Your Giving Tuesday Checklist


Did you know that on Giving Tuesday, nonprofits tend to acquire 10x more donors compared to any other average day of the year? That’s a lot of new donors! So, if your organization is planning to participate in what’s otherwise known as the official kickoff to the season of giving, let’s make sure you’re ready to go.

Making a list and checking it twice isn’t just for Santa Claus. Planning effectively can be a gamechanger, as a solid strategy can help your organization stand out from the sea of solicitations that donors will be receiving. By ensuring your team is prepared, you’re less likely to make mistakes or miss important opportunities. That way, you can focus on maximizing your fundraising potential!

A checklist can also help make sure everyone is fully aware of responsibilities and deadlines. Fundraising is a team effort, and collaboration is key. Creating a list for this year will only make next year even better.

It can feel like there’s a lot at stake on Giving Tuesday. But take a look at this guide that will help get the ball rolling to set your team up for success.


What’s your Giving Tuesday goal?

With any fundraising campaign, it’s essential to define what you’re hoping to accomplish. Rather than just hoping for the best, setting a realistic milestone will help give your campaign a main focus. Goals can also help drive a sense of urgency to donors, especially considering that Giving Tuesday has a built in deadline.

Do you want to increase your social media following? Do you want to acquire new donors? Or do you want to grow your sustainer program?

Whether the goal is internal or external, it should be accompanied by a key performance indicator (KPI) so that you and your team understand how to measure your success. It can also help you compare your performance year over year.


How exactly will you participate?

Which channels will you be using to get the message out? Email, direct mail, social media, search advertisements, and SMS should all be considered. There’s no one-size fits all, so take the time to see what would make the most sense for you. Remember, there’s going to be a lot of influx of traffic to potential donors so you want to think through how you can cut through the noise while also cutting costs.

Organic social media posts are essential, and free! You can usually schedule messages ahead of time, which will lighten some of the load day-of. Don’t forget to include #GivingTuesday in your posts to amplify your reach!


What kind of tactics will be incorporated?

Will this be a matching gift campaign? Are you able to feature a special signer in your email or direct mail copy? Can you use emojis in the subject lines of your emails to better stand out in flooded inboxes?

There are a plethora of tactics you can use to make your campaign unique, so consider what types of new ideas you could incorporate. See if you can promote your campaign in your local community newsletter, or try out a QR code in your direct mail piece. 


What will your campaign narrative be?

Plan your message in advance. Your content should focus on your mission, your impact, and the current state of your nonprofit. It should be highly educational, and give donors a reason to support your cause. What kind of story can you tell what will deepen the emotional connection you have with your audience? Think through your case for giving, and what type of call-to-action you’ll be pushing across platforms. 

The official Giving Tuesday organization has even released their 2023 key messages and talking points that you can incorporate into your communication strategy.


Have you created your communications calendar?

Your channels should be consistent in terms of messaging and visuals so that they tell a cohesive story. Mapping out when and where your content will be published ahead of time will help execute your campaign successfully.

Start early – October is a great time to put out a “save the date” on social media for Giving Tuesday. Then, as the day gets closer, you can ramp up the frequency so that your campaign stays on everyone’s radar.


✅ How’s your donation page?

You should feel confident that your donation page is up, running, and ready to accept gifts. If possible, it should be customized to this specific campaign, and use the same messaging as your outreach efforts. 

Is your donation page mobile friendly? How many different types of payment methods are you able to accept? Do you have the option set up for donors to choose to give monthly?

Don’t forget to run multiple tests! Have your team go through the donation process to avoid technical issues the best you can.


✅ How are you tracking this campaign?

How will gifts be processed and counted during this campaign? Are you able to get real-time updates that you can check and share the status of any goal you might have with your supporters? Is your donation page ready to handle a higher volume of traffic than usual?

Make sure that all pieces of this campaign will be associated with Giving Tuesday so that you know you’re looking at accurate data and results. 


How will you follow up with your donors?

Did you meet your goal? How will the amount raised make a difference towards advancing your mission? How will you make your donors feel appreciated?

The final piece of this campaign will be thanking your supporters and sharing the impact they’ve made by participating in your Giving Tuesday campaign. After a thank you letter or email, new donors should receive a welcome series, so that they can learn more about your organization’s cause over time and not be bombarded with a ton of information upfront. You want these new donors to stick around, not just donate once and then never again.

Now while this list may not cover every single inch of your campaign, it’s a solid foundation. Add to it in ways that make it more personal to your organization, and bring in team members for discussion and feedback as needed so that everyone is on the same page for the big day.

Though this time of year can be stressful, try and keep in mind that cultivating your community is what Giving Tuesday is really all about. It brings the world together for the sake of advancing philanthropy.

So get ready, get set, and go. The countdown to Giving Tuesday begins…now!

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