4 Steps To A Successful #GivingTuesday

Your organization's success on #GivingTuesday is directly related to your communications strategy not only on the day itself, but also in the days and weeks leading up to it.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media . Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season which also includes holiday and end-of-year giving.

Having a successful #GivingTuesday means crafting a communications plan that will activate current donors as well as lapsed and new donors.

Here are 4 tips to for a successful event:

1. Identify Your Target Groups

Who do you want to reach? Who is your best prospect for participation? You may have one group of people in mind or a few you feel are good prospects. Perhaps you'd like current donors to make an additional gift. Maybe you see an opportunity in reactivating lapsed donors. Whoever your targets are, be clear about who you are trying to reach and tailor your content and communications methodology to suit them.

2. Gather Your Best Content

You short amount of time to create a compelling case for support so stick with your best content. Review your communications over the past year and identify which content performed best. Add in new content that showcases the work those donations fund. Make sure you have content and messaging that is relevant to each of your target groups. Remember, a new donor will respond differently to your standard messaging than a current donor. No one message will be relevant to all of your patrons.

3. Choose Your Channels

After looking at your target groups, what digital channels are the best way to reach them? For most organizations, this will probably be Facebook and email. Custom audiences are a great way to reinforce your messaging by serving the people on your existing donor lists with content on Facebook. You'll have your email lists segmented by your target groups, but creating another segment of people who regularly open your emails (no matter what other groups they belong to) can lead to great results. After all, if they open your emails often, they are interested in what you have to say!

4. Create A Communications Calendar

Creating a calendar is necessary to keep your campaign on track. Use a spreadsheet (our favorite tool for this is Airtable) and itemize each Facebook post, tweet, and email so that your team is clear on what should go out and when. Be sure to note which content is targeted at which group.

Here are a few more more tips:

  • Make sure your images are high quality resolution and sized properly for each channel. We love Landscape, a handy little tool for easily resizing images for social media. (Click here for more about how to optimize your Facebook posts.)

  • When it comes to messaging, put yourself in the shoes of who you're trying to reach. Make sure your copy will resonate with them by eliminating jargon and keeping your message simple and direct.

  • If you are going to do a paid Facebook campaign, install the Facebook pixel on your website; this will allow you to track conversions. Here are instructions on how to create and use the Facebook pixel.


Ceci is the Digital Marketing Manager at FORM, a web development and creative services firm for Arts & Culture and Nonprofits. She has 14 years of experience working with arts organizations and nonprofits and she travels the country speaking at conferences and hosting workshops.

Photo: David G. Kanzeg

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We are helping new nonprofit Oberlin Center for the Arts fulfill its mission to connect the community with the arts. In addition to designing the logo and brand guide, we created a suite of interconnected websites for OCA and its founding member organizations; the sites seamlessly share and cross-pollinate content to help raise awareness and encourage patrons to attend more arts events classes and classes.

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