Expert Tips for #GivingTuesday Success | npENGAGE

Expert Tips for #GivingTuesday Success

By on Nov 8, 2018


Giving Tuesday tips

As the calendar ticks down towards the end of the year, the fundraising focus shifts to #GivingTuesday – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, a philanthropic response to the commercial shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Whether it is the first time your organization has thrown its hat into the ring or its preparing to top last year’s results, there’s always more your organization can learn and do.

Read below for expert tips from Mel Rancour, Principal Instructional Designer at Blackbaud University, Jackie Zimmerman, Senior Instructor at Blackbaud University, Erica Burroughs, Director of Annual Giving and Family Engagement at High Point University, and Andy Schroeder, Director of Development at Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who shared their strategies for success on the new supersized #GivingTuesday episode of The sgENGAGE Podcast. Their advice will help you focus in on #GivingTuesday and guide your organization, message, and campaign towards new heights.

Tips from Mel Rancour and Jackie Zimmerman from Blackbaud University:

Just starting now? Not to worry – follow these steps for success!

  • Download Blackbaud’s free comprehensive #GivingTuesday toolkit
  • Don’t try to do everything – concentrate on just a few things your organization excels at
  • Engage your supporters – tell them you have something special coming for #GivingTuesday. Ask them to be ready to share and challenge their friends and give them some sample social media posts they can use.
  • Make sure all your employees know your #GivingTuesday strategy
  • Feature donor stories

How to plan for #GivingTuesday throughout the year:

  • Solidify your brand (and not just your logo) – Make sure you are communicating your mission, values, vision and impact in an authentic way
  • Poll your supporters so you can identify and segment personas, allowing you to better target your messaging on #GivingTuesday and all year long.
  • Start gathering stories, statistics, videos and pictures