So, you waited until the week before #GivingTuesday again… It’s not time to panic just yet. If you’re willing to put in a little work over Thanksgiving, you can still pull together a campaign and take advantage of the biggest fundraising day of the year.
For those of you just getting started in the nonprofit community, #GivingTuesday is an international day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. In 2017, it falls on Tuesday, November 28. For many nonprofits, #GivingTuesday kicks off the year-end giving season.
If you work with a local nonprofit, it’s a good idea to check your city’s local giving day. Some cities march to the beat of their own drum and may not follow the international movement. Although, it will generally fall within the week following Thanksgiving. Check in with your local community foundation to verify the exact day.
Sign up for #GivingTuesday
If you haven’t already registered your nonprofit on the #GivingTuesday website, now would be a great time to sign up. It should only take you a minute or two to provide them with your organization’s name and contact information.
Once you’re registered, you’ll be included on the site’s master directory that’s searchable by city and state. Who knows? Someone might see you on there and decide to donate. You’ll also have access to some great resources like their complete toolkit.
Aside from adding your organization to the list, signing up doesn’t get you any services. You’ll need to have your own online donation process set up if you’d like to accept donations in that way.
Build Your Campaign
Now it’s time to get to work. In the next week, your supporters should hear from you through multiple channels of communication. Since we’re short on time, this campaign focuses on email, social media and your blog. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a blog, don’t worry. You can work that content into your emails.
A blog post is a quick and easy place to send supporters for background information and inspiration throughout all of your other communications. As the anchor of your campaign, you can link here in your emails and social media posts as well.
In your post, introduce #GivingTuesday to your supporters and let them know that you’re participating. If you have a good story in your bank, now is the time to use it. This might be a donor story or that of someone you’ve helped. It could even be user-generated content! Whichever route you take, make sure it inspires and evokes emotion. If necessary, you can re-purpose a story that you’ve used in the past. End your post with a strong and urgent ask, linking folks to your online donation form (or giving details on where to mail the check).
For their 2016 #GivingTuesday campaign, The Women’s Bakery published a blog post that both introduces their campaign and drives home their impact. As a nice bonus, they include a variety of hashtags relating to their cause that they were able to pull through to their social media accounts. Check out their Facebook post!
In the next six days before #GivingTuesday, you should send your supporters two emails about your campaign. Aim to send the first email this weekend. Send the second email on Tuesday, reminding folks that today is the day and providing them with the link or information they’ll need to make a gift. (If you only have time to create and send one email, send it on Tuesday.)
Let your supporters know that you’ll be participating and inspire them to take part in this global movement to be more charitable. Fundraising emails can be tricky, we know, but taking the time to include creative content goes a long way. That strong story from your blog post can be boiled down to a bite-size paragraph and included here.
Send your first email a few days before #GivingTuesday to introduce the day and let supporters know you’ll be participating.
Subject Line: Join Us for a Global Day of Giving
Dear [first name],
You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but on November 28th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and these crazy shopping days, we’re celebrating #GivingTuesday. On this one day, our global community comes together to give thanks by giving back to those organizations striving to create a better world for us all.
At [your nonprofit’s name], we’re working toward a world where [your vision/mission statement]. To move toward that vision, we need your help. We’re raising awareness and funds for [your cause] this #GivingTuesday.
[If you published a blog post, you can write a little summary blurb and link to it here.]
We’re asking you to join in the spirit of this international day of giving and make a donation on November 28, 2017.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
On #GivingTuesday, send your second email reminding supporters that the day to give has arrived.
Subject Line: Happy Giving Tuesday!
The global day of giving has arrived! This #GivingTuesday, give the gift of [your mission].
[Share a short and powerful story of someone your nonprofit has helped. This can be the same story that you used in your blog post, but please don’t copy and paste it.]
Help others like [person from your story]. [Link this sentence to your donate page.]
Thank you for your support!
P.S. Share your support on [social media channel you use most] by letting your friends know about #GivingTuesday.
You’ll want to be active on all of your social media channels this week. Post at least twice on your most active channels in the week before #GivingTuesday and at least once on #GivingTuesday itself.
If you can, take a few minutes away from your friends and family on Thanksgiving to thank your loyal supporters with a social media post. Bonus points if you include a holiday-themed graphic (try using Canva) that relates back to your cause. In your other posts, you can introduce your blog post, summarize your story and remind supporters on the day to participate in #GivingTuesday for your organization.
Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to let supporters know you’ll be participating as well as to make your nonprofit searchable through this globally-used hashtag. And don’t forget to link to your online donation form within the post! Facebook allows you to add a donate button directly on your page. You don’t even need to be set up to use Facebook Fundraisers, as it can link directly to your donate page. If you don’t have a donate button setup, now is the perfect time to add that button.
Social Media Templates
Post 1: This holiday season, we’re thankful for all of your support. As we work to [your mission], it means so much knowing you’re right there beside us, helping to move our cause forward. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at [your nonprofit’s name]!
Post 2: We’d like to share a story with you. [Summarize your story in one sentence.] To help others like [name], we’re participating in #GivingTuesday, the global day of giving, this Tuesday, November 28th. Learn more and join us! [Link to your blog post]
Post 3: Happy #GivingTuesday, friends! On this international day of giving, we’re thankful for your support as we work toward [your mission/vision]. Make your gift today! [Link to your donate page.]
To make it easier on you, we pulled all of the campaign components together into a quick timeline for the next week.
- Sign up for #GivingTuesday
- Start pulling your content together
- Publish your blog post (you can also publish earlier if it’s ready)
- Send your first email
- Post on social media
- Post again on social media
- Send your second email
- Post on social media
Have you ever pulled together a last minute #GivingTuesday campaign? We’d love to hear about what you did and how you pulled it off in the comments below.