Giving to the Givers: Eight Tips for a Great #GivingTuesday

By Tony Connor, Director of Product Marketing, Public Interest Registry

#GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as an antidote to the conspicuous consumption of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a time to give back to the charities that give so much. Since then, #GivingTuesday has continued to grow,—from a total of $10.1 million raised online in the first year to $511 million online, and 1.9 billion total in 2019. Perhaps there is no #GivingTuesday more important than this one on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, as COVID-19’s impact has affected the ability of many organizations to serve their communities and pushed resources and resourcefulness to the limit. 

The question is: will the public be in a giving mood this year, considering the hardships so many have endured (and continue to endure) around the world? The answer, according to www.classy.org,, is an emphatic “yes.” In fact, the organization reports that 39% of people plan to give more in 2020 than in previous years, with one-third of respondents saying the reason is that societal needs are greater. So, what’s a .ORG to do in order to encourage contributions and donations during #GivingTuesday 2020?


1) Make it Official.

If you haven’t already, head to www.givingtuesday.org to register your organization. The site offers free resources, including a toolkit, social media guide, sample marketing materials, and ready-made logos and social media images to share. Get young people involved through the junior version, www.givingtuesdayspark.org


2) Make it Meaningful.

The more directly you connect #GivingTuesday to your organization’s mission the better. DonorBox, www.donorbox.org, suggests pairing donation amounts with their impact. For example, for a conservation organization, $15 may plant a tree, while $150 might restore a trail or park. For a child-focused organization, $10 may buy lunch for a child, while $50 might fill 10 backpacks with school supplies.


3) Make it a Match.

Matching gifts are a powerful tool to use on #GivingTuesday. According to Philanthropy Works, www.philanthropyworks.org, just declaring a matching gift increases gifts by 19% and increases the likelihood an individual will give by 22%. Matches can be donated by corporations, major donors, celebrities, and sponsors. Here’s a helpful guide to making good matches.


4) Make it Millennial-Friendly.

Giving Tuesday is a very social, hashtag-friendly day that appeals to millennials, according to www.techsoup.org. As TechSoup advises in this piece, be sure to make all aspects of your campaign mobile-friendly and encourage social sharing, which millennials will be more than happy to use and promote your cause.


5) Make Media Matter.

Use your channels to push quotes, photos, and videos throughout the giving process, up to and including the “Thank You for the Donation” page. Another campaign to encourage and leverage is the #UNselfie. Donors snap a photo holding a piece of paper with the hashtag and a note about how or why they are contributing. You can even find the official #GivingTuesday #UNselfie template here.


6) Make a Difference by Making a Video.

According to this article on www.donorbox.org, video generates 1,200% more shares on social media than text and images combined.  Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in a text format. Try a casual short one- or two-minute video to inspire donors. Or, schedule a Facebook Live event to connect with your followers on #GivingTuesday.


7) Make it Monthly.

#GivingTuesday is the perfect time to launch or promote your recurring or monthly giving program, according to Donorbox, which states that the average repeat donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts. Make it as easy as possible by setting the default gift to a monthly one.


8) Make it Last.

According to this piece on www.classy.org, following up after #GivingTuesday is over maintains momentum: “#GivingTuesday has brought you in contact with a whole new pool of supporters, it is crucial that you thank your donors and partners, and share the results of your campaign.” Also, be sure to check out this article about creative ways to express your appreciation.


#GivingTuesday is a great time to connect with existing donors and attract and secure new ones. With these eight great tips, we hope you can have your most successful #GivingTuesday ever. And, most of all, please know that we are grateful to all the organizations and good-for-the-world businesses making their recognized and trusted online home with .ORG. Happy holidays and happy hashtagging!