By Dana Ostomel.

#GivingTuesday may be just around the corner, but it’s not too late for your nonprofit to get on board and create a successful campaign. If you haven’t circled it on your calendar, #GivingTuesday 2016 is November 29—always the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Last year, the online event raised more than $116 million for charitable causes in more than 70 countries. Now that the event is catching on and people are more aware, you can expect this year to be even bigger.

Nonprofits of any size can participate in this global fundraising event, and a little planning can have a major impact on your results. Don’t just wing it this year; roll up your sleeves, get to work now, and you’ll find yourself raising more money on #GivingTuesday than you ever would have dreamed. Here are five ways to knock the ball out of the park this year. 

  1. Offer incentives to your audience. Incentives motivate giving. One tactic I’ve seen work well is donation matching. If your campaign reaches a certain donation level, see if you can get a generous donor to match the amount, growing the impact of each contribution.
  2. Create an online street team. Recruit a committed group of advocates to help you create as much noise and awareness and reach as many people as possible online. Remember, you can’t do this alone—not very effectively, anyway. Put the people who are passionate about your cause to work now and have them start getting the word out. Holiday—and giving season—will be here before you know it.
  3. Develop a strategic marketing plan. Take #GivingTuesday as seriously as any capital campaign. Your marketing plan should drive your promotional efforts from pre-Thanksgiving through the new year.
  4. Generate a sense of urgency. Engage your audience with an emotional hook about the work and mission of your organization. Leverage this to convince them to give today and not wait until tomorrow. The beauty of #GivingTuesday is that it’s just one day—there’s a built-in deadline. Start talking it up now, and remind your audience as the date approaches.
  5. Establish an appreciation strategy. You don’t just want your supporters’ capital, you want their social capital. Gratitude puts people in the mood to share. Send each donor an immediate thank you email with a request to spread the word about your campaign.    


Here’s some great news for your organization: This #GivingTuesday, Deposit a Gift by Firespring is waiving its platform fee for all nonprofits in their Give Back program, plus offering a variety of other perks to make sure you reach your goals this year. On Deposit a Gift you can create custom landing pages, develop promotional campaigns and manage donations. With just a month left before #GivingTuesday, now is the perfect time to start your campaign and kick off your year-end appeal. Get started with Deposit a Gift today.


About Dana Ostomel
Dana Ostomel is the Vice President of Nonprofit Industry Development at Firespring, a company that provides essential software and beautiful websites for nonprofits. Prior to her role at Firespring, she founded Deposit a Gift, a crowdfunding platform popular with nonprofits. Firespring acquired Deposit a Gift in August 2016 with Dana residing as the company’s lead crowdfunding expert. She has spent over a decade developing integrated marketing solutions for numerous nationally-known brands such as Snapple, MasterCard and DIRECTV. She owns a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from UCLA and is a sought-after speaker on the topics of crowdfunding and nonprofit marketing.