If you are in the fundraising world, we don’t have to tell you about GivingTuesday (coming up on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.) But do you know just how big the GivingTuesday movement has become?  

According to givingtuesday.ca:  

  • In 2022, Canadians donated $50 million on November 29, and 
  • Participating charities raised 256 times more than charities that choose not to participate on that day 

No doubt – you don’t want to miss out on the GivingTuesday action. But with so many worthy causes jockeying for donor attention, how can you make your voice heard and inspire giving?  

Inspire your community around a unifying theme  

The World Wildlife Fund chose the theme Above and Below the Ice for their Giving Tuesday campaign in 2022. By zeroing in on the Artic, their storytelling has a clear angle and anchor for the day. They can feature specific animals, what challenges those animals are facing and how donations to WWF will help support the animals.  

It’s informative, engaging and moving.  

What compelling stories do you have that you can connect under a theme? How can those stories speak to and build on each other?  

You don’t have to tell your whole story in a day. In general, the more specific a story is, the more it resonates on a human level.  

Brand your campaign and get it front and centre 

Create a unique creative concept for your campaign. If you don’t have marketing capabilities on your team, investing in an agency could be worth it. Especially if you come up with a concept that can be part of a greater annual fund strategy or can use year after year.  

For a holiday campaign, we worked with the YMCA to create a concept for their Joy campaign that could be used for direct mail, digital channels as well as fun swag and t-shirts to generate buzz. They’re now set up to bring this theme and concept forward to future years. 


Update your homepage with all the relevant information about your campaign (and make sure that DONATE NOW button is front and centre). 

Incentives to give: matching donors 

If you have a donor who will match donations up to a certain number, that will inspire your community to give. Doubling their dollars is a big deal.  

In fact, according to Tech Soup, mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount.” 

If your matching donor is willing to give a quote or even a video about why your organization is important to them, that can be hugely impactful. 

Amplify your voice with multiple emails and multiple social posts across your channels on GivingTuesday (Yes, really! Do it!) 

We all worry that if we inundate our followers with messages, we’ll lose them. (We know, we’ve been there.) But on GivingTuesday, it works to your benefit to be top of mind. After all, if you’re not asking, you likely won’t be receiving. 

GivingTuesday is not the day to reuse content or send passive asks. It is critical to have unique and new content for your community to read, engage with, and be inspired by. 

We recommend planning multiple emails and social posts that speak to and build on each other. Engage your executive team, staff and volunteers to share, like and comment to expand the reach of your message. 

To mitigate unsubscribes, prep your community with an email that lets them know:  

  • You’ll be sending multiple emails on GivingTuesday 
  • An enticing overview of what you’ll be sending 
  • That it’s just for one day, then back to business as usual 

Our friend Amy Milne shared with us: your followers and subscribers have chosen to follow you. They are invested. Gap, for example, sends dozens of emails on the reg to their subscribers—it’s ok to root for your worthy cause! 

Show donors the impact of their dollars 

Donors like to know where their dollars are going. We love how this Salvation Army GivingTuesday page shows the impact of different giving levels.  

(image via Classy.org)

The clear, engaging graphic also shows that you don’t have to give a lot to make a difference. A $30 donation translates to shelter for a night. That’s motivation to give at any amount.  

Make sure your email list is up to date 

If your list is out of date, chances are you’ll be sending the content you invested hours on into spam folders or getting bounce-back messages. Before you get started, make sure you: 

  • Check for duplicate email addresses. 
  • Have relationship managers review the list and remove any people that should not receive communications. 

Create engaging content with catchy subject lines and embedded video 

  • Catchy and personalized subject lines. We know, you’ve heard this before, and the pressure on subject lines is real. While there are some quippy headline geniuses out there, for the rest of us mere headline-writing mortals, there’s ChatGPT. Cut and paste your email into ChatGPT and ask it to spit out 10 headline ideas. From there, you can cut, paste, and recraft.  

Personalizing your subject line can improve open rates by 82% and click- through rate by 75%.  

  • Embed a video. Videos have the potential to do wonders for your engagement. A video can improve your click through rate by 96%. Dang! Just think: you’re giving your community a worthy distraction from their work AND promoting your cause. Win-win.  

(Stats via snov.io.) 

A tip for 2024: Start early 

GivingTuesday should be part of your annual fund strategy. Ideally, you start planning for it when you’re pulling out your summer gear versus getting out your parka.  

Thinking ahead will help you plan what stories you tell and when.  

Reach out if you want support for infusing your fundraising campaigns with strategy, creativity, and energy. We’d love to help you make magic happen.