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The Complete Guide to GivingTuesday for Nonprofits, Community Organizations, and Causes

Introduction

GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and support their communities. It’s a day when everyone comes together to give back in all forms-acts of kindness, gifts of voice, time, talent or treasure. Nonprofits can leverage the energy of GivingTuesday to tell their stories, engage lifelong advocates and build a movement for their organizations – and that’s way more powerful than just collecting donors.

In this time of uncertainty, stress, and even despair, one thing that gives us hope is that this crisis is catalyzing innovation like we’ve never seen before. From GivingTuesdayNow, we learned that we owe this not only to the sense of urgency but to our desire to share information, ideas, and collaborate, which has never been stronger. All around the world, we are joining forces and leaning on each other – and this generosity tells us that we will achieve the better, more just world that we all seek.

This guide provides some ideas and basic organizing tactics you can use to rally support for your movement on GivingTuesday. We encourage you to join our Facebook group for nonprofits to get even more ideas and inspiration and make sure you’re signed up for our email list to receive new resources, notifications about events, and other opportunities related to GivingTuesday and using generosity to power a movement for your cause.

How Nonprofits + Community Organizations Can Participate in GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is among the few days of the year where people are actively seeking causes to support, rather than the other way around. On November 30, 2021, the entire world will be talking about, thinking about, and discussing ways each of us can contribute to a better society.  Whether you’re a 501c3 charitable organization, a non-registered community organization, mutual aid group, or any other type of social good organization: you have an amazing opportunity to be part of that conversation.

How you choose to participate in GivingTuesday is up to you! While many organizations fundraise on GivingTuesday, others get creative with how they participate. Here are a few ideas:

  • Collaborate with other organizations. Host a holiday food drive for your community, fill a gap in services, or solve an immediate need in your community.
  • Host a festival (in-person or virtual) so that local residents can learn about the missions of several organizations. (Consider leading a GivingTuesday Community campaign)
  • Use the day to rally new volunteers.
  • Mobilize your community to give their voice for your cause – whether that involves signing a pledge, advocating for policy change, or generally getting the word out about the importance of your mission.
  • Spend GivingTuesday thanking your supporters.  
  • Fundraise for your organization
  • Host 24 hours of gratitude. Post once an hour about things your organization is grateful for.
  • Amplify others. Fundraise for another organization or share their work with your community. Connect with organizations around the world who are working toward the same mission at the GivingTuesday Facebook group.
  • Volunteer to act as fiscal sponsor for a local mutual aid group or community organization.

Registration for GivingTuesday

There is no registration for GivingTuesday. All organizations, 501c3 registered charities, or otherwise, are all welcome and encouraged to participate in GivingTuesday.

No matter how you’re planning on participating on Nov 30, you’ll simply direct your supporters to your website, a landing page, or to your social channels. If you are fundraising for GivingTuesday, you can use any donation platform you like – most organizations use their website’s donate button. 

Be sure to check if your country or city has an official GivingTuesday campaignsome local movements do have a registration process. Start by checking out the GivingTuesday website for your country.

The GivingTuesday Workbook

In addition to this toolkit, check out the GivingTuesday step by step workbook. Use it as a step by step guide to creating a successful GivingTuesday campaign. You can even follow along with this video companion guide (captions are available in English and Spanish).

Download the Workbook
How to Talk About GivingTuesday 2021

Key Messages

  • GivingTuesday is the international day of generosity happening on November 30, 2021.
  • GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
  • GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past 9 years, this idea has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
  • GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity⁠⁠—to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and heal.
  • People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during GivingTuesday⁠⁠—whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts.
  • At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.
  • GivingTuesday emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing. 
  • We all have gifts to give, and with social media, online giving, delivery, mail, and phones, there are limitless ways to use your generosity to support others.  

A Note on "Donor Fatigue"

GivingTuesday Data Commons research definitively shows that people are very motivated to give to many different causes. The key right now, as at any time, is ensure your relationship with supporters is experiential rather than transactional. 

We find that people want lots of ways to show support for the causes they care about, and on GivingTuesday, the vast majority of people also take some other action besides giving dollars. Providing multiple touch points, messages and opportunities to show support helps make you relevant and inspiring. 

We believe, and our data show, that “donor fatigue” is a function of the quality of the message and engagement rather than a question of frequency. Think about how your organization is providing supporters with an opportunity to exercise their generosity and agency to make positive change – that approach will help focus engagement that is motivating.

