We've learned a lot in the past eight years of GivingTuesday, and in a year like this, it’s especially helpful to have all that knowledge to lean on. Maybe you’re struggling to get rolling on your campaign. Just know this: You aren’t alone. You’re working alongside millions of people around the world who take part in GivingTuesday in all kinds of inspiring, creative, and locally resonant ways.

To make your planning easier, we’ve put together a downloadable workbook that walks you step by step through building a great GivingTuesday campaign. Work through it as you watch the video below with GivingTuesday's Chief Strategy Officer, Jamie McDonald.

So, where do you begin when everything feels uncertain and we’re rethinking how we do, well, everything?

Giving—whether that’s money, time, your voice—is an opportunity to join together and change things for the better. Effective GivingTuesday events are a lot like a party: a fun, joyful way to celebrate generosity and the difference we can all make in the world. So plan it like a party--and invite everyone to join in on the celebration. (And who doesn’t need something positive to look forward to?)

Your first step: Decide on your theme and goal. Everything else comes from those two things. When you can imagine what your party—or GivingTuesday event—looks like, it’s so much easier to put together task lists, delegate, and make decisions as you go.

A fun, unifying theme generates interest and excitement among your supporters, both existing and new. It gives people a reason to check in frequently on your progress, rally their friends and family to join them in support, and share your message across their own channels.

Incorporate your theme into fun activities that build connections. Even in these socially distant times, we’ve all found creative ways to come together. Consider a virtual cocktail hour, online trivia night, Zoom discussion panel, or a livestream tour of your facility. Since there’s already so much online sharing and conversation during GivingTuesday, these virtual events are a perfect fit. They’re also great for attracting younger donors to your cause .

All good parties end up with lots of good photos. Take screenshots from your virtual events. Share lots of photos and videos from GivingTuesday. These are compelling assets that’ll keep those good feelings going well into year-end and beyond.

Now to your goal: This is really what serves as your campaign framework. Your goal reflects your team’s priorities, and it’s a good opportunity for experimenting with new strategies.

Your GivingTuesday goal should be ambitious enough to motivate your team. And it can center on more than just dollars raised: total donors, new volunteers, event participants, monthly gifts, thank-yous delivered—the sky’s the limit.

When you think about your goal, consider ways you can set your campaign up to also embrace your small-dollar donors, because you never know which of them will become a dedicated volunteer or even a major donor. GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to engage a new crowd of younger supporters and build a relationship with them over time .

Generosity happens in endless ways, and likewise, there are endless ways to envision your GivingTuesday campaign. Part of what people love so much about GivingTuesday is that it's about how we come together to do good as a collective. Right now, your work--and the work you do in collaboration with your communities and supporters--has never been more important.

Now that you are off to a good start, download Getting Ready for GivingTuesday: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Successful Campaign (download the Spanish version here) for planning worksheets, storytelling ideas, timelines, and more. Follow along with the video companion guide below to get examples and commentary from GivingTuesday's Chief Strategy Officer, Jamie McDonald. Captions available in English and Spanish