Posted by on Sep 25, 2018 Views: 6091

Four Steps to a Solid Giving Tuesday Fundraising Plan

Giving Tuesday

Graphic courtesy of

By Grace Kennedy

November 27 may seem far away, but it’s never too early to set your organization on the path to an amazing Giving Tuesday. Take one look at the stats on this charitable tradition and it’s clear that putting some effort into your Giving Tuesday will pay off.

According to The NonProfit Times, Giving Tuesday generated a record $274 million in 2017, up 55 percent from 2016. Ready to make Giving Tuesday work for your organization? As we head into the seventh annual Giving Tuesday, let’s go over four steps to creating a solid Giving Tuesday plan.

1. Kick-start the planning process

Hindsight is 20/20, so make it work for you by reviewing last year’s Giving Tuesday campaign. As a team, evaluate what worked and what could be improved this year. Maybe you invested in a marketing tool that didn’t pay off last year. Funnel that money into something different this year – try something that worked well for a more recent fundraising event.

Now that you’ve learned from the past, look around at your fellow nonprofits. Find some nonprofits who crushed it last year, and analyze their campaigns. Helpful case studies are available on, like Windrush Farm’s #GivingShoesDay campaign to outfit their horses with special winter shoes.

Once you’ve gathered a set of best practices, set your performance goals for Giving Tuesday. Make sure each goal has a corresponding set of strategies to get your organization to the finish line. Remember, fundraising goals are important, but don’t lose sight of the other benefits you can gain from Giving Tuesday, like new donors, social media followers, media coverage and email subscribers. Share your finalized goals with your entire team so everyone knows where to focus their energy.

Planning process

2. Lay the groundwork

Establish a strong digital presence for your nonprofit by creating a GreatNonprofits profile so people can easily see your organization’s impact, website and social pages. Already on GreatNonprofits? Then it’s time to apply for the top-rated status badge and help yourself to the free fundraising and storytelling checklist available on [need link].

Consider using a Google Ad Grant for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Ad grants provide access to $10,000 of in-kind text ads per month. The benefit of a well-crafted Google Ad campaign can be well worth the application process and the time investment of managing your campaign.

top rated GNP

3. Plan Your Campaign

The first step to a strong campaign plan is your seed concept. What is the key message that you want to get out to your audience? You can do an attention-getting event like the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington’s “Big Bail Out,” where two county sheriffs were “locked up” and donations went toward “bailing them out.” Or you could craft a campaign around a single call to action like ORGANIZE, a nonprofit that asked people to register as organ donors on Giving Tuesday. If you’re just seeking straightforward financial donations, come up with a catchy hashtag or motto that will drive all the messaging for your campaign.

Once you have your seed concept, customize your messaging for all your communications channels, including your website, social platforms, direct mail, email marketing and any channels provided by Each format has its own set of best practices, and sticking to these practices will deliver results. Make sure you take advantage of the resources and toolkits available at

Your plan should include a timeline, a list of tasks, and a system for tracking which staff members are accountable for each task.

Plan campaign GNP

4. Prep Your Team

You have a strong campaign and a solid plan…now it’s time to get your team in gear! Many hands make light word, and this is the time to get a volunteer group together and get them excited about your campaign plan. Enlist your existing volunteers and board members to write reviews about your organization on GreatNonprofits – boosting your visibility and highlighting the power of your impact. Tap into your volunteer team’s passion and personal networks by empowering them to raise funds on your behalf through personal fundraisers.

Need additional volunteers to see your Giving Tuesday campaign through?  Volunteer Match can pair your organization with volunteers based on your specific needs.

These four steps will set you on your way to a record-breaking Giving Tuesday. Please share your campaigns with us on Twitter. We can’t wait to see your results in November!

Grace Kennedy is a Charlotte, N.C.-based nonprofit writer. Learn about her services at