How to run an effective Giving Tuesday campaign

Run the best possible Giving Tuesday Campaign – In the run-up to Giving Tuesday we look at some of the most successful campaigns and examine what lessons you can take from them.

Chrissy Chiu | 20th Nov 19
Giving Tuesday campaign

With the countdown to the holiday season, charities have many opportunities to engage supporters in the run-up to the New Year. Originally imported from the U.S. like the retailing day Black Friday, Giving Tuesday has gone global, focusing charity efforts onto a single day – this year, the date is Tuesday, December 3rd.

High-profile UK charities and celebrities are lending their names ahead of the big day. Celebrities joining the cause include supermodel Cara Delevingne, actor Gillian Anderson, comedian Jack Whitehall, Sir Patrick Stewart, and business mogul Richard Branson. The Dogs Trust, Marie Curie, and the British Heart Foundation are amongst many charities supporting the fundraising efforts.

Thinking about charity digital fundraising efforts, quick tips to help charity leaders launch the best possible Giving Tuesday campaign include:


Planning ahead to develop the impact strategy

Once you have decided to take part, developing the digital fundraising campaign should begin with answering key questions. SMART goals are helpful for charities looking to make an impact. Charity digital fundraising targets should be specific, measurable, ambitious/attainable, relevant and time-based, recommends Classy: a social enterprise working to create fundraising software for charities and non-profits. Examples of SMART goals could be:

  • Fundraising towards a new monetary target for Giving Tuesday
  • Gain new regular donors towards the date
  • Recruitment of more volunteers

“This is the first year where we sat down to come up with a plan and a specific appeal. We found that making specific asks was really successful,” said Jon Arnold, Chief Executive of Tiny Tickers, speaking about the campaign last year. The ‘Test for Tommy’ campaign was launched on the charity’s website, YouTube, and over a social media takeover day, where Mr Arnold spoke to supporters directly.

The planning helped the small charity beat its target six-fold. The funds enabled the charity to purchase life-saving machines to detect congenital heart conditions in babies.


See also: The best Giving Tuesday campaigns online


Start the Giving Tuesday campaign

“Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a significant increase in donations, growing from $177 million in online donations in 2016 to $300 million in 2017 – a 69% increase!” reported Social Media Today.

Digital fundraising tools are available and at hand for charity organisers to get the word out. Social media is crucial to digital fundraising efforts and can help drive fundraising by giving voice to the cause. The #GivingTuesdayPledge has already started on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram with ambassadors, individuals, and companies pledging to do good for charities.  Digital fundraisers can use Giving Tuesday’s bespoke guide to social media ahead of the event.

Notable digital fundraising campaigns from Marie Curie, Tiny Tickers, literacy charity Beanstalk, and many others culminated in over £7.8 million raised last year.


Engaging with your audience

Charities can also lead by example. Focusing on a single digital fundraiser, Give Penny, an app which connects individuals to charitable causes partnered with Shelter to raise money ahead of Giving Tuesday. Chief Executive of Give Penny Lee Clark participated in a 24-hour gaming challenge, raising £1,000 for the cause.

Facebook Groups requires little management but can help charities engage. Reported earlier by Charity Digital News, Emma Humphrey at St Catherine’s Hospice said: “We allow our fundraisers to run the page themselves, swapping ideas and tips and encouraging each other to share fundraising inspiration to motivate the whole group.”


Team up with corporate sponsors

For the second year running, the Dogs Trust has partnered with handbag brand Radley. Designed in limited editions, handbags and pouches with canine designs were launched in-store and online, with 15% of the sale price going to the Dogs Trust. Through online cashless donations, the partnership raised nearly £50,000 since 2016. A key part of the campaign, social media helped reach 88,000 people within 24 hours of launching the campaign on Facebook, increasing public engagement and goodwill ahead of the holiday season.