What Makes an Effective GivingTuesday Campaign—and How to Make Yours Stand Out

GivingTuesday logo on sticky note on calendar.

GivingTuesday “reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.” Their mission is to inspire collective action towards improving local communities through generosity. They stress the importance of each act of kindness—no matter how small. The ultimate goal of this movement is to bring people together to create a more generous world.

GivingTuesday happens on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It was created in 2012 at New York’s 92nd Street Y and incubated in its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact as a day to do good. GivingTuesday celebrates its 10th year in 2022 and has grown to movements in 80 countries and hundreds of communities worldwide.

How Participating in the Movement Can Benefit My Organization

Nonprofits raise more during year-end when they participate in GivingTuesday—the average donation is $105. Giving on GivingTuesday in 2021 grew 9% over 2020’s record-breaking levels.

GivingTuesday is Not Just About Monetary Donations

GivingTuesday celebrates every giver, no matter their donation. The movement is not about one’s ability to donate—it’s about taking action. Many donors participate in more than one way. For example, 37% of participants donate in non-monetary ways such as food and clothing drives or volunteer work. 

Have trouble thinking of ways people can give back to the community? See GivingTuesday’s Case Studies. They share success stories from nonprofit organizations that can spark inspiration within your own organization.

Four Characteristics of an Effective GivingTuesday Campaign

Some campaigns are more effective than others, but why? Successful campaigns possess these four qualities:

  1. Inspired leader – Leaders who are passionate and authentic will inspire your donors.
  2. Authenticity – Your brand, message, and approach should be authentic as well as resonate with potential donors.
  3. Collaboration – Partnering with local businesses, funders and fellow organizations can amplify your campaign. Search for local movements here. 
  4. Clear goal – You should have a goal that reflects your organization’s priorities and is big enough that people notice and are inspired to get involved.

Photo by GivingTuesday on Pexels

Steps to a Successful GivingTuesday Campaign

Now that you know what makes a successful campaign, it’s time to start planning yours. This doesn’t have to be done all at once—you can tackle it in steps.

  1. Register for GivingTuesday at
  2. Download case studies and toolkits relevant to your organization
  3. Organize a staff meeting to select team members to work on the campaign
  4. Set clear goals
  5. Reach out to local businesses, funders, and potential partners for funding and idea exploration
  6. Research local movements to get involved in
  7. Talk to donors about providing a match or challenge grant to build extra excitement
  8. Confirm your campaign plan and goals that reflect your organization’s priorities
  9. Map out a timeline and share it with key team members
  10. Confirm the assets and graphics you’ll need for the campaign
  11. Map out your content calendar
  12. Consider your evaluation strategy

Additional GivingTuesday Resources

Getting Ready for GivingTuesday workbook: Provides step-by-step instructions on building a GivingTuesday campaign. It’s a great tool for cementing thoughts on paper with plenty of room for notes and ideas.

GivingTuesday Learning Lab: A Facebook group of 10K+ nonprofit organizations and professionals where you can ask questions and share ideas with other organizations.

GivingTuesday Branding Guide & Worksheet:

Read all the Posts in My GivingTuesday Series

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