How Top Performers Stand Out on Giving Tuesday

Kay Todd

Kay Todd

Product Marketing Manager

Over the past 10 years, Giving Tuesday has grown from simply the Tuesday after Thanksgiving into an international day of philanthropy, raising more than $2.7 billion in the United States alone in 2021. This year, experts estimate Giving Tuesday will reach new heights with $3.2 billion in donations expected.

That doesn’t mean Giving Tuesday has an easy recipe for success, as those working at nonprofit, healthcare, and higher education organizations know all too well. It’s an immensely crowded field with the majority of organizations vying for attention in the same timeline. Some have even written off Giving Tuesday, choosing instead to create their own designated giving days on which to concentrate their efforts. 

It’s hard to stand out among the clutter and noise, especially on this one day when social media timelines and email inboxes start filling up at the stroke of midnight. But with totals raised continuing to rise year-over-year on this otherwise ordinary Tuesday, we urge you to consider Giving Tuesday as an opportunity for growth. 

3 Tactics High-Performing Giving Tuesday Campaigns Have in Common

1. Mission and Impact Come First

Giving Tuesday is an international day of doing good, but with so many organizations that all do great things competing, it’s easy to get lost. The best-performing campaigns keep mission and impact at the forefront and give supporters the megaphone to share their own connections to the cause. 

That means your branding on Giving Tuesday needs to highlight your mission and tell a story. Giving pages branded with the iconic Giving Tuesday hashtag heart or that look the same from cause to cause aren’t enough. You have to make this day your own and connect it back to a specific impact. DonorDrive’s design configuration options help you personalize the experience for events like Giving Tuesday with custom themes, event banners, and customizable content, all while being mobile-optimized and user-friendly.

Along with branding and design, consider suggested donation amounts that tie back to real outcomes. Feeding America highlights that every $1 given provides 10 meals, while World Vision encourages gifts of $50 to give one child clean water for life.

Learn How Team World Vision Raised $25K in 1 Minute on Giving Tuesday

Your event goal should also tie back to your mission and create the feeling that your supporters are part of something bigger. Aiming to “raise more than last year” or “double our matching gift” isn’t enough.

First off, what happens when your matching gift runs out like Team World Vision’s did on the morning of Giving Tuesday before efforts on the west coast really even kicked off? Second, you want to rally your community around higher mission impact. When Team World Vision increased their Giving Tuesday goal the next year based on DonorDrive data and their fundraisers’ capacity, they saw their community rally and respond, surpassing their goal for higher impact as a group.

2. Don't Ask for Gifts on Giving Tuesday

This may seem counterintuitive, especially in a guide about increasing your Giving Tuesday donations, but trust us, it really can work. Instead of asking for gifts across your channels on Giving Tuesday, thank your supporters publicly and loudly, especially on social media.

Can you still send your beautifully crafted Giving Tuesday emails? Of course, but for those more public channels, consider a thank you as your first priority. Remember, your supporters are getting countless donation appeals during this 24-hour period, so donor fatigue is real. Do the work in advance, letting your supporters know how they can make a difference on Giving Tuesday, then spend your day actually thanking them for the work they do.

Your supporters want to see and be seen doing good, especially on this global day of giving, so by thanking those who give, you’re providing the recognition they crave and motivating potential supporters. Use DonorDrive’s Event Insights and Data Exports to share the impact, update your audience on your collective progress toward your goal, and recognize specific fundraisers and donors. Start the thankfulness train early and keep it fueled throughout the day.

3. Diversify Your Support

Today’s supporters want to do more than open their wallets. They want to be part of a community and are willing to do more to support your cause. Instead of always asking for donations, engage your supporters to be champions of your cause. They’ll be more willing and receptive to making personalized fundraising pages and asking their networks to donate. 

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to combine efforts across individual giving, Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, and corporate partnerships to reach and activate the maximum number of supporters. If a supporter is already signed up for a Participant Event or Personal Campaign, think of how you can maximize their impact on Giving Tuesday. Consider asking lapsed peer-to-peer event participants to create a DIY campaign and Facebook Fundraiser on Giving Tuesday. Engage a corporate partner to make a matching donation and then run an employee fundraiser to maximize their impact.

Download Your Complete Giving Tuesday Guide Now

How to Extend Giving Tuesday Past 24 Hours

You’ve channeled an amazing amount of supporters during Giving Tuesday. Now what? You’re headed into the busiest fundraising month of the year, and your donors and fundraisers want to do more good. How do you make the most out of the energy and hype you’ve cultivated?

  1. Share how much your supporters raised loudly and proudly on social media, your website, emails, and press releases. Giving begets giving, so seeing the success of your community on Giving Tuesday has the power to inspire more donors to support your mission throughout December.
  2. Ask peer-to-peer fundraisers who reached their goals to increase again. Even if your supporters just upped their goals before Giving Tuesday, encourage them to do it again after the day.
  3. Don’t be afraid to re-engage supporters even if they donated on Giving Tuesday. Consider impact-specific asks like helping five more families this year or encouraging donors to upgrade a one-time Giving Tuesday gift to a recurring donation.

Get Ready for Your Best Giving Tuesday Yet

Giving Tuesday continues to inspire a global movement of generosity, and if your organization isn’t talking about how to motivate supporters around your mission on this day, you’re likely missing out.

Just like with all aspects of fundraising, there is no singular recipe for success. Don’t forget to listen carefully to your supporters. How do they want to rally around your cause on Giving Tuesday? What communication methods are most effective for them? How can you turn the megaphone over to your donors and fundraisers to advocate on your behalf?

With the right mix of opportunities, a killer communication strategy, and impact-focused storytelling and branding, your supporters will become part of the millions of donors who give on Giving Tuesday — if they aren’t already — and show up to spread the word for your mission.

Ready to explore how DonorDrive can help you?