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3 Quick Tips to Get the Most from Giving Tuesday

By Sarah Brennauer November 17, 2022

November is here — the month of autumn leaves, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. And while some cannot wait to catch the best deals at the end of the month, many nonprofit organizations are getting ready for the counter-movement of heavy consumerism: Giving Tuesday, the Day of Giving. 

The movement is growing every year around the globe, with more organizations joining in, raising awareness for their cause, and providing an opportunity for us all to give back in the season of Goodwill. 

But while many nonprofits that have been participating in this movement for years and have been planning their campaigns months in advance as they are finding value in collecting extra funds for their chosen programs, others are still hesitant to take part, worrying that the extra effort and resources that goes into a Giving Tuesday campaign might distract from ongoing fundraising campaigns especially their end of year campaigns which can make up to 30% of nonprofit’s annual revenue.  

We spoke to two nonprofit organizations based in the Netherlands — Nieuwe Generatie Brasil, participating in Giving Tuesday for 4 years in a row, and World Press Photo, tapping into Giving Tuesday with a pilot fundraising campaign for the first time this year, who shared their inspirational causes, creative approaches and best practices with us to help answer some questions on how to get started and make the most of your Giving Tuesday 2022. 

Here are 3 super quick tips just in time for the big day on November 29th: 

1. What’s Your Goal?

Before even getting started, be clear on what you want to achieve, starting with specific goals and KPIs in mind will help you measure whether or not your campaign has been a success and will give you a benchmark for the next year. 

For the past few years, Nieuwe Generatie Brasil has chosen one particular project that needed funding each year for their Giving Tuesday campaign — making it the centerpiece of their campaign content across social media and newsletter communication, being it a new car to access the rural areas in 2020 or school appliances for the children in 2021. Every year, this approach helped them to raise all of what was needed. Recently, the organization has been able to secure a new building which will now need to be furnished — so this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign will focus on donations for tables, chairs, and school boards to support children in the area with homework and other afterschool activities.

2. Is Giving Tuesday an Opportunity for Creativity and Testing?

Most definitely. While some Nonprofits worry if they might even be able to cut through the noise, there surely is still lots of space to get creative and try something new. So if you’ve been wondering whether or not you should run a new fundraising campaign or test a new tactic, Giving Tuesday can be a great momentum to run your pilot project. And if it goes well, why not extend it and run it as your end-of-year campaign?

In the past, World Press Photo has been largely relying on funds from their traveling exhibition until the pandemic forced them to largely reduce those exhibitions by 50%, of course leaving a considerable income gap. Logically, the organization is now looking for ways to diversify their income streams, for example, by partnering with institutions and corporations, organizing exhibitions together, but also by launching a bespoke membership program for individual givers, the ‘Friends’ program.

Giving Tuesday will now provide an opportunity to kick off the ‘Friends’ program — with that being the first mass fundraising campaign the organization has been running. Fans and followers of the World Press Photo social media accounts will be the first to set their eyes on the World Press Photo ‘Friends’ program, which not only offers free entry to exhibitions and a photo yearbook but also supports the organization and their mission by having a steady income stream with a yearly membership fee. 

3. Is It Too Late To Join in for This Year?

Feeling inspired? Great! Ideally, you’ll want to start early with your planning, so you can set aside a couple of hours each week from September on with your team to get ahead of the game before things get busy towards the end of the year. However, you are here now. “Keep it simple,” says Arja Hilberdink from Nieuwe Generatie Brasil when asked what advice she would give to nonprofits that are still planning or deciding on their  Giving Tuesday campaign, “but you have to want to do it!” 

So if commitment and simplicity are key — and time is not your friend right now — why not kick off your year-end campaign on the day of giving instead of coming up with something completely new? Many nonprofits have started integrating their Giving Tuesday campaigns with end-of-year giving and leverage Giving Tuesday to kick off their end-of-year campaigns and generate some engagement from their supporters. As already mentioned, it’s a great time to do some testing and fine-tuning so you can be sure your end-of-year campaign runs seamlessly and successfully! 

For example, Nieuwe Generatie Brasil runs their Giving Tuesday campaign throughout November, marking the Day of Giving with a social media live stream that shares work from behind the scenes on site — so supporters can see what the project they have been contributing to actually looks like and the impact it is having. Their online store and the opportunity to contribute to the cause remain open until the end of the year. Did you know that 65% of donors would give more if they knew the impact of their donations

Now more than ever, people want to know where their money goes and feel good about it, so don’t underestimate engaging supporters, sharing visibility, and of course, keeping them updated on your good work by adding them to your newsletter. Cultivation and engagement go a long way and are key to turning one-time supporters into regular givers. Check out these four trends impacting donor retention and engagement and the key tools and strategies nonprofits can use to strengthen and grow regular giving in today’s digital-first world. 

What will your Giving Tuesday highlight look like this year? Perhaps an interview with a beneficiary or a fun competition that involves supporters? Or simply a sneak peek into the highlights of your end-of-year giving campaign? It doesn’t always have to be money; perhaps you use the opportunity to recruit some new volunteers. Start small, get creative, keep it simple — but most importantly, get involved! Test and see what works, and next year, when you have a little more time for planning, you can fine-tune your strategy based on your learnings. 

We hope the learnings and best practices we’ve collected have inspired you to get involved and leverage the Day of Giving for your cause this year. If you are still hungry for Nonprofit innovation, find out how KWF Dutch Cancer Society reinvented collection week with Experience Cloud, and visit our End-of-Year Giving Hub.