Six Ways to Get the Most Out of GivingTuesday

Over the past decade, GivingTuesday has taken the world by storm. With millions of donors choosing to support their favourite (and brand new!) charities, this single day can (and does) drive a big impact for nonprofits across the globe.

For many nonprofits this day has become their biggest giving day, and a “can’t miss” holiday on the calendar.

With fierce competition for your donors’ attention, standing out from the crowd can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be!

At Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, our GivingTuesday campaigns have been tremendously successful, and our revenue is growing every year. And our team has learned a lot along the way! There are a few key things that every charity can be doing to make their GivingTuesday campaign successful.

1. Plan early

With so much emphasis on a single day, it’s essential to plan ahead and ensure everything is in place, and ready for launch day!

At Holland Bloorview, we start planning GivingTuesday in the summer, beginning with a theme that is simple, eye catching, and stands out from other organizations.

Next, we aim to have all of our communications written, designed and ready to go by the end of October.

That way, if any minor changes or pivots are needed, there’s time to get them done quickly in the month leading up!

Another reason planning ahead is so important? Every fundraiser knows that GivingTuesday occurs right in the middle of the busiest fundraising time of year! By planning during a quieter fundraising season, you ensure your thoughtful campaign is prepared come November.

2. Make it easy for donors

The vast majority of GivingTuesday donors are making their gift online. That’s why it’s so important that nonprofits make it as easy and as enjoyable as possible for their donors to give.

Donation forms should be simple, intuitive, and most importantly mobile-friendly! In 2021, a 49% of Holland Bloorview’s GivingTuesday donors gave through mobile. And 43% of our total revenue came in through mobile. Having an unresponsive form would have meant half our donors had a poor user experience! Or worse, may not have given at all!

Donation forms should also be easy to get to. That means obvious buttons or links in your emails, and vanity links or QR codes if you are linking to forms offline.

Finally, it is very important for donation forms to be fully accessible. Because everyone should be able to support their favourite charity easily!

3. Go multi-channel

Making use of multiple channels will ensure non-profits get the most eyes on their GivingTuesday campaign, and will improve their success!

Not every organization will have the budget or ability to reach their donors through ALL channels available, but some of the most useful and important channels are:

  • Email: Email reigns supreme. Creating a schedule that increases in volume as the big day approaches will drive donations. GivingTuesday is also a great time to make use of A/B testing, and conditional content.
  • Social media: GivingTuesday is a movement, and having a strong social media campaign will not only bring in donations, but also encourage your community to spread the word using your unique #hashtag. Paid social media ads are also a crucial channel to acquire brand new donors.
  • SMS text: Text communication is a fantastic way to directly connect with your supporters, and increase both open and click-through rates. Holland Bloorview introduced text messages in 2021, which accounted for 15% of all GivingTuesday gifts!
  • Website: Having your GivingTuesday messaging and branding in a prominent place on your website will encourage website visitors to click through and give.
  • Traditional marketing: Just because GivingTuesday is a digital-first campaign, doesn’t mean offline marketing doesn’t have a role to play! Using posters, postcards, letters, or print advertisements will help you reach even more donors. Just make sure it’s easy to get to your donation forms!

4. Leverage matches

Promoting a double, triple or even quadruple match is a fantastic way to encourage your donors to give generously on GivingTuesday. Seeing that their impact will double (or triple!) is a big motivator for donors.

We often get personal comments noting how excited our donors are that their gift will go twice as far!

5. Ensure your GivingTuesday donors feel valued

Your GivingTuesday donors chose to support your organization because they care about the work, and the impact their gift will have.

It’s important to make sure your donors feel the love, by thanking them quickly and in a meaningful way.

This stewardship will look different for every organization, and some great examples of ways to thank your donors are:

  • Email: This doesn’t just mean the auto responder along with their tax receipt. An email that is as targeted and as personal as possible that speaks to their impact will make donors feel appreciated.
  • Video: Wherever possible, we try to send thankful videos to campaign donors. This allows supporters to hear first-hand from someone they will have an impact on.
  • Personal thank you’s: If an organization has the capacity, a personal thank you from someone (either over the phone or with a handwritten note) will go a long way.

6. GivingTuesday doesn’t end at midnight

Just because GivingTuesday is a single day on the calendar doesn’t mean it ends there! A strong GivingTuesday campaign will start weeks before the day itself, to build buzz and ensure supporters are excited to be a part of it.

At the same time, GivingTuesday should continue long after Tuesday. It can build momentum and seamlessly lead into an organization’s year-end campaign. By continuing to acknowledge your GivingTuesday donors’ support throughout the year, you will ensure they feel seen and recognized. And they’ll be more inclined to give again next year!

These key GivingTuesday tips have had incredibly successful results for Holland Bloorview, and will hopefully do the same for your organization!

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