So, you waited until the week before GivingTuesday to get started?

Don’t worry. You don’t need to panic just yet.

If you’re willing to put in a little work in the coming days, you can still pull together a simple campaign and take advantage of one of the biggest giving days of the year.

Plus you can build a solid foundation for next year while you’re at it.

Background on GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is an international day of philanthropy celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the United States). In 2022, it falls on Tuesday, November 29.

For many nonprofits, GivingTuesday kicks off the year-end giving season.

But the movement is about a lot more than just donations. As it says right on the GivingTuesday website:

People can show their generosity in a variety of ways… whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts.

If you work with a local nonprofit, it’s a good idea to check in on your local giving day. You can start with the GivingTuesday Global Network, and if you’re in the United States, you can connect with a local community movement here.

That said, you don’t “sign up” for GivingTuesday in the way you would for a more traditional giving day. It’s more about connecting with your local community.

That also means there isn’t a central platform for accepting donations like you’ll often find with a giving day. So if boosting individual giving is a priority for your organization, be sure you have your own online donation process set up before the big day.

Build Your Campaign

Now it’s time to get to work. In the next week, your supporters should hear from you through multiple channels of communication.

Since we’re short on time, this campaign focuses on email, social media and your blog. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a blog, that’s alright. You can work that content into another page of your website.

Blog Post

A blog post is a quick and easy place to send supporters for background information and inspiration throughout all of your other communications. Think of this blog post as the central anchor of your campaign. You can then link to this blog post in your emails and social media posts whenever it makes sense.

In your post, first introduce GivingTuesday to your readers and let them know you’re participating. But make sure to reinforce it’s about a lot more than just fundraising. It’s about making a difference in your piece of the world.

If you have a good story in your bank, now is a great time to use it. This would ideally be a short story from your community showcasing the impact of your work. But if you don’t have those types of impact stories just yet, you can focus on the experience of a volunteer or donor if need be. It could even be user-generated content if you have that handy.

In the interest of time, you can definitely repurpose a strong story you’ve used in the past. Just make sure to tie it to GivingTuesday and the unique difference your organization is able to make in the world.

The goal is to connect readers to your cause and help them understand how they can make a difference themselves.

Following the story, give readers actionable ways they can make an impact outside of making a donation. Remember, GivingTuesday is about a lot more than just raising money. There are likely plenty of ways someone can connect with your cause and make a difference in their community. Give them ideas on how to get involved (more on this in the social media tips below).

End your post with an invitation to join your movement by making a donation, and link visitors to your online donation form (or give details on where to mail a check).

Blog Post Outline

Here’s that blog post outline again:

  • Intro on GivingTuesday and how you’re participating
  • A short story that highlights your impact
  • Actionable ways readers can make a difference (outside of making a donation)
  • Invitation to make a donation (ideally with a link to give online)

Email

In the week leading up to GivingTuesday, you should send your supporters two emails about your campaign. Aim to send the first email in the next couple of days. Send the second email the morning of GivingTuesday, reminding folks that today is the day and providing them with the information they’ll need to get involved.

Let your supporters know that you’ll be participating and inspire them to take part in this global movement to be more charitable. That strong story from your blog post can be boiled down to a bite-size paragraph and included here.

Email Templates

Send your first email a few days before GivingTuesday to introduce the day and let supporters know you’ll be participating.

Subject: Join us for a global day of giving

Email Text:

Hi [First Name],

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but on November 29th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and these wild shopping days, we’re celebrating GivingTuesday. On this day, our global community comes together to give thanks and give back.

At [your nonprofit’s name], we’re working toward a world where [your vision/mission statement]. To bring that vision to life, we need your help.

[If you published a blog post, you can write a brief summary and link to it here.]

We’re asking you to join us on this international day of giving and make a difference in [the community you serve]. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • [List a few ideas, including but not limited to making a donation to support your work]

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place!

[Your name]


On GivingTuesday, send your second email reminding supporters that the day has arrived.

Subject: Today’s our day to change the world together

Email Text:

Hi [First Name],

The big day is here! It’s GivingTuesday, and it’s a perfect day to change our piece of the world.

[Quick stat showing the need for your work]. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

At [your nonprofit’s name], we believe [your vision/mission statement].

Today we’re [ways people are getting involved]. And we’d love for you to be part of this movement.

If you can [way they can make a difference other than donating], today is a great day to do it.

And if you’d prefer to help by making a donation, you can do that here. [Link to make an online donation] Every gift helps ensure [the outcome you’re promoting].

Thank you for your support, today and always!

[Your name]

PS – If you’re getting involved, we’d love to help spread the word. Post your support on [social media channel you use most] and tag us (@your_username) so we can share it!

Social Media

You’ll want to be active on all of your social media channels this week. If you can, shoot to post daily on your most active channels in the week before GivingTuesday and at least once on GivingTuesday itself.

Don’t worry. This doesn’t need to be a heavy lift. Below are ideas on how you can make this easy:

  • Post one thing you’re grateful for each day leading up to GivingTuesday
  • Post a stat + action item on how your followers can make a difference in their everyday lives
  • Post ways followers can get involved on GivingTuesday other than making a donation
  • Share a story of a member of your community (ideally a teaser with a link to read the full story on your website)
  • Share a “behind-the-scenes” look at how your organization is getting ready for the holidays/end of the year

Write all your posts in one sitting and drip them out over the coming week.

Social Media Templates

Below are some social media templates to get your creativity flowing.

Thankful Post:
#GivingTuesday is coming up. But we’re thankful every day for [something you’re thankful for].

Stat + Action Item Post:
[Stat that’s easy to understand and shows the problem you solve].

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

This #GivingTuesday, help change that story by [way folks can get involved].

Thanksgiving Day Post:
This holiday season, we’re thankful for all of your support.

As we work to [your mission], it means so much knowing you’re right there beside us, helping to make the world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at [your nonprofit’s name]!

GivingTuesday Post:
Happy #GivingTuesday, friends!

We’re working toward a world where [your vision/mission statement]. And we need your help.

Join the movement! [Link to blog post]

Timeline

To make your campaign easier to pull off, we’ve combined all of the campaign components into a quick timeline.

Start Now

  • Brainstorm a list of easy ways folks can join your movement (other than making a donation)
  • Write your blog post
  • Write your social posts for the week
  • Test out your online donation process

Friday/Saturday

  • Publish your blog post (you can definitely publish earlier if it’s ready)
  • Send your first email
  • Post on social media

Sunday/Monday

  • Post on social media

GivingTuesday

  • Send your second email
  • Post on social media
  • Share and amplify posts from anyone in your community

After GivingTuesday

Think of GivingTuesday as the beginning of the relationship you’re building with those who get involved.

Depending on the way your community participates, be sure to:

  • Like, share and comment on social media posts (even in the days after GivingTuesday)
  • Write a recap blog post if you have insights, stories or takeaways to share
  • Send a “Thanks for getting involved” email with a link to that blog post
  • Thank all of your volunteers and donors

And next year, you can use this campaign as a foundation to build from. Perhaps start a little earlier, and prep your community to be ready to get involved in meaningful ways when the big day arrives.

Have any questions or thoughts on how to pull off a last-minute campaign? Feel free to share ‘em in the comments below. Your comment could make all the difference for a nonprofit pulling their GivingTuesday campaign together.

This post was originally published on 11/22/2017 and updated on 11/21/2022 with updated tips and the latest details.

The post GivingTuesday: How to Pull Off a Last-Minute Campaign appeared first on Wired Impact.