What You Should Be Doing Right Now

Getting Your Social Channels Ready

  • Brand your accounts with GivingTuesday graphics and be an ambassador for the movement. Download our logo files here and find the Canva templates here.
  • Announce that you’re participating in GivingTuesday and build anticipation with a countdown to November 30! Don’t forget to link to a calendar invite.
  • Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday – the buzz amplifies your reach by expanding your normal audience + encouraging new supporters to get involved with your nonprofit! (Please use “camel caps” in your hashtag for accessibility!)
  • Make sure your social pages show your organization in its best light. You’re going to have lots of new people looking at your profile pages – can they easily discover your impact within the first few seconds of scrolling? Make sure you’re posting often over the next few weeks about your organization and its impact.
  • Launch a group. Now’s a great time to launch a virtual group to build your community – people are craving a sense of togetherness. Consider a WhatsApp group for your top donors, a Facebook group for your p2p fundraiser, or an Instagram close friends list for influencers to repost your content to their own feeds.
  • Start planning for how you’ll show up virtually on Nov 30. Produce a few Facebook or Instagram live streams throughout GivingTuesday and show off your mission! Check out our Virtual Rally Toolkit for tech tips and ideas.
  • Don’t hesitate to experiment. Try something that’s out of your comfort zone.  Start experimenting with SMS, Facebook Messenger, TikTok.
Get The Word Out

Digital Tactics to Spread the Word

  • A screenshot of an Outlook calendar invite that says "It's GivingTuesday" and a photo of an Apple Watch notification that says "It's GivingTuesday"Send your supporters a calendar invite. Literally. Attach an .ics calendar invite file to your email  (or use something like Add Event). You should provide exact instructions for what you’d like them to do on GivingTuesday including a link if you want them to donate. 
  • Start a series of emails to build up anticipation of the big day.  One a week to start, then build as the days get closer. 
  • Over the Thanksgiving holiday make sure your staff’s email auto-responder mentions your upcoming GivingTuesday campaign with instructions for how to participate!
  • Did you know that each year, an estimated $4-7 Billion USD is in corporate matching gift funds goes unclaimed? Make sure you ask your donors if their employers will match their donations to your cause! For GivingTuesday, Double the Donation is offering use of their database of matches for FREE! Learn more here. 

Sample GivingTuesday Campaign Timeline

Week of October 25
Week of November 8
Week of November 15
Week of November 22 (1 Week Until GivingTuesday)
November 29 (The Day Before)
November 30 (GivingTuesday)
After GivingTuesday
Rally Your Supporters Online

Social Media Activation Ideas

  • Go classic: encourage your supporters to share their “unselfie!” No printer? No problem. Use our digital unselfie sticker on Instagram! (Just search “Unselfie”) 
  • Encourage your supporters to run a p2p fundraiser on behalf of your organization. 
  • A screenshot of a p2p fundraiser's Twitter display name, which they changed to say "Support @NightMinistry for #GivingTuesday"Encourage your supporters to add GivingTuesday to their Twitter display name for the day to show that they’re supporting your organization for GivingTuesday (see example at right). Note: Do NOT change your organization’s display name – your supporters won’t recognize your account and might unfollow.
  • Organize a Twitter chat about your mission or Ask Me Anything with your team members.
  • Don’t forget about the new Instagram donate stickers! (Here’s how to get your nonprofit set up.)
  • Ask your best supporters to run fundraisers for your cause – use Facebook or whatever p2p tool you like to use. 
  • Ask your social media followers to share stories of why they support your organization. Retweet their replies!
  • Organize a challenge (on TikTok or Instagram Reels)! Encourage your partners and friends to spread generosity on social media by getting creative.
  • Encourage your supporters to share what they’ve been doing to spread generosity in their local communities. Whether or not that has to do with your cause. Let’s overwhelm the world with GOOD.
  • Get a vendor or small business to sponsor a social media contest to benefit your organization. 

Sample Social Media Messages

Mark your calendar! Nov 30 is #GivingTuesday. How will you give?

Save the Date: #GivingTuesday is November 30! We’re proud to be a part of this global celebration of giving. 

Giving back isn’t canceled. Ahead of #GivingTuesday (Nov 30), we’re sharing ways you can express generosity right from your own home. Insert ideas for how folks can get involved in your mission or help move the needle on your cause, right from their own home

In this time of uncertainty, there’s a fundamental truth that gives us hope – that together we can do extraordinary things. Join us on #GivingTuesday and let’s rally to insert mission + your URL

#GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unitylet’s rally to… insert your GivingTuesday goal.

Together we heal. We’re rallying our community for #GivingTuesday. Join us to give back: URL

Together we stand. We’re united with our global community for #GivingTuesday. Join the ORG community on Nov 30 and let’s show our strength: URL

Together we give. Learn how your generosity makes a difference on #GivingTuesday: URL

Throughout today we’re sharing how ORG is working with our community to MISSION and ways that you can join the movement. URL #GivingTuesday

Everyone can have an impact on #GivingTuesday! Join ORG on November 30 by pledging your time, skills, voice, dollars to support MISSION. Learn more at LINK

Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference. Throughout #GivingTuesday today, we’re sharing the many different ways you can support ORG

GivingTuesday Communications Dos and Don'ts

  • Don’t center the individual as the single hero of your story. Make sure the story is always about “we;” what we can accomplish together, as a community.
  • Don’t create exclusivity that hinges on haves and have nots. Everyone has something to contribute. Make space for everyone who wants to get involved in your mission.
  • Don’t believe in the fixed pie fallacy. It hurts the sector and also goes against the principles upon which GivingTuesday was founded: power is for everyone to share and wield together and there’s enough money for every nonprofit to get the support they need
  • Do shift the tone of your GivingTuesday campaign from obligation to opportunity. Make it joyful. Try new things. Invite new people. Celebrate the change you’re creating in the world. 
  • Do make GivingTuesday your own! Design a brand-name, logo, tagline – that will unify your campaign and elevate your marketing.
  • Do focus on one iconic story for your GivingTuesday campaign, an anchor that you repeat from different angles and be unapologetic about repeating it. You might be sick of the story, but your supporters won’t hear it until the 15th time.

GivingTuesday Logos + Graphics

Find all of the graphics you need right here, including the art files for the logos! GivingTuesday is an open-source movement and we encourage your creativity. Please feel free to change the logo and make it your own. Many organizations incorporate the GivingTuesday logo into their own logo or create a different version that speaks to their mission.

A laptop with a Giving Tuesday Canva page on it.

We partnered with Canva to create templates for GivingTuesday, but they’re really just intended to be a starting point – you should transform these into graphics that reflect your brand and mission. Create graphics for your own social channels and make sure to share your graphics in your social toolkit for your p2p fundraisers or in your influencer toolkit so your supporters can amplify your mission too!

Sample Email Templates

To Supporters - Save the Date
To Supporters - Give Today
To Board Members in advance of the campaign
Getting the Word Out

Sample Press Release

How to use this template:
  • Add your campaign details (as much as you know right now and you don’t have to have everything set) in the press release template below. 
  • Be sure to have someone in the contact space who is readily available and responsive
  • Add a campaign name and details of how you want the public to engage in the day.
  • Circulate to your press outlets and include the release as a blog on your website and promote socially. Edit so that it makes sense for your community. 

Contact:

[CONTACT NAME]

[CONTACT ORGANIZATION]

[PHONE]

[EMAIL]

 

[ ORGANIZATION NAME] Celebrates GivingTuesday, joining millions around the world participating in the global generosity movement on November 30, 2021 

[INSERT LOCATION] [INSERT DATELINE] – This GivingTuesday, [ORGANIZATION NAME] will inspire generosity by [TOPLINE DETAILS OF CAMPAIGN].

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. GivingTuesday will kick off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on November 30, 2021, and throughout the year.

[ WHY YOUR ORGANIZATION JOINED GIVINGTUESDAY AND DETAILS OF YOUR INITIATIVE INCLUDING GOALS, PARTNERS AND PAST SUCCESS, IF APPLICABLE]

[INSERT QUOTE FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION’S SPOKESPERSON ON THE ORGANIZATION’S GIVINGTUESDAY EFFORTS]

GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

People demonstrate generosity in many ways on GivingTuesday. Whether it’s helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving to causes we care about, every act of generosity counts. GivingTuesday has raised billions of dollars for critical causes around the world and gets 21 billion impressions on social media from people and organizations speaking up for the causes that matter to them and encouraging others to get involved in their communities.

“GivingTuesday inspires people all around the world to embrace their power to drive progress around the causes they care about, not just on one day but throughout the year.” said Asha Curran, GivingTuesday’s CEO, and co-founder. “With country and community leaders, millions of organizations, and countless givers of all kinds, GivingTuesday is creating a shared space where we can see the radical implications of a more generous world.”   

Those who are interested in joining [ORGANIZATION NAME]’s GivingTuesday initiative can visit [URL]. For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesday on Twitter. 

 

About [INSERT ORGANIZATION NAME]

[INSERT ORGANIZATION BOILERPLATE]

 

About GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe.

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More Great Resources From Our Friends + Partners

Want more tips, ideas, and resources for planning an epic GivingTuesday campaign? Check out these resources from some of our friends and partners.

Questions?

Have questions about GivingTuesday? Want to share your plans with us so we can help spread the word? Contact the GivingTuesday team anytime!