Started in 2012, the GivingTuesday movement hasn’t slowed down at all. In fact, the total amount of money raised in 2018 was $400 million!

If you aren’t completely aware of what GivingTuesday’s all about, it’s an internationally organized giving event set on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday each year.

GivingTuesday was started by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation

Heavy hitters like Microsoft, Skype, Cisco, and Sony soon partnered in the endeavor. Once other popular media outlets like Huffington Post and CNet covered the story, GivingTuesday was set to become an international phenomenon.

So what is GivingTuesday all about?

According to GivingTuesday’s website: 

Celebrated on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them.

Through massive social media campaigns and the combined marketing force of the GivingTuesday brand, GivingTuesday motivates millions of people around the world to make a donation to some cause they care about. 

Nonprofit organizations who register at use the media kits and marketing strategies provided to run GivingTuesday campaigns, driving donors to make a gift on that specific day.

The GivingTuesday platform also works like a menu system for individuals visiting the site by making suggestions on nonprofits that serve in the areas of interest of the donor. 

Sometimes the participant already knows which nonprofit to give to, but many find new organizations doing the work they care about through the GivingTuesday platform.

This has the combined effect of kicking off the end-of-the-year charitable season while bringing potential new donors into the philanthropic “market.”  

Should your organization register for GivingTuesday?

This is the big question, right? 

While it’s all well and good that $400 million was raised collectively last year, how much did the individual nonprofits participating in GivingTuesday raise? 

Was it worth the extra effort to implement GivingTuesday campaigns in addition to their normal campaigns?

To be honest, I don’t know. 

Some organizations rave about their experience with GivingTuesday. Others say it’s not worth the effort.

It all seems to depend on the kind of nonprofit you have and if GivingTuesday fits within your fundraising strategy. 

Personally, I see it as a viable option nonprofits should at least consider.

So if you’re convinced that you want to give GivingTuesday a shot this year, here are some things to keep in mind.

Tips for GivingTuesday Success

1. Do your research.

Think through why you want to participate. Read through the positive feedback and the negative feedback about the event. 

Then, make your choice and know why you’re doing it. 

Even if you’re completely onboard with the idea, reading through the negative comments will show you what to avoid or how to better prepare for your GivingTuesday campaign.

2. Craft your GivingTuesday messaging strategy.

GivingTuesday is its own brand. You’ll need to think through your messaging so that you can link your nonprofit brand with GivingTuesday.

Donors can become confused with the whole idea of donating at a third-party website, so you’ll need to think through how to connect the dots for them.

3. Write down your goals.

Goal-setting is always a good practice. 

Consider the possible reasonable outcomes of participating in GivingTuesday for a nonprofit like yours and set a goal for your organization. 

This exercise will come in especially handy when you’re at the end of the campaign and need to decide if you’ll do it again the next time.

4. Follow the right advice. has great resources and advice for participating nonprofits. Be sure to read through and implement everything that makes sense to you.

There are other places to get good advice on implementing a successful GivingTuesday campaign strategy. 

I recommend you check out The Knight Foundation’s site at 

There’s some good stuff there for every kind of nonprofit.

5. Clarify your value proposition.

For me, this is the most crucial piece of advice anyone can give you about GivingTuesday. 

The more successful GivingTuesday becomes, the more nonprofits will be jumping on the bandwagon. 

That means more brands in all the nonprofit verticals will be clamoring for the attention of GivingTuesday participants. 

More competition for you means your value proposition has to be crystal clear. 

Make sure GivingTuesday visitors know exactly who you are and what you have to offer when they come to your nonprofit’s description.

Remember, your value proposition is your answer to the following question:

Why should I give to your organization rather than someone else or not at all?

The more compelling and succinct an answer you can make to that question, the more powerful your GivingTuesday campaign copy will be.

Which means more fundraising success for your organization!

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.