Giving Tuesday is Almost Here—Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

This guest post is written by Abby Jarvis from Qgiv.

For-profit businesses everywhere are stocking up for Black
Friday, but nonprofits are preparing for a different day of
spending: Giving Tuesday.

If you work for a nonprofit, you know just how important Giving
Tuesday can be, and just how many donations it can generate. In
fact, Giving Tuesday
hit the billion dollar mark just last year.

This generosity-based holiday falls on December 3rd this year,
meaning the time to prepare your nonprofit’s messaging and
marketing materials is coming to a close.

Is your organization ready for Giving Tuesday?

If not, you can easily begin informing your donors and followers
of your Giving Tuesday plans through email. While this generous
holiday may seem top-of-mind for nonprofit employees and
volunteers, many members of the general public are still somewhat

In fact, significantly less people know about Giving Tuesday
when compared to those who are familiar with Black Friday.

That’s why we’re going over four steps you can take to
improve your current Giving Tuesday campaign (or plan it

Read on to learn how you can give more to Giving Tuesday.

Get ready for Giving Tuesday with these four steps. 1. Introduce
donors to your upcoming Giving Tuesday campaign.

If you have an upcoming goal, why not tell your subscribers
about it? The more knowledge you equip your donors with regarding
your Giving Tuesday campaign, the more likely they are to

recent Campaign Monitor study surveyed 1,000+ donors
, and this
survey found that a specific, urgent goal with a personal touch can
inspire donors to give.

In other words, give your subscribers all the information they

  • Tell them about Giving Tuesday: what it is and why it
  • Send an urgent campaign with a Giving Tuesday deadline
  • Make it personal by sending from a specific person and telling
    donors where the money is going

How do you make it urgent, though? Send emails at a consistent
(but not annoying) cadence, reminding donors of your upcoming

Additionally, consider adding a
countdown timer
or a donation meter to your emails to track the
campaign, like North Shore Animal League America does in the email

Be ready for Giving Tuesday like North Shore Animal League America.

And don’t forget to use
urgent language paired with a compelling CTA

2. Tell a story donors will care about.

Donors often contribute, either financially or through in-kind
donations, without seeing anything in return. This process can be
difficult for donors if they don’t know where their money is

Because of this, it’s important to make your Giving Tuesday
campaign as personal as possible. Not only can you do this
through segmenting emails on the backend
, but you can also
achieve personal campaigns by sharing the story of someone your
organization has helped.

When we surveyed donors, over 61% wanted to receive stories
how their chosen nonprofits affected real people
for the

You can see how Amazon Frontlines does this in the email below,
showing images of real people and information about how donations
are used.

This is a Giving Tuesday email example from Amazon Frontlines. This is part of the Nonprofit email benchmarks guide from Campaign Monitor.

Here are a few ways you can make it personal:

  • Show photos and videos of the people your nonprofit impacted
    increases open rates by up to 13% and conversions by 21%
  • Share their names, creating an even deeper connection.
  • Tell their stories: where they were before and where they are
    thanks to donations.
  • If possible, share how your subscribers’ donations
    specifically impacted the people in the email.

3. Communicate through real members of your organization.

To collect donations on Giving Tuesday, consider sending a
letter from nonprofit employees or volunteers. Even better,
consider sending a communication directly from the director of the

Our study found donors enjoy hearing from
someone specific at the organization
, so send a heartfelt plea
from a real person. This encourages connection among your
subscribers and nonprofit members.

By reaching out through an individual, your nonprofit is no
longer an organization looking for donations, but it instead
becomes a collection of real people trying to make a real

Notice how the Red Cross email below is sent from Lauri, a real
Red Cross advocate who cares deeply about the organization’s

American Red Cross email showing an example of a Giving Tuesday letter from someone important

Here are some ideas of how you might reach out:

  • Include a personalized from name, like “Sam at Nonprofit
  • Introduce the person and what they do within the first few
    lines of copy.
  • Explain why the nonprofit is important to them.
  • Include a personal signoff.

4. Show gratitude and include updates.

As with any transaction, send a thank you email immediately to
anyone who donated. Additionally, send another email thanking
everyone who donated once Giving Tuesday ends.

But that’s not all. Your email should do more than thank
donors: It should also explain how much money was raised and what
the proceeds will accomplish. If possible, consider including how
much money will go to specific steps in the nonprofit project.

Here are the steps you can follow to show gratitude:

  • Send a triggered thank you email any time someone donates.
  • Send a Giving Tuesday gratitude email to all donors once the
    holiday ends.
  • Tell donors how much money was raised and where the proceeds
    are going.

Giving Tuesday tips (bonus round)

Want to make this Giving Tuesday a success no matter what? If
so, there are a few things you can do.

First, create a
marketing calendar
that includes each email, social post,
webinar, and any other piece of promotional content you plan to
publish in preparation for Giving Tuesday.

Secondly, combine all your content efforts to create a cohesive
campaign. This includes social media posts, newsletters, emails,
and blog posts. Make sure all your content is working in

Finally, make sure you’re sending the best emails you can at
the right time. To send emails that are best suited to each of your
subscribers, make sure you’re personalizing your content,

segmenting your campaigns
, maintaining healthy list hygiene,
utilizing automation.

To send emails at the right time, familiarize yourself with the
best days to send emails. This changes depending on whether
you’re looking for high opens, click-throughs, or click-to-open

Learn about nonprofit benchmarks by reading our guide

Wrap up

Giving Tuesday is more than just a day for giving: It’s a day
of driving awareness, promoting generosity, and uniting behind a
singular cause.

If you haven’t started getting ready for Giving Tuesday,
it’s not too late. There are plenty of urgent efforts that need
your nonprofit and your subscribers.

So, tell your donors about Giving Tuesday and the specific cause
you want to support with their help. Get personal, share
life-changing stories, and show gratitude every step of the

Want to know the secret to getting donations from donors
who care? Sign up for the Campaign Monitor + Qgiv webinar

Abby Jarvis is the Nonprofit Education Manager at
Qgiv, an online fundraising
service provider. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can
usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her
favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on

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Giving Tuesday is Almost Here—Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

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Giving Tuesday is Almost Here—Is Your Nonprofit Ready?