Nonprofit Growth

How to Make the Most of Giving Tuesday in 2021

Giving Tuesday 2021

Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday is an internationally-recognized movement that focuses on giving back.

The hashtag campaign, #GivingTuesday, was created by New York City’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact to bring companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals together. Every year, it is celebrated the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. Not only is the purpose of Giving Tuesday to create a community and bring people together, but it also aims to provide a space to raise awareness and increase charitable donations. Giving Tuesday is about generosity, opportunity, and doing good.

One key theme of Giving Tuesday is that everyone can give something, even if it is not financial or physical supplies. Simple acts of kindness, gratitude, and appreciation are encouraged during Giving Tuesday. Anyone who is able to can participate in Giving Tuesday by participating in one of many activities such as getting involved with the campaign on social media, talking about the campaign in person, donating, or simply showing kindness to a friend or neighbor.

Giving Tuesday Statistics

Giving Tuesday is largely successful every year, a statement which can be shown through statistics. For example, Blackbaud’s Giving Tuesday report shows that since 2012, the campaign has grown a massive 518%. In 2020, Giving Tuesday inspired nearly 503 million dollars in online donations just in the United States, and saw users engaging online with the campaign in over 145 countries. Giving Tuesday may be so successful because about 63% of the people who donate on Giving Tuesday don’t donate outside of Giving Tuesday. The campaign creates the perfect environment for giving, allowing many volunteers and community members to contribute, even if they usually would not donate.

How to Make the Most of Giving Tuesday in 2021

From an organizational perspective, Giving Tuesday is an excellent opportunity for nonprofits to connect with others, raise awareness, and increase donations. Read some of the strategies below to get an idea of how you can have a successful Giving Tuesday!

1. Start Planning Early

Because of how chaotic the world felt in 2020, it is essential to begin planning for Giving Tuesday as early as possible. Putting together a detailed campaign plan will help your organization be prepared for the critical day and maximize success. You will want to note any potential themes for the event, possible sponsors and donors, different strategies and techniques for fundraising, etc. It is recommended to find a specific and unique campaign theme to help connect your organization’s goals to the campaign while also allowing you to stand out.

While planning, it is also crucial to set goals, particularly SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These don’t have to be just monetary goals. Goals related to participants, awareness, number of donors, social media interaction, and new corporate partnerships can be just as valuable as money-related goals and may help you achieve more significant results. Once you have made your SMART goals, you can create some strategies and tactics to get you closer to reaching those goals.

2. Connect With People

This year, a significant theme of Giving Tuesday is connections, partnerships, and relationships. Connecting with potential donors or partners and the community surrounding your nonprofit may be especially helpful in 2021. This means that things such as sharing personal stories and breaking down how potential donors could have an impact if they donated will be relevant. In order to attract new donors and overall supporters, your organization should aim to be inclusive of donations of all sizes, no matter how small. Make sure to keep donors in mind and acknowledge their contributions. To connect with supporters online, try to share real, authentic stories, messages, and posts, and remember to focus on being transparent. Partnerships are also a significant way to form connections and reach your goals. For example, nonprofit organizations can team up and use the same hashtag campaign or share each other’s work. This will lead to higher engagement, more awareness, and a stronger sense of community.

3. Utilize Social Media Properly

In addition to living in an era dominated by social media, the global pandemic has made social media and online exposure more essential than ever. Using social media correctly is crucial for having the best possible outcomes on Giving Tuesday in 2021. Posting images on social media in combination with a strong call to action is a great place to start. Creating clean and visually-appealing graphics that can be promoted on various social media platforms is also a great step to take.

Make sure your posts give off the right message and are inviting when using social media for Giving Tuesday. Fun, organization-specific hashtags, color schemes, or images might be a fun way to spice things up. Stay active throughout the day and post frequently, but not so much that it feels overwhelming.

Besides the more general social media tips, 2021 is also ushering in a new social media usage era. For starters, shorter video-based content has been on the rise with the popularity of apps like TikTok and features such as Reels. Making content that can work with these algorithms and layouts will connect your organization to a larger audience. Live videos are also increasingly popular and may be useful in bringing a sense of authenticity and realness to the table.

Social media management tools and websites can be helpful if you are looking to post multi-channel content but don’t know where to begin. Using influencers and celebrities to help promote your Giving Tuesday campaign can also help it be successful. Platforms like Cameo.com allow you to pay to have a big celebrities say your message, and they even have a promotional category with a large number of celebrities to choose from in any budget.

4. Personal Fundraising

One tactic that has been extremely effective in past Giving Tuesday campaigns is the use of personal fundraisers. Personal fundraisers are pages, websites, or fundraising spaces made by members of your community, supporters, or anyone who is willing to share their story and help to raise money for your organization. It’s so effective because it heavily promotes the use of peer-to-peer interaction, allowing all of the connections of those who share personal fundraisers to become exposed to your nonprofit and cause. 

Personal fundraising also illuminates the individual struggles, stories, and journeys of those who share them, which allows more people to emotionally connect with the associated cause. Supporting these fundraisers and creating an environment where people feel encouraged to share their stories may help foster additional personal fundraising efforts.

5. Track Your Progress

Once you have implemented your strategies and completed Giving Tuesday, it is important to measure and analyze your results. From donation numbers to social media interaction to the number of participants, it is important to track any progress you made in order to know what went well, what could have gone better, and how you can prepare for the future. Asking questions about what you could have done differently or what your organization should continue doing for future Giving Tuesdays can be extremely helpful. Some social media management tools and platforms have helpful analytics and measurement tools for you, or you can find the data on your own using your own tools.

Conclusion

Seeing success on Giving Tuesday in 2021 means being open to new ideas and strategies while also being willing to implement well-proven strategies and tactics. Because Giving Tuesday was created as a way to foster community, kindness, generosity, and opportunity. It’s important to keep this in mind and incorporate these elements into your campaign when planning and participating in the day. 

Although some people see Giving Tuesday solely as a way to increase donations and focus on fundraising, the event should be inclusive of other elements too. Giving Tuesday’s focus on doing what you can, giving what you can, and participating in any way possible creates a stronger sense of community and brings more people together. No matter what your goals are, 2021’s Giving Tuesday should have some kind of spotlight on community and togetherness, especially considering the devastating effects of the global pandemic that many have experienced.

Planning as soon as possible will be especially helpful for this year’s Giving Tuesday. Mapping out a detailed fundraising campaign plan can help you figure out what you want to do, what goals you have, and how to implement these goals. Using social media and online platforms correctly will also be especially relevant to Giving Tuesday in 2021. Having a good social media management plan, tools, and/or resources may be very helpful. As in previous years, personal fundraising is predicted to be a major tool for success, as it fosters connections and involves the community surrounding your organization more. Finally, taking the time to track statistics and analyze data will be beneficial not only in allowing you to become aware of successes and failures, but in strengthening your campaign goals, strategies, and tactics for future years.

By Amanda Conover