonprofits and individuals with unique ideas to support the world and their communities.
6. Ask your supporters to help
Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to ask your top supporters to celebrate the day by fundraising on your behalf.
To achieve a smooth peer-to-peer campaign, use Donorbox Peer-to-Peer. You can choose to invite your top supporters by email or allow anyone to volunteer through your campaign page. Once signed up, your supporters receive an email with detailed instructions about how to set up their own fundraising pages.
They can then personalize their pages to tell a compelling story about their relationship with your nonprofit. Then they simply share their donation page with their network for Giving Tuesday. Any donations they receive automatically flow to your Donorbox account.
Check out how Look Like Roo used Donorbox Peer-to-Peer for their Giving Tuesday 2022 campaign. They shared their leaderboard and allowed anyone to sign up to fundraise on their behalf!
Here are 50 more ideas if an individual wishes to help their community and local nonprofits on this Giving Tuesday. Nonprofits can use these ideas as well to encourage involvement and inspire people to give in the most meaningful ways.
7. The day of giving
It’s the day of Giving Tuesday! Now is the time to go full throttle. Post on social media throughout the day, sharing your donation page regularly. Send out your prepared, engaging emails. Keep the momentum going with innovative, branded content!
Pro tip: Enable a goal thermometer on your donation form to inspire urgency. If donors can see how far you are from your goal, they might be encouraged to give more. Setting up an automated goal thermometer on your Donorbox campaign page is easy and has a big payoff.
8. Follow up the day after
You did it! You’ve brought in donations, found potential donors, and connected with your base.
Make sure to send out an acknowledgment email once the day is over. Thank your email list profusely and include your total amount raised and any uplifting stories that took place on the day. Be sure to outline your plans for these donations and reiterate your donors’ impact.
You should also express gratitude on social media. Create a thread on Twitter to give yourself room to write as much as you’d like, create a catchy caption on Instagram with a beautiful graphic, write a longer post for Facebook with accomplishments, and include a link to the finished fundraiser to post to LinkedIn.
Other Resources for Giving Tuesday 2023
Giving Tuesday has provided tons of resources for organizations looking to take place in Giving Tuesday 2023. Here are some additional resources to consider –
First created at the 92nd Street Y with the United Nations Foundation, Giving Tuesday has since grown into a global movement that encourages generosity. Following Black Friday and the kick off to the holiday season in the United States, Giving Tuesday is a time for nonprofits to be the center of attention – and raise money to continue their important work.
Giving Tuesday is crucial for nonprofits, so utilize every aspect of each platform possible. You’ll be sure to bring in donations, raise awareness of your organization, and connect with others. There are many ways to engage and grow your following on this day. Make it your most successful holiday yet!
To best rally your supporters, you need an efficient tool that takes care of most of the work and lets you focus on your mission.
Donorbox has you covered with tons of tools to make the most of Giving Tuesday 2023. With sleek, accessible donation forms embedded on your website, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer functionality, in-person giving options like text-to-give and the Donorbox Live™ Kiosk app, and tons of resources, Donorbox is your one-stop-shop for preparing for Giving Tuesday.
You can learn more about Donorbox’s effective features here. Read insightful blogs on Giving Tuesday, fundraising, nonprofit management, and more on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog.