November 1, 2021 | Categories #GivingTuesday, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies

10 Giving Tuesday Lessons from Organizations Like Yours

10 Giving Tuesday Lessons from Organizations Like Yours

It’s important to acknowledge how the 18-month pandemic has changed us, and how we continue to recuperate. While it may feel like we’re out of the woods, many of us are still working hard to accommodate big changes the best we can.

Wearing masks in public may be a thing of the past to some, but the struggles you face as you strive to prioritize your mission – staffing, promoting new campaigns, and planning for the unknown – won’t just disappear. As part of our community of changemakers, our mission is to support you during this time of transformation.

Our 2020 Giving Tuesday analysis showed:

Our 2020 Giving Tuesday analysis: Donors Gave 65% more than in 2019, Online Gifts were up 104%, crowdfunding totals grew 75%


  1. Matching gifts
  2. Crowdfunding
  3. Goal-specific
  4. Email marketing
  5. Multichannel approach
  6. Direct mail
  7. Giving challenge
  8. Virtual event
  9. Video
  10. Personal touch

Giving Tuesday Tips from DonorPerfect Changemakers

We surveyed 1,000 nonprofit professionals within the DonorPerfect Community and asked what made their Giving Tuesday strategy so pivotal in 2020. Here are the results.

Matching gifts

This organization inspired its supporters with a matching gift challenge on Giving Tuesday that encouraged 100% participation from their entire list.

Reason for their Giving Tuesday success:The planning materials available online made a big difference for our planning. We also used information we learned from your webinars.

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “We called the campaign ‘The 100% Challenge.’ We challenged every person on our list to participate on Giving Tuesday. We gave ideas on how they might participate including giving to us for a 1:1 match. People were excited about being part of reaching 100% participation.”

What they learned: “Use the free plans and materials available online.”


This organization engaged supporters via email and social media with their Giving Tuesday crowdfunding page. The page included a goal thermometer and a matching gift sponsorship to keep momentum going strong.

Reason for their success: “The crowdfunding page that allowed us to show a thermometer and a scrolling list of donors. We also had a $10,000 matching sponsorship.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “We promoted GivingTuesday throughout the month of November over social media and through e-newsletters. We launched the crowdfunding page a few days early and left it active after GivingTuesday so donors could continue to support.”

What they learned: “Find matching sponsors and use a crowdfunding form.


This organization asked Giving Tuesday donors to fund a very specific need. They inspired giving with full transparency about what they needed and what would help them get it.

Reason for their success: “A clear and concise strategy, plan, story and matching gift.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “Our goal was to raise a set amount for one piece of equipment and we secured a social media plan. We had pre-Giving Tuesday promotion, during the day with posts, videos, and testimonials and follow up.”

Their messaging:“Today, we have a goal to purchase 2 End Tidal C02 Monitors ($16,000 each) to ensure safety and peace of mind for our patients during routine procedures. Thank you to everyone who has supported our #C02Monitors4GBGH campaign! So far, we have raised $27,580, which is more than 80% of our goal (this includes the incredible $10,000 match gift)! We are so close! Will you help us?”

What they learned: “Be prepared. Plan. Promote. Have a great case for support. Have a story. Use online giving tools and ensure they are compatible.”

Email marketing

This organization used email marketing tools for increased communication with donors leading up to Giving Tuesday, and networked within their community by providing links to their online fundraising pages.

Reason for their success: “Greater communication to our donor base that we were participating in #GivingTuesday.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “We built momentum using our current digital communications – Constant Contact – to advise donors of this giving opportunity. We also asked our Board to communicate participation within their networks sending links to each member for easy communication to their networks.”

What they learned: “Communication is key. If your donors and supporters don’t know that you are participating, they can’t spread the news of your organization and the great work you do.”

Multichannel Approach

This organization made waves with one cohesive campaign for both Giving Tuesday and their end-of-year initiatives. To cover their bases, they communicated with donors through a multichannel approach, providing updates on a daily basis.

Reason for their success: “A multichannel campaign with lots of email blasts and social media posts throughout the day.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “Our campaign was called A Seat at the Table and asked donors to remember loved ones lost this year, as well as those who didn’t have a family to celebrate the holidays with. Lots of posts were tied to how the holidays are different for families this year, and that’s how we cut through the noise.”

What they learned: “You can’t overdo your messaging, but make sure it all ties together! We had a countdown on social media for 10 days prior to Giving Tuesday, 10 posts throughout the day, and additional opportunities to give throughout the week.”

Direct mail

This organization knew their retained donor base would respond well to a direct mail initiative, so they sent a postcard to those who had given in the past. Their Giving Tuesday campaign theme also spoke to current events.

Reason for their success: “Sending a postcard to past donors. Sending an email that stated in the subject line, ‘I just donated, can you donate too?’”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “Entitled, ‘Where’s the next adventure?’ We asked our supporters to look past Covid’s limitations and help us fundraise for a new marriage enrichment weekend in a new place in the country. Image of people going somewhere new, on top of a mountain, and hugging family really resonated with our supporters.”

What they learned: “Keep at it. Just because it wasn’t what you expected, doesn’t mean it will always be lackluster. Try something new. Alter the goal. Alter the amount asked. Alter what you’re fundraising for.”

Giving challenge

Aside from deciding on a Giving Tuesday theme early on, this organization engaged their board to create a giving challenge, and encouraged participation through photos and fundraising appeal videos shared on social media leading up to the big day.

Reason for their Giving Tuesday success: “A $10,000 challenge from board members. Social media push with a focus on pics/videos.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “Our theme was ‘Building’ – Building Relationships, Building Skills, etc. with a different focus each day leading up to Giving Tuesday. I’m not sure we cut through the noise, but we were definitely there for people to hear us.”

What they learned: “Start planning early, even if it’s just your theme. Then collect stories, pictures, and videos throughout the year that can be used to support the theme.”

Virtual event

This small community didn’t let pandemic restrictions keep them from their cherished Giving Tuesday celebration. Instead of hosting their annual wrap-up in person, a virtual event allowed them to get creative in 2020.

Reason for their Giving Tuesday success: “Local newspaper articles, social media, Constant Contact, personal board member contacts. We collected donations through online forms and checks.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “We used all our usual sources to get the word out, but could not do our usual wrap-up celebration at a local restaurant, so we had a Zoom party that included speakers and entertainment. We felt lucky that we made 50% of our normal revenue.”

What they learned: “Be determined and just keep trying. Personnel contact from board members is very meaningful. If we are able to mingle, a wrap-up event at a favorite spot that is willing to also donate some of the proceeds works well for us. We are a small community who likes to get together to celebrate.”


As part of their multichannel approach to Giving Tuesday, this organization noted the power of fundraising videos as a driver of their 2020 success.

Reason for their Giving Tuesday success:DP Video and a matching gift incentive.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: “Sent snail mail beforehand, called and emailed on Giving Tuesday, displayed a progress thermometer, and showed videos of participants and volunteers. Also some standard social media.”

What they learned: “Use DP Video. Seriously.”

Personal touch

This organization used their DonorPerfect CRM to automatically schedule calls with donors, and their Constant Contact integration to communicate the heart of their Giving Tuesday goals. They also emailed donors a link to their custom Giving Tuesday donation page.

Reason for their Giving Tuesday success: “Messaging that hit the heart of donors and following DonorPerfect’s schedule and timing of messages. A call from our Executive Director was immensely helpful.”

Their Giving Tuesday campaign strategy: As a public charter high school our message boiled down to don’t let lack of resources be the reason we cannot provide what is needed to support student learning and achievement during COVID. Our link was to our giving landing page as this message was sent out as an eBlast to parents and alumni.”

What they learned: “Have a clear message that the donor can empathize with and follow the DonorPerfect timetable and suggested templates.

What did we learn?

Our 2020 data revealed that donor retention was the main driver of fundraising success. While there is a litany of reasons why donors don’t give after their first gift – especially in the case of Giving Tuesday – it’s important that fundraisers view this as an opportunity rather than a waste of time.

Many will give to your organization for the first time on November 30th, and it’s ultimately up to you to inspire their second gift. That’s why we’ve created Welcome Wednesday to help you retain new donors gained on Giving Tuesday.

Written by Ally Orlando
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