The Ultimate Nonprofit Guide to #GivingTuesday Planning

a back of the napkin reminder to start planning Giving Tuesday #GivingTuesday

Did you know that in 2019 Giving Tuesday raised 511 million dollars from online donations? However, that is just a fraction of what was received in offline donations; offline donations generated 1.46 billion dollars in 2019.

That is a lot of money raised in just one day. If you are a nonprofit that relies on donations, Giving Tuesday is a great day to plan giving events.

However, planning Giving Tuesday for nonprofits can feel stressful.  Keep reading to learn more about Giving Tuesday and how to lower your stress levels with a great plan in place.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday, also known as #GivingTuesday was created in 2012. On Thanksgiving, we are grateful, and then following that are days filled with commercialism, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday was created to be a day to give back. This day is traditionally on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

With December being the month when the most donations are given, it is also a great way to kick off a season that is all about giving rather than receiving.

This year Giving Tuesday will fall on November 30, 2021.

Planning Giving Tuesday

As a nonprofit, this is a great day to take advantage of. However, execution is important, and that is where planning comes into play.

For example, did you know that 39 percent of Americans donate to charities at the request of a family member or friend? Knowing what inspires people to donate and give will help when you plan Giving Tuesday events.

The following steps will walk you through the entirety of planning for Giving Tuesday and beyond.

Step One: It’s Never Too Early to Begin Planning

Giving Tuesday should be something you are planning for all year. This includes everything from personalized thank you messages to those who donate to sending reminders and updates on what you are doing.

Keeping your nonprofit at the forefront of your stakeholder’s minds will help them naturally come to you when Giving Tuesday rolls around again.

Step Two: Set Goals

How much money do you want to raise on Giving Tuesday? Setting goals will help you track your progress and plan for later years.

However, your goals should not purely be financial. When engaging in Giving Tuesday planning, also think about how many people you want to reach.

Be realistic about your goals. If you set the bar too high, it can decrease morale for your team. However, you also do not want your goal to be too easy.

Around 75 percent of Americans say they donate to a charity every year. Even if the people you reach do not donate on Giving Tuesday, they may donate on a different day. Tracking metrics will allow you to see what happens during Giving Tuesday and after Giving Tuesday.

Step Three: Plan Your Strategy

How are you going to get your name out there? To reach as many people as you can, you will want to use multiple channels.

This can include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites. You may also use email and take advantage of your already existing email list.

Do you send people involved with your organization snail mail? Send a postcard reminding people Giving Tuesday and is coming. Follow up that postcard with a mail that entails your plan for Giving Tuesday and contains a pre-paid envelope for them to send a donation in.

Interesting fact, women are more likely to donate when they see an ad on social media. However, men are more likely to donate when they receive direct mail.

Remember, for an effective Giving Tuesday; it’s not just about donations. This is also a perfect time to raise awareness with the materials you are sending out.

Step Four: Donor Management

How do you plan to gather information about your donors? What is your plan to continue investing in your donors?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you as you get ready for Giving Tuesday. Your donors should never be an afterthought.

You should be working on building relationships and helping donors connect to your cause all year. Around 51 percent of Americans donate to causes they feel personally connected to.

However, 37 percent of Americans who donate money choose organizations they believe will use the money effectively. Knowing this tells you it is important to connect with your donors on a personal level and a financial level.

That starts with your donor management strategy. A good donor management strategy can turn your Giving Tuesday donors into lifelong donors.

Step Five: Don’t Forget Your Stakeholders

Does your company have businesses or corporations it regularly works with? Use them to help get your message out there.

Whether the stakeholder promises to match a certain amount of donations or sends an email to their own email list, it all helps raise awareness and potentially bring in donors.

Step Six: Don’t Forget to Leverage Your Donors

We mentioned above that 39 percent of people donate to a cause because of a family member or friend request. This is why Facebook Birthday Fundraisers tend to be successful.

For Giving Tuesday, encourage your donors to share your message, #GivingTuesday. Leveraging the power of social media and sharing your message across many platforms does not have to all be on you.

If your donors are connected to your cause and your organization, they will be happy to share.

Step Seven: Use Giving Tuesday as a Kick-Off

Giving Tuesday should only be the beginning. Around one-third of donations in the United States are made in December.

If you simply use Giving Tuesday as a kick-off, you can continue to build on the awareness and exposure you received on that day.

Have emails and social media posts planned for the month of December. After Giving Tuesday, your schedule for December can include mail for people who joined your mailing list and social media posts.

Step Eight: Do Not Forget the Thank You

You always want to be sure to show your donors appreciation. However, your thank you does not need to be complicated.

Surveys of individuals who donate money say that 69 percent of donors believe email is the best way to express gratitude. Around 14 percent of people prefer a printed letter.

Six percent of donors are okay with a text message. Other ways to say thanks are printed postcards (five percent), social media messages (four percent), and phone calls (two percent).

The Fundraiser

When Giving Tuesday rolls around, it is important that you have fundraiser ideas planned out. There are many ways you can roll out your Giving Tuesday, and you do not have to stick to only one method.

Facebook Fundraisers

Facebook has great supports in place for nonprofits. Using their already existing structure, you can run a campaign through Facebook with posts throughout the day.

The best part is, some of your posts can even be pre-scheduled using social media scheduling tools. This can help take some of the stress off of you and allow you to focus on other aspects of your campaign.

Use a Crowdfunding Thermometer

Do you know the thermometer you fill in as you reach your goals? Did you know that using one of these can increase giving by 35 percent?

Not only that, but it is a great way to track your progress and let donors see your progress.

Invite Donors for a Coffee Date

While you may have donors who contribute large amounts of money, you will also have hesitant people. Maybe their budget is tight, or they do not have extra money to play with.

These individuals may hesitate to donate because they do not have much. However, every bit counts and adds up. Invite individuals to buy you a cup of coffee.

A five-dollar donation from multiple people can quickly add up. It also allows those who are on limited budgets to feel good about what they can contribute. When they feel good about giving back, they will also be more likely to share your message on their social media channels.

Donation Matching

Do you have donors that frequently donate large amounts of money? Get them involved with donation matching.

Around 84 percent of people are more likely to donate if a match is offered. In addition, one in three donors is more likely to donate more if their donation is getting matched.

Implementing a good donation matching program will take you places.


Have you heard about #UNselfie? Most people’s social media accounts tend to be a reflection of themselves.

The #UNselfie campaign encourages individuals to share their support of charities. This can start great conversations around your nonprofit. Start your own #UNselfie campaign and raise awareness.

Get Started Today

Giving Tuesday is quickly approaching, don’t get left scrambling; start your planning today. It’s never too early to start building your nonprofit’s campaign.

Do you have more questions about your end-of-year donation strategy? H2H wants to be a member of your nonprofit’s team. Contact us today with your questions and find out how we can help you.