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12 Giving Tuesday Ideas to Help Nonprofits Crush Their 2020 Fundraising Goals

Updated (originally posted on )

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The holiday season isn’t just a time for shopping, it’s a time for charitable giving. With many in-person fundraising events canceled this year due to the pandemic, having a strong online fundraising campaign is more important than ever.

According to the 2019 Charitable Giving Report, online giving has increased 5.1% in the last three years and online giving is up 10% over the same period.

One of the biggest drivers of online giving is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that was launched in 2012 to encourage people all over the world to give back to causes and issues that matter to them. In 2019, Giving Tuesday raised $511 million in online donations, up from $400 million in 2018 and $274 million in 2017.

Giving Tuesday falls on December 1 this year, so it's time to put your holiday fundraising campaign into action. Follow these tips to make this Giving Tuesday a success for your nonprofit.

  1. Use hashtags. Use #GivingTuesday in your social media posts to raise awareness about your nonprofit, encourage new donors and volunteers, and draw attention to your holiday fundraising efforts.
  2. Update your images. Change your social media profile photos and main website home page graphic to an image that conveys the idea of charitable giving.
  3. Set a giving goal. Nothing motivates people like a goal. Set a fundraising objective and provide regular updates on your website and social media pages to encourage your supporters to help you reach your target.
  4. Don’t forget email. Giving Tuesday is primarily driven by social media, but be sure to include calls for donations in your emails to customers. According to the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study, email fundraising response rates increased 1% in 2019, and email generated 13% of all online donation revenues in 2018.
  5. Consider fundraising via text message. According to the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study, nonprofit text messaging audiences grew by 26% in 2019, and text message click-through rates were 4.2% for fundraising messages.
  6. Spread the word. Ask your staff members, partners, and beneficiaries to spread the word about your Giving Tuesday goals on social media and by word of mouth.
  7. Be mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is providing a good experience for mobile users—in 2019, 26% of online donations were made using a mobile device.
  8. Create content. Write a blog about how people can make a difference by donating to your nonprofit on Giving Tuesday. Highlight the work your organization has done and detail how Giving Tuesday donations will be used to further your cause.
  9. Add “donate” buttons. Make sure your website has an easy-to-find “donate” button and a landing page that tells potential supporters all the ways they can donate, volunteer, or otherwise get involved.
  10. Let people donate directly in Facebook and Instagram. If you are a qualifying nonprofit, submit an application to enable people to donate right from your Facebook and Instagram pages. According to the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study, Facebook giving generated 3.5% of all online revenue for nonprofits in 2019, and some nonprofits raised nearly as much from Facebook Fundraisers as all other sources of online revenue combined. 
  11. Tell your story. Share success stories and behind-the-scenes photos and videos that show the good work you’re doing to inspire your audience and get them in the spirit of giving.
  12. Say thank you. Once Giving Tuesday is over, don’t forget to express your gratitude to everyone who contributed, tell everyone whether you met or exceeded your giving goal, and provide a preview for what those donations will mean to your organization and the people it helps.

For more ideas, see the 2020 Giving Tuesday Complete Guide for Nonprofits, which includes a sample press release, campaign timeline, communication plan, and downloadable Giving Tuesday logos that you can adapt with your nonprofit’s branding.