3 Steps to a Successful #GivingTuesday campaign

 In Digital Marketing, Fundraising

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone – including nonprofits. Research shows that most nonprofits receive between a quarter and half of yearly contributions during October through December.And, at just the right time when people are thinking about giving anyway, Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day specifically set aside for philanthropy. Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to get year-end donations and volunteers, especially during the holiday season when many nonprofits need it the most. Plus, in the years since it was created, Giving Tuesday participation among organizations, businesses, and more has grown substantially.

The combination of the holiday season, the end of the year, and Giving Tuesday create the best time to focus on donations and reach out to your contacts. We’ve helped organizations, including our friends at the Tri-County Office on Aging (TCOA) find great success with #GivingTuesday campaigns. Here are our top tips on making the most out of #GivingTuesday!

1) Target wisely.
Targeting can help save you money, so you won’t waste your budget while trying to get more donations. Digital makes targeting easy and affordable, and Facebook specifically has a lot of easy-to-use tools that can help you target past donors and find new contacts wisely. For the TCOA, we targeted Facebook ads to their donor email list, a Lookalike Audience based on that donor list, and people who were likely to donate based on Facebook’s analysis of their behavior.

Here are a few ways you can narrow down your potential targets to those who are most likely to give:

  • One easy way to target is to use your existing lists, and then use a Lookalike Audience to target more people who are like your current contacts and therefore likely to want to engage with your organization.
  • Target people who like similar organizations on Facebook and other social media accounts.
  • If you’re a local nonprofit, or a local branch of a larger nonprofit, target people who live in your area.

2) Make it personal

Research has consistently shown that emotional approaches motivate action and mobilize people than logical arguments and facts and figures. And especially around the holidays, giving-geared advertisements and human interest stories will likely fall on willing ears of people ready to help out. So before you create an infographic about how many meals you gave out or the amount of time your volunteers spent helping people in your community, consider emphasizing an individual’s story or the specific impact you have on your community.

For the TCOA, we emphasized the fact that the organization provides meals for seniors and persons with disabilities get meals, making it clear that volunteers and donors play a big role in helping the vulnerable in their community. We also used images with faces in them, which helped viewers connect their knowledge with real people and motivated them to act.

3) Use a multichannel approach

With everything we do no matter the industry, product, or client we always recommend that clients use multiple channels to communicate with their target audience. We find that this multichannel approach is the most effective way to drive action and engagement in the TCOA’s case, donations and volunteers. After narrowing our audience to a small target group of people who were most likely to donate to or work with the TCOA, we then communicated with this group through email solicitations and Facebook advertisements.

Learn more about our multichannel approach here.

In the end, the TCOA received donations from 79% more donors and saw a 53% increase  in total funds from the year before.

Interested in learning more about how we helped the Tri-County Office on Aging? Download the free case study below for an in-depth look at how we helped them run an effective Giving Tuesday campaign.


As CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication, Amy Libka combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Want to get in touch? Shoot us a message and we'll get back to you, asap!

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt