How Small Nonprofits Win Big On #GivingTuesday

donor attraction fundraising giving tuesday marketing strategy Oct 07, 2018

“It’s the bigger more recognizable nonprofits that #GivingTuesday supports, not the little guys”

“It requires too much time to get things planned and promoted like #GivingTuesday suggests - seriously a 6-month campaign, we can’t do that!”

I know that’s what you’re thinking about being a part of #GivingTuesday because I’ve worked with a whole lot of small nonprofits who’ve let me know those are some of the reasons why they don’t really participate beyond registering, sending a few emails or scheduling a few social media posts.

I get it. You’ve only got so much time to dedicate to marketing and communications for any one campaign, and you need to focus on what’s going to bring in the most support for your nonprofit.

Because I care deeply for you and want you to get hundreds and thousands of dollars in support so you can help all the people who need what your amazing nonprofit provides, I’ve got to give it to you straight.  

#GivingTuesday can be your small nonprofits biggest end-of-year fundraising campaign, IF you give it a little marketing time and attention.  

And it doesn’t have to be hard.

In today’s blog post I’m sharing a bundle of #GivingTuesday marketing tips and tools that will save you time and get you in the game so you don’t miss out on this global giving movement.  

But first, take a look at this Giving Tuesday report Facebook just released. 

Some of the notable highlights include:  

  • Awareness about Giving Tuesday increased 17%
  • Over 46,000 nonprofits received donations on Giving Tuesday
  • 15% of Giving Tuesday donations came through Facebook
  • In 2017, 75% of donors who donated on Facebook were first-time donors.
  • Over 20% of those first-time donors, donated again outside of Giving Tuesday only a few months after the event. 
  • Moderate size nonprofits (those with 1K-10K Page likes) raised the most as a group!

It’s not just the big nonprofits that are getting Giving Tuesday support.

Let’s dive-in to what you can do (quickly and easily) to make sure your time, effort and participation in Giving Tuesday pays off, big time!

#1. First things first – if you haven’t already, register on the #GivingTuesday website. Click HERE  to “Join the Movement”

It’s not a requirement. Giving Tuesday is a free and open movement that encourages giving worldwide. The majority of your marketing will be driving people to your website donation page or to a Facebook fundraising page. But, it’s still a good idea to be registered with #GivingTuesday because of their “What’s Happening Near Me” search tool.

Many first time donors use the #GivingTuesday site as a way of finding a local charity and it will give you exposure to a new audience for free.

For those being directed to your Facebook Page to donate it’s a good idea to make sure all the information on your Facebook Business Page is up to snuff. Do you have a good description of what your organization does, who it helps and why giving is important? You might want to give it a quick update before the big day.

And I’ve got a free checklist for you to make updating your page quick and easy.

Click here to subscribe

#2. Download the #GivingTuesday complete toolkit. It’s chock full of great messaging, imagery, graphics and plug and play marketing info that you can swipe for your campaign to get things in place quickly.  

Start seeding your social media platforms with posts that let your audiences know the global day of giving will soon be here - and all you have to do is grab it from the toolkit. It’s super easy! Here’s an example:  

“Save the date: #GivingTuesday 2018 is November 27th. We’re proud to be a part of the global celebration of giving. Visit to find out more!”

Use the media release template and blanket your local publications and radio/tv stations. Again, Giving Tuesday makes the process easy. You’re not starting from square one. Just fill in the blanks with your organizations info and you’ll be good to go.

The toolkit also includes:

  • Talking Points to help engage your board, donors and the general public. Remember this is a movement, so it’s okay to widely share the good news!
  • Mayoral proclamation toolkit
  • Logos and Graphics
  • Ideas and Case Studies

And a team of people to help if you get stuck. Email: [email protected]

#3. Get Your Facebook Fundraising efforts in order. This is SUPER important and in fact, if you solely focus your efforts here, it could make the biggest difference in your #GivingTuesday results.

Make sure you have that all important  DONATE button on your nonprofits Facebook Page.

The Giving Tuesday Facebook report says Facebook Pages with the DONATE Call-to-Action button included, generated $6.4 million on Giving Tuesday alone. Gotta have it!

Create a #GivingTuesday fundraiser from your nonprofit business page, and promote it with posts and through your standard digital outreach methods.

But here’s the biggie!

Ask others to create a Giving Tuesday Facebook fundraiser for your organization.

Reach out to board members, loyal supporters and volunteers who are active on Facebook.

The set-up process is easy ( and with just a few active campaign supporters, your donor outreach efforts could be amplified far and wide.

BONUS TIP – you might want to focus Giving Tuesday fundraising efforts on a specific program or initiative within your nonprofit instead of the larger organization. These smaller, more specific goals feel more achievable and tangible to donors and generally get a better response.

The stats on Facebook Fundraisers for Giving Tuesday shows that close to 70% of the gifts to nonprofits came from the creators of personal fundraisers, and from their friends. It makes sense because of the personal connection friends have with the creator of the fundraiser. They want to help support causes that are important to those they care about.

But there was also something surprising in the report that showed about 20% of support from personal fundraisers going to an organization were from people who weren’t connected to the creator of those fundraising campaigns. They didn’t know these individuals, but they still donated. In other words, personal Giving Tuesday fundraising campaigns attracted new donors to organizations that came from outside of any existing community or network of influencers. That’s a huge donor attraction benefit that opens the door to establishing new long-term supporters that you don’t want to miss out on.

Facebook will promote these events along with the creator’s efforts to help nonprofits raise funds for new projects or to climb closer to their charitable goals. In 2017, over $45 million was raised among 46,000 organizations, and your nonprofit should be a part of those numbers this year.

#4. Get ready to go live – Facebook live that is. On the big day itself use that wonderful camera on your desktop, laptop or smart phone and go live on Facebook. Live video is a big draw on the platform, not only because of its immediacy but because Facebook’s algorithm loves it. You’ll reach more people just by talking to them in real time than any individual post.

And there’s no reason for you to be nervous. This isn’t a studio where you need to be perfect or memorize what you are going to say. You are not an actor on the set. All you have to do is make up a few bullet points to refer to and tell your story. Welcome people, thank them for listening and invite them to be part of a global movement by donating to your cause on #GivingTuesday. You’ve asked people to support your organization before, the only difference is that you are live on social media.

After you're done, be sure to edit the post by clicking the three little dots in the upper right hand corner of your post, click ‘edit post’ and then add a brief message and link to your donation page – that’s it! 

#5. Email your various audiences. Invite the people who already know you to use #GivingTuesday as a way to bolster your fundraising this year. Segment your list into board members, volunteers, lapsed donors, current donors and then tailor your message and tone to each one. Remember to say THANK YOU first. Write your message acknowledging that the people you are writing to are the heroes of this day and let them know how much you appreciate their involvement and support on #GivingTuesday.

BONUS TIP: Create a colorful donate button graphic (CANVA is my super easy tool of choice) and add it to your e-communication to help make your #GivingTuesday call to action to donate clearly stand out while making the click to give process easy too.    

#6. Report your results. After it’s over, use all your communication channels to let people know how you did. #GivingTuesdays strength is in the sense of instant community it creates as a worldwide audience partners to make the world a better place.

Did you reach your goal? Congratulations are in order.

Missed it? That’s okay too; you can position #GivingTuesday as the start of your end-of-year push and keep the momentum going right through the holiday season.

And remember it was small nonprofits (those with Facebook likes between 1,000 and 10,000) that raised the most as a group on Giving Tuesday, even against the big national nonprofits.

You can do this.

I don’t want you to miss out.

Your nonprofit, and the people you serve deserve to be a part, a big part of #GivingTuesday.