5 top tips on tapping into global movements - from the experts at GivingTuesday

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
09 Nov 2022

GivingTuesday started as a one-day online campaign 10 years ago with the hashtag #GivingTuesday and it quickly turned into a global generosity movement that encourages people to do good.

What makes it powerful as a movement is the freedom it gives to individuals as well as fundraisers all over the world to celebrate the day in their own unique way. Whether it’s a fundraising campaign, a volunteer-led event, a day in a local school, or an online gratitude campaign from a nonprofit organisation thanking their supporters, there are always new ideas to explore. There is the ‘ripple effect’ of generosity that takes place in one day that inspires more organisations and individuals to give their time, their voice, their money, or even their expertise.

One of the things that GivingTuesday powers is connecting small grassroots organisations with big philanthropic institutions to encourage everyone to give, which was also a big driver for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to donate $10 million to the GivingTuesday movement to fund even more acts of generosity.

GivingTuesday returns on 29 November 2022 and many organisations and individuals all over the world will join on the day to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. It’s an opportunity to be part of a wider network of people interested in making a difference in their local communities or at a global scale.

Many nonprofits join GivingTuesday to launch their end-of-year fundraising campaigns. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk about their mission, their work, and how they support their communities.

However, GivingTuesday is not just about fundraising. It can be an opportunity for nonprofits to strengthen their relationships with their community, their partners, and their internal teams.

GivingTuesday’s Director of Digital Strategy, Kathleen Murphy Toms, says:

"GivingTuesday isn't just about mobilising funds for your cause, it's about building a movement: rallying like-minded individuals to help you move the needle on your cause, walking hand in hand with you to achieve your mission."

We invited GivingTuesday’s digital expert, Kathleen Murphy Toms, to run an exclusive BRIDGE session for our learning cohorts on how nonprofits can run a successful #GivingTuesday campaign.

With just a few weeks before GivingTuesday, here are five tips for any nonprofit on how to join the movement and run an effective one-day campaign.

Reinforce urgency

A good way for nonprofits to make the most of a one-day campaign is to ensure that their network knows about the big day in advance.

The messaging before the big day should reinforce the urgency and make it as easy as possible for someone to be part of the campaign.

A simple yet effective tip for nonprofits coming from the GivingTuesday team is to send push notifications or calendar invites to supporters and donors.

Tools like AddEvent or Calndr.link can be useful to make it easy to add a calendar link to an email.

Mobilise others

One-day campaigns like GivingTuesday rely on the power of the community to make a difference within a short timeframe.

Whether it’s about local activities on the ground for grassroots organisations or big online campaigns with the help of high-profile ambassadors, the audience is always key.

For example, we’ve seen nonprofits encouraging their supporters to run peer-to-peer fundraisers but we’ve also seen nonprofits working with their volunteers to plan an offline event on the day of the campaign. Designing activities around what will motivate the target audience is key.

Whatever that looks like, mobilisation is important and it helps to spread the campaign’s message to every organisation.

Share content that educates

A fundraising campaign isn’t just about making the ask and expecting donors to instantly donate.

Kat reminded nonprofits in our session to create a content plan that blends storytelling with fundraising.

Content that educates can raise awareness about an organisation and it makes it easier to build a long-term relationship that leads to repeat donations.

Use partnerships as a growth strategy

Many nonprofits we work with are worried about achieving good engagement in their online campaigns, especially when they are new to running digital campaigns.

One way to kickstart online engagement is to explore opportunities to collaborate with other organisations, either from the local community or by finding individuals with relatively good influence who are passionate about their mission.

For example, a nonprofit may be struggling with boosting their engagement in their second Giving Tuesday campaign. A good idea for them is to look at their existing network and how they can expand it.

They could expand their network with the help of:

  • Volunteers
  • Local media
  • Local businesses and corporate partners
  • Organisations working on a similar cause area
  • Individuals who have supported them in the past with a relatively high number of followers

Influence is not about the number of followers or how loud someone can talk, it’s about their affinity with their cause and the chances of engaging a wider network that resonates with their mission.

Example by GivingTuesday

For nonprofits who use Instagram, Kat recommends the use of Instagram’s collaboration feature where two accounts “collaborate” to get one post to reach two audiences. This is a great feature for those working with corporate partners, influencers or simply for event planning that involves other organisations to double their reach and boost their engagement.

Find an emotional connection for the donors

It’s not enough to ask for someone to donate to a cause simply because it’s the end of the year, says Kat from GivingTuesday.

The best way for nonprofits to create an effective digital fundraising campaign is to reduce the distance between the individual and the cause.

“A good story should combine the head and the heart”Beth Kanter, nonprofit expert and author

The call-to-action won’t be effective if the emotional appeal of a story doesn't resonate with an organisation’s target audience.

Access resources for GivingTuesday

For nonprofits and individuals who want to find out more about GivingTuesday and how to join on the day, there are many resources available on their website.

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