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4 Approaches to GivingTuesday-Find the Right Fit for Your Team

Oct 2023 - READ IN 7 MINUTES

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GivingTuesday is arguably one of the most important days in a fundraiser’s calendar. In fact, more than $3 billion were donated in just 24 hours during GivingTuesday 2022. There can be a lot of pressure on advancement teams to develop a comprehensive strategy and campaign in the lead-up to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 

But, not every fundraising team has the budget or bandwidth to go all out for GivingTuesday. That is not to say you should skip participating altogether. There are many different ways to approach this globally recognized day of giving, depending on your goals, target audience, resources, and time constraints. 

Below you’ll find four different approaches to GivingTuesday. Each approach factors in different levels of resources so you can find a strategy that best fits your team and target goals this year.

1. Stewardship

One way to approach GivingTuesday is to frame your efforts around thanking donors and your community for past donations and participation. This can be an ideal strategy if you recently had a Giving Day that you don’t want to immediately follow with another ask. Additionally, positioning GivingTuesday communications around stewardship may take fewer resources than developing a whole campaign. 

So, what are some things to take into consideration for developing a stewardship campaign around GivingTuesday? First off, you’ll want to think through the different types of donors you want to thank and how you might segment them. For example, you could thank donors of the last 12 months and break out different affiliation groups like staff donors and parent donors.

Cracking the Code of Donor Segmentation

When developing your stewardship communications, consider what stories you can tell to highlight the broader impact of donors’ gifts. Depending on your bandwidth and donor base, you can create personalized messaging for each of these different segments. 

BLOG: 5 Donor Stewardship Best Practices

2. Light Ask 

If you’re looking for a GivingTuesday strategy that’s less resource-intensive but still drives donations, a “Light Ask” approach may be the way to go. Rather than develop a full-fledged giving campaign, this approach can utilize some of your existing fundraising resources within the framework of GivingTuesday.

Some “Light Ask” strategies include tweaking an existing giving form to feature GivingTuesday language, running an anniversary donor campaign, or sending a single broad solicitation email to all your donors. By maintaining a lighter touch while still encouraging contributions, you can strike a balance between meeting your fundraising goals and maintaining donor satisfaction.

GivingTuesday Email Examples

If you do one thing on GivingTuesday, make sure it is easy to give from your website’s homepage. It’s important to provide a great giving experience 365 days a year but GivingTuesday could prime donors making unsolicited donations. Your online giving experience should be optimized to make donating it as quick and frictionless as possible.


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Learn How to Optimize Your Home Page for Online Giving

3. Volunteer Led

Perhaps you’d like to have a more robust GivingTuesday presence but are working with a small team or even flying solo. Enter the “Volunteer-Led” approach. This method allows you to lean on the power of volunteers to drive your GivingTuesday campaign efforts. It’s an excellent way to amplify your impact and make the most of the resources available, even when your core team is limited in size. Volunteer-led campaigns also capitalize on the benefits of peer-to-peer fundraising. In fact, according to GiveCampus data, donors are 44 percent more likely to give if asked by a peer. 

Have your volunteers execute your most proactive solicitations, equipping them with the tools they need to do so easily and effectively. Part of your GivingTuesday prep should include developing email templates, a social media toolkit, and text message examples for volunteers to reference. 

Using a volunteer platform like GC Volunteer Management can help streamline activating your volunteers and keep things running smoothly in the lead-up to and during GivingTuesday. You may want to provide your volunteers with different levels of engagement options to encourage more participation. For example, a 10-minute ask could be sending a text message solicitation to any constituents they know personally. A 1-hour ask could include emailing assigned SYBUNTS, texting LYBUNTS, and sending thank-you’s to donors who gave on GivingTuesday.

Volunteer Engagement Strategies

4. All-in Effort

For some, GivingTuesday is the main event of the year–in which case an “All-in Effort” is the preferred approach. You may have already designated budget and resources at the beginning of the year and are ready to tackle GivingTuesday head-on. This approach involves pulling out all the stops to create a memorable GivingTuesday campaign that stands out.

6 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Giving Day

Going all in should involve a multi-channel marketing effort that ladders up to a GivingTuesday-specific social fundraising campaign. From an email drip campaign in the days and weeks prior to GivingTuesday to live social media updates on the day of the event, you want to be everywhere, all at once to your donors.

Campaign page for GivingTuesday Ripple of Change campaign


Above is an example GivingTuesday campaign page created on GC Social Fundraising. Explore the full campaign here

Working with a streamlined and donor-centric fundraising platform is key to hitting your GivingTuesday goals. From tiered campaigns to leaderboards to matches and challenges, GC Social Fundraising provides the tools you need to engage your community during big events like GivingTuesday. 

Beyond social fundraising, GiveCampus offers solutions for every stage of the fundraising cycle so you can better identify, engage, solicit, and steward your donors. If you’d like to learn more about our solutions and how they could help you succeed however you decide to tackle GivingTuesday, schedule a demo with our team.

Talk to a Fundraising Expert About Our Solutions 

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Giving ChooseDay: Pick Your Own Adventure

Cut through the #GivingTuesday noise and discover how to engage more donors. In this 45-minute session you’ll learn how to choose a campaign strategy that’s right for your community.

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10 Innovative Ideas for GivingTuesday or any Giving Day

Giving Days are a great way to build a culture of philanthropy at your institution. Designating one special day a year to rally your community and celebrate their respective impact can be powerful.