6 Last-Minute Steps to Making Your Giving Tuesday Campaign a Success


I know we’re all recovering from too much wine, too much turkey, and too much football. I am on the too much football train – not by choice.

But Giving Tuesday is just around the corner: November 28 at 12:01 am. If you work for a non-profit, you better have your act together.

And if you don’t have your act together, you better keep reading.

According to Classy.org, the donations that came in for Giving Tuesday almost doubled between 2016 and 2017, raising $177 million worldwide.

So if you’re a non-profit, I’d really hate for you to not be on this Giving Tuesday train.

10-15% of new donors that come in are more likely to be recurring donors if their first gift is on Giving Tuesday.

More likely than someone random walking through your doors.

If you’re a non-profit, it’s just dumb not to get involved. The ROI will be worth it.

If you’re like, oh crap. Giving Tuesday is tomorrow. What can I do? 

I’m going to give you recommendations to do the bare minimum in around 3-4 hours to at least have the appearance of having your act together and raise (fingers crossed) $1,000 from new donors.

4 hours, $1,000 – how could you not?

So, Monday morning: Lock yourself in your office for 2 hours.

1. Lock yourself in your office and define your message (20 minutes).

Start by defining your message. Don’t just say support us, we’re a great non-profit.

All non-profits are great non-profits. Have a specific ask – with numbers involved.

e.g. if you’re an animal shelter, say “Help 100 dogs find homes between now and Christmas. At $ per dog, we are planning to raise $$ to get 100 dogs adoption-ready between now and Christmas.” Then list the specific costs of getting spayed, neutered etc. And be specific.

If you’re raising money to help dogs find homes – don’t talk about cats and the wonderful events you had last week. Don’t talk about programming, talk about impact.

When you tell everyone everything they hear nothing. So make sure to find your message.

Have a specific ask that benefits a specific group of people or thing.

Don’t say “We have 12 classrooms that we offer 6 days a week!”

Instead, say “We help 24 children every year go from non-readers to reading-in-Kindergarten-ready. Sponsor these 24 children in x, y, or z.”

Be specific.

2. Bulk up your giving page (1 hour).

Giving Tuesday focuses on getting online donations and getting those elusive millennials and Gen Xers active as new donors. You should also be taking Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to educate those potential donors about who you are and what you do.

Here in Illinois, we have a giving platform called ILgive.com (#ILGive) operated by GiveGab. These platforms are very user-friendly. Forefront, the Community Foundation Consortium, also provides so much technical support!

After you sign up, you can add your photos and set specific donation levels that correspond with your message. Make sure this online giving page is branded with your logo and colors.

If you’re in Illinois, you should have already signed up for IlGive – #ILGive! If not, there are platforms other than GiveGab. If you need other options, shoot me an email.

Your online giving page will be where people go to use their credit card and donate online. Having one is also helpful because if you have matching funds coming in, you can track it.

3. Send an email to your employees (20 minutes).

People forget to do this. All Development Directors sit in their office and wonder why aren’t people paying attention or caring about this cause? Don’t employees realize their job depends on funding?

Whether you have 4 employees or 400, it’s your job to get people to care and give people the tools to be successful. 

If it’s Monday, and Giving Tuesday is on Tuesday, make sure people know about it. And by people, I mean employees! And, there’s probably not enough time to develop your Mailchimp or ConstantContact e-newsletter.

  1. Send them a short and sweet email.
  2. Send options of what they can do to help.
  3. Be friendly – don’t tell them they have to donate, tell them they should donate.
  4. Link to your giving page.

“Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Could you donate an hour of your time to follow our Facebook page, share our posts with your personal page, and let your family know?”

If you have a lot of support staff making minimum wage, really really emphasize the lowest number – that $6, that $12, donation – and the impact that donation can make.

Sometimes your employees don’t see themselves as donors – but anyone can give a little.

Send out that email, make sure people are aware, and do your job to get your internal staff engaged.

4. Schedule branded posts (at least 4) for Giving Tuesday (20-30 minutes).

Explain your message in an easy way. Make sure your logo is there.

See where the competitions are in any region, especially as it relates to social media. For example, if you’re in Illinois, use the hashtag #ILgive. There’s a competition where you could win $1,000 (Forefront of Illinois).

Why social media? Because Giving Tuesday specifically targets younger donors to donate on-time, usually to be first-time donors towards an organization.

So if they’re clicking a link to donate, it just makes sense to tell them about the thing on social media to go to your giving page and donate.

It’s not that complicated, but you need to set yourself up for success. The last thing you want to do is let it pass you by!

  1. Design the post in Canva.
  2. Go to your FB page.
  3. Schedule & automate it.

It should take less than 30 minutes to design and schedule the posts.

4 posts – get it done.

That’s like the bare minimum.

Make sure everyone knows, make sure your message is there.

But finally…on the day of.

5. Grab your biggest internal cheerleaders and send Facebook messages.

With the remaining amount of your time, grab your agency’s big cheerleaders, your friends + family, and send Facebook messages to people.

It works!

People like to be personally asked. Send personal Facebook messages to people, and say:

Hey, I don’t know if you know, but today is Giving Tuesday. Where I work, Animal Shelter ABC, is raising funds to provide vetting for 100 dogs so they can be adoption-ready this Christmas season. It just costs $7 for a dog to get a grooming! Do you mind sponsoring one dog getting a grooming? (link)

Just ask. The biggest mistake people make is they do not ask.

Send a message to your closest friends and family. If your Grandma is on Facebook she’s probably going to think, oh, I can give $7.

Think about it: 10 people? $7. There’s $70 right there.

If you and 10 people all get $70… you’re almost to your goal.

Send a Facebook message! It’s not overly complicated. Sometimes just taking a step back and making the ask is what you have to do.

“Good enough marketing.”

It’s always best to have perfectly branded material, but I’m all about good enough marketing. My sixth and final recommendation:

6. Host a Live video on Facebook & ask the Day of.

Grab an influencer at your agency, maybe it’s a prominent board member who just happens to be at your agency on Tuesday. Or if you have this kind of a relationship with your Board President, drop them an email, call them, or shoot them a text and ask them to show up for this Live video.

If you’re that animal shelter, grab a cute dog, and talk while you’re holding that cute dog.

If you’re raising funds for kids in preschool, do a Live video with the kids standing next to you. I’m sure they all have waivers signed, right?

You don’t have to prep. Keep this less than 45 seconds. Just say:

“Hi, this is (name) with (organization). Did you know we… This Giving Tuesday we’re raising money to (specific ask). By donating (amount) we are one step closer (result, like finding this dog a home). Click on the link to find out more!”

Do a Live video. Then boost the freakin’ video.

Do not create wonderful content trying to raise $1,000 and then not spend $5 boosting it. The return on investment is there!

The Facebook algorithm works against you. Spend the money for the return on investment.

You’ll spend $5,000 printing an email report. Spend $5 boosting the Facebook post.

These are my six steps to get your act freakin’ together for Giving Tuesday.

If it’s Monday, and you’re trying to get your stuff together, at least do these six things. Try to get $1,000.

I wish everyone the best of luck. Happy Holidays. Do better.



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