What is Giving Tuesday and Why It Matters: A Comprehensive Guide

The Keela Team • Aug 26, 2022
Giving Tuesday Logo on a blank background

The sun is lower in the sky. The leaves are just about to burst into flaming color. Pumpkin spice is being stockpiled for the upcoming insatiable demand. It’s almost autumn, and as the thoughts of many turn to jack-o-lanterns, turkey dinners, and cable-knit sweaters, nonprofit organizations are preoccupied with planning for a different special day: Giving Tuesday.

The biggest day in nonprofit fundraising is just around the corner, and the time to prepare your campaign is now. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with this primer on Giving Tuesday, including some great fundraising ideas. Let’s get into it!

Here is everything you need to know about Giving Tuesday – in one spot!

The Origins of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday was created by some dedicated and visionary folks at the 92nd Street Y in New York City in 2012. This international day of giving was intended to be a reaction against the consumerism and self-interest of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

It was initially conceived as a causeless day of giving—that is, the campaign was targeted at encouraging donations to any nonprofit, not to a specific mission. The organizers recognized that many people already feel a strong distaste for the holiday shopping season. Giving Tuesday provides a wholesome and helpful outlet to them while changing the focus of many others to giving instead of spending.

Since its founding in the United States, Giving Tuesday has expanded worldwide largely due to easy sharing on social media platforms using #GivingTuesday.

In 2022, Giving Tuesday saw an even more remarkable surge in generosity, raising a staggering $3.2 billion in the United States alone. This International Giving Day continued to encourage people around the world to contribute to charitable causes they believe in, resulting in a significant impact on nonprofits globally. Additionally, the movement’s influence extended beyond monetary donations, encompassing donation matching and volunteering efforts.

The Significance of Giving Tuesday for Nonprofits

In the realm of nonprofit organizations, Giving Tuesday stands as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change. This global day of giving has emerged as a pivotal event for nonprofits seeking to make a positive impact on their communities and the world at large.

The Importance of Giving Tuesday for Nonprofits

  1. A Surge of Generosity: Giving Tuesday harnesses the power of collective generosity. It’s a day when people from all walks of life come together to support causes they believe in. For nonprofits, this translates into a surge of donations and volunteerism. It offers an invaluable opportunity to connect with a broader audience and tap into the innate human desire to give back.
  2. Heightened Visibility: In a digital age where information is abundant, standing out as a nonprofit can be challenging. Giving Tuesday provides a dedicated platform for organizations to showcase their missions and impact stories. The widespread media coverage and social media buzz surrounding this day serve as a megaphone, amplifying the reach of nonprofits and exposing them to potential supporters.People love sharing things about themselves on social media. For Giving Tuesday, instead of seeing your supporters sharing their latest jogging time or what they ate for breakfast, encourage them to post an #unselfie. It’s a great way to create dialogue around donating to nonprofit organizations and unites potential supporters under a common global movement.
  3. Cultivating a Culture of Philanthropy: Giving Tuesday helps foster a culture of philanthropy. It encourages individuals and corporations to prioritize giving, emphasizing the notion that everyone can make a difference, regardless of the size of their contribution. This cultural shift not only benefits nonprofits but also strengthens the fabric of society as a whole.

Complementing Fundraising and Outreach Efforts

  1. Strategic Timing: Giving Tuesday strategically follows the consumer-driven frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This timing leverages the heightened sense of spending and generosity that often accompanies the holiday season. Nonprofits can align their campaigns with this sentiment, making it more likely for potential donors to open their hearts and wallets.
  2. Engaging Your Community: Building a supportive community around a cause is vital for any nonprofit’s sustainability. Giving Tuesday offers a prime opportunity to engage your existing supporters, leveraging their passion and commitment to rally more people to your cause. It’s a day to celebrate the collective impact achieved together.
  3. Creating Urgency and Momentum: The time-bound nature of Giving Tuesday creates a sense of urgency. It encourages individuals to take action promptly, preventing potential donors from putting off their contributions. Additionally, the momentum generated on this day can lead to sustained support throughout the year.

How Fundraising Software Like Keela Can Help Raise Awareness

  1. Streamlining Campaign Management: Fundraising software, like Keela, plays a crucial role in optimizing Giving Tuesday campaigns. It provides nonprofits with the tools to efficiently manage their campaigns, from donor communications to tracking contributions. This automation allows organizations to focus on their mission while ensuring seamless fundraising operations.
  2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Peer-to-peer fundraising is ideal for Giving Tuesday since it spreads awareness and raises money from people who might not have otherwise heard about your mission.
  3. Personalized Engagement: Keela enables nonprofits to personalize their outreach efforts, tailoring messages to specific donors or segments. This level of customization helps build stronger connections with supporters, making them feel valued and understood.
  4. Data-Driven Insights: Utilizing fundraising software empowers nonprofits with valuable data and insights. By analyzing donor behavior and campaign performance, organizations can refine their strategies for Giving Tuesday and future fundraising efforts, ensuring continuous growth and impact.

Giving Tuesday represents a golden opportunity for nonprofits to harness the collective power of generosity, further their missions, and make a lasting impact. When strategically integrated into fundraising efforts and supported by cutting-edge tools like Keela, nonprofits can unlock the full potential of this global day of charitable giving, fostering a brighter, more compassionate world for all.

Key Strategies for Nonprofits on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday presents a unique opportunity for nonprofit organizations to galvanize support and make a meaningful impact. To ensure your organization maximizes its participation, here are key strategies along with actionable tips to consider.

  1. Fundraising Campaign Planning
    • Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable objectives for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Whether it’s a fundraising target, number of new donors, or specific projects to fund, clarity is key.
    • Segment Your Audience: Tailor your messaging to different donor segments. Consider crafting messages that resonate with recurring donors, first-time supporters, and corporate sponsors.
  2. Leveraging Social Media and Online Platforms
    • Create Compelling Content: Craft engaging stories and visuals that highlight your mission’s impact. Utilize videos, infographics, and testimonials to capture attention.
    • Leverage Hashtags and Trends: Use popular Giving Tuesday hashtags to increase visibility. Engage with trending topics to tap into wider conversations.
  3. Engaging Donors and Supporters
    • Express Gratitude: Acknowledge and thank donors promptly. Share the impact of their contributions, making them feel valued and appreciated.
    • Offer Matching Challenges: Encourage donors by partnering with a supporter or business to match donations, doubling the impact.
  4. Collaborating with Other Nonprofits or Businesses
    • Identify Complementary Organizations: Partner with nonprofits or businesses that share similar missions or values. Collaborative efforts can amplify the impact of your Giving Tuesday campaign.
    • Promote Cross-Promotion: Promote each other’s campaigns on your respective platforms. This expands your reach and introduces your organization to a new audience.

Spread the Word About Your Giving Tuesday Campaign

Use this toolkit to discover the key elements of excellent impact stories and learn how to write and share your nonprofit’s message.

Incorporating Keela’s Features for Optimal Success

Keela offers a suite of features designed to streamline campaign planning and execution on Giving Tuesday:

By employing these strategies and leveraging Keela’s powerful features, nonprofit organizations can supercharge their Giving Tuesday campaigns, driving increased support and impact for their missions. Remember, the true power of Giving Tuesday lies in the collective spirit of generosity – let’s make it count!

Overcoming Challenges

Giving Tuesday can be a transformative day for nonprofit organizations, but it’s not without its share of challenges. In this section, we’ll address common obstacles nonprofits may encounter on Giving Tuesday and provide you with practical solutions and advice to navigate them effectively.

Challenge 1: Donor Fatigue

  • Diversify Your Communication Channels: Reach out to supporters through various mediums such as email, social media, and phone calls. Personalize messages to show genuine appreciation for their ongoing support.
  • Highlight Impact Stories: Showcase the tangible results of past donations to remind donors of the positive change they’ve helped create.

Challenge 2: Standing Out in a Crowded Landscape

  • Create Compelling Content: Craft stories that resonate emotionally and visually. Utilize powerful imagery and concise, impactful storytelling to capture attention.
  • Leverage Personal Networks: Encourage your existing supporters to become ambassadors for your cause. Provide them with shareable content and tools to spread the word.

Challenge 3: Effective Resource Allocation

  • Set Priorities: Identify specific projects or initiatives that align with your organization’s mission and have the potential to create significant impact.
  • Leverage Volunteers: Engage volunteers to assist with campaign logistics, freeing up resources for outreach and engagement efforts.

Challenge 4: Adapting to Changing Circumstances

  • Stay Agile: Be prepared to pivot your strategy if unforeseen circumstances arise. Having contingency plans in place will allow you to respond swiftly and effectively.
  • Maintain Open Communication: Keep your supporters informed about any changes in plans. Transparency builds trust and understanding.

Keela’s reporting tools provide insights into donor behavior and engagement levels. By monitoring donor fatigue indicators, nonprofits can adapt their communication strategies in real-time, ensuring donors feel valued and engaged. Keela’s real-time reporting capabilities also provide insights into campaign performance as it unfolds. This empowers nonprofits to make timely adjustments to their strategies, ensuring maximum impact despite changing circumstances.

By proactively addressing these challenges and leveraging Keela’s robust reporting and analytics capabilities, nonprofit organizations can navigate the complexities of Giving Tuesday with confidence. Remember, adaptability and a data-driven approach are your greatest allies in achieving Giving Tuesday success. Together

How Nonprofits Can Get Involved

Giving Tuesday offers a multitude of ways for nonprofit organizations to participate and make a difference. Here are some effective avenues for involvement:

1. Donation Drives

Encourage supporters to contribute directly to your cause. Provide clear avenues for giving through online platforms, making the giving process seamless and secure.

If you’re worried about putting large groups of people in one room, or if your supporters are spread across the globe, a virtual fundraiser may be the answer.

Utilize Keela’s online donation processing features to streamline contributions, ensuring a smooth and efficient giving experience for your supporters.

2. Volunteer Opportunities

Engage your community by offering meaningful volunteer opportunities. Leverage their time, skills, and passion to further your mission.

Keela’s volunteer management tools help you organize and coordinate volunteer efforts efficiently, ensuring everyone’s contributions are valued and maximized.

3. Promoting Corporate Giving

Forge partnerships with businesses that align with your mission. Encourage corporate giving through matching programs or sponsorship opportunities.

Keela’s donor management features facilitate seamless communication with corporate sponsors and track the impact of their contributions on your campaign.

By utilizing Keela’s platform, nonprofits can effectively create and manage these diverse campaign types, ensuring a unified and impactful Giving Tuesday experience for all involved. Together, let’s turn generosity into lasting change

donor stewardship

Build Your Nonprofit’s Donor Stewardship Plan

Stewardship activities are touchpoints for nurturing your donor relationships and helping to increase your donor retention rate. With this FREE template, you can map out your donor stewardship plan.

Measuring and Celebrating Success

Once the dust settles after Giving Tuesday, it’s crucial to measure the outcomes of your efforts. Here’s why it matters:

1. Importance of Measuring Outcomes

Understanding the impact of your Giving Tuesday campaign allows you to refine strategies for future endeavors. It provides insights into what worked well and areas that may need improvement.

2. Assessing Campaign Impact

Evaluate key performance indicators like donation amounts, new donors acquired, and engagement levels. This information helps gauge the effectiveness of your outreach efforts.

3. Keela’s Reporting Tools

Keela’s reporting features empower nonprofits to track progress and measure success with ease. Gain valuable insights into donor behavior, campaign performance, and ROI, enabling data-driven decision-making.

By leveraging Keela’s robust reporting tools, you’ll not only measure success but also celebrate the tangible impact your organization has made on Giving Tuesday. Together, let’s continue to turn generosity into lasting change.

See How Nonprofits Use Keela to Raise 4x More!

Get a glimpse of how Keela’s donor management system can help you develop better relationships, retain donors and raise more for your cause.

The Broader Impact of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday’s influence extends far beyond individual organizations. Consider these broader impacts:

1. Empowering the Nonprofit Sector

Giving Tuesday serves as a catalyst for positive change across the entire nonprofit sector. It brings attention to various causes, encouraging collective action and support.

2. Fostering a Culture of Giving

By design, Giving Tuesday promotes a culture of philanthropy. It reinforces the idea that everyone can make a difference, regardless of their resources. This cultural shift towards generosity benefits society as a whole.

As you participate in Giving Tuesday, you’re contributing to a larger global generosity movement that amplifies the impact of nonprofit organizations worldwide. Together, we’re building a more compassionate and giving world.

Click here to Get Access to More Giving Tuesday Resources

Good luck!

Are You Ready for Giving Tuesday?

This complete campaign toolkit will help you set up donation pages, events, social media, and email campaigns and includes handy timelines and templates to keep you on track.

As you navigate the realm of nonprofit work, Giving Tuesday emerges as a beacon of hope and possibility for tens of thousands. Giving Tuesday empowers and provides a dedicated platform for nonprofits to amplify their impact and connect with a global community of supporters.

To create strategies for success, nonprofits will need to plan ahead, engage their community, and collaborate for maximum effect. Utilizing Keela’s powerful features to streamline operations and optimize campaigns, ensuring every effort is impactful.

Embrace Giving Tuesday as a golden opportunity to make a lasting impact. With Keela by your side, you’ll not only navigate the challenges but also celebrate the successes, turning generosity into tangible change. Together, let’s continue to inspire generosity and transform lives through the power of giving.