How Nonprofits Can Maximize ‘Giving Tuesday’

By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.

‘Giving Tuesday’ 2018 is November 27, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Even though it’s fast approaching, it’s not too late for nonprofits to maximize Giving Tuesday campaigns, which tend to be successful. According to Philanthropy News Digest, last year’s Giving Tuesday online event helped nonprofits raise an estimated $274 million, a whopping 50% increase from the year before.

But is it too late to start a campaign now and how can you make it a success? Fortunately, it’s mostly a matter of coming up with a sound plan and then executing it. You do not need a marketing expert in-house to come up with a campaign — follow these tips:

Offer Incentives

Incentives are a topic that can sometimes spark a debate regarding whether they work as intended or not. There are different sources and observations about their efficiency, but if you use them wisely, they can still benefit the Giving Tuesday campaign. There are different types of incentives you could offer for donations. Try to choose them according to what your target donor would prefer. Some people enjoy receiving gifts, while others prefer more intrinsic incentives such as being publicly acknowledged or merely knowing that they’ve helped.

Follow Up with Donors

Donors are the lifeblood of every campaign, and #GivingTuesday is no exception. Not only is it essential to keep in communication with the donors, but it’s also right to update them on how the campaign is going. Send your donors and partners a thank-you email or note and share the campaign results. It fosters the spirit of gratitude and cultural appreciation that can put people in the mood to share — some of their assets, as well as, the message of the campaign.

Promote on Social Media

When it comes to promoting and spreading the campaign message, social media is the first place to go. So many potential donors are easily accessible on social media that it’s become a tool nonprofits can’t overlook. Create an online street team that helps you promote your campaign alongside the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Encourage those who have supported the campaign to share and retweet updates. If you make it possible for the donors to follow the course of the campaign via social media, the engagement and reach will steadily increase.

Tell Your Story

Perhaps the essential part of any Giving Tuesday campaign is to have the story of your nonprofit be heard. Don’t limit your drive to just another Giving Tuesday fundraiser — instead, integrate the drive into your existing marketing efforts. Giving Tuesday can provide some much-needed additional exposure, but you should still be focusing on your nonprofit’s emotional and personal connection with those that support its mission.


Nonprofits can maximize their marketing and fundraising efforts during Giving Tuesday, but it involves some forethought and planning. Still, this is a great way for nonprofits to gain both exposure and funds they need to keep operating. The campaign can unite with a larger one which makes it even more beneficial.

For more nonprofit guidance and advice, visit Turnaround Life, Inc. website and help us fulfill our mission of assisting organizations and programs that help people turn their lives around.