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A 3-Step Guide to Giving Tuesday

Published by Riley Landenberger

Giving Tuesday is fast approaching. Since beginning in 2012 as a relief to the hefty Black Friday shopping weekend, Giving Tuesday has become one of the most important days for nonprofits to bring in revenue.

In 2020, Giving Tuesday generated 20 billion social media impressions and in 2021, nearly $2.7 billion in revenue for nonprofits.

So, it’s inevitable that your donors will see Giving Tuesday everywhere, even if your organization doesn’t participate.

In fact, last year 25% of nonprofits did not participate in Giving Tuesday at all. That’s a lot of missed opportunities.

To help you get a plan together for Giving Tuesday, we’ve put together a simple 3-email timeline that you can use for your own Giving Tuesday campaign to raise more money.

Email 1 – November 27th

Giving Tuesday begins before Tuesday. Try getting a head start on your Giving Tuesday campaign by sending your first email on November 27 – the Sunday before.

This is something we call priming. You’re preparing your donors for a bigger ask by reminding them about your organization and the purpose of your campaign.

This email is meant to educate donors on the significance of Giving Tuesday (they may not know what it is), announce any match or goal you may have, and finally calling on them to participate immediately.

Yes, I know that it isn’t Giving Tuesday quite yet, but if you don’t give them the opportunity to donate now, then they might not donate at all.

Here are some key things to include in this email:

  • Acknowledge their name and the reason for your email (Giving Tuesday is coming)
  • Educate them on the day itself and why it’s important for them to participate
  • Ask them for a donation now as a result of your shared values
  • Announce a match if available

Email 2 – November 29th (morning)

Your next email will actually be sent out on Giving Tuesday.

In the morning on November 29th try sending an email without an ask.

Instead, provide a free offer and ask them to get the offer in exchange for their email address.

Now you may be thinking – “but I already have their email.”

I know you do. But by asking them to go through a process before getting a free offer, you’re adding even more value to the offer.

This is crucial when you reach the next step in the process – an instant donation page.

Once they fill out their information to receive the free offer, quickly thank them and then make your ask.

Now that they’ve received something from you for free and they had to put some effort in to get it, they should feel gratitude and more encouraged to donate.

The key things in this email should be:

  • Acknowledge their name, their time, and their contribution
  • Call them to download something free that you’ve made especially for them, as a way of showing your own participation in Giving Tuesday
  • DO NOT ask for money in the email or on the email acquisition landing page
  • Follow up by asking for a donation immediately after they have accepted your free offer (confirmation page)

Email 3 – November 29th (evening)

Finally, it’s time to make the big ask.

In the evening on November 29th, try sending an email reminding them of the significance of Giving Tuesday, ignite urgency, and ask them to donate now.

This email will be pretty similar in structure to the first one you sent, but now you’ll make your ask and close the deal.

Here are the key things that should be in this third email:

  • Acknowledge their name and the reason for your email (reminder)
  • Remind them of what’s at stake, as well as the physical deadline
  • Make a direct donation ask

A Final Note

Now that you have this 3-step guide, you should be ready to tackle your Giving Tuesday campaign along with the rest of your year-end fundraising.

While it’s so important to keep in mind that while Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to bring in revenue for your organization, most revenue actually comes in during the last week of the year. Check out this infographic from our 2019 year-end fundraising research:

You can find an entire collection of year-end fundraising resources (blog posts, eBooks, training, etc.) here:

Go Even Further with Your Year-End Fundraising Prep

This 4-part webinar series will give you several ideas to help potential donors understand the importance of your organization and cause, prime and prepare your donors for a forthcoming year-end donation appeal, and craft your year-end donation appeal in a way that leads to maximum results.

You can begin watching the 4-part series (just about 1 hour total watch time) here:

Watch the Free Year-End Webinar Series Now
Published by Riley Landenberger

Riley Landenberger is Audience Engagement Manager at NextAfter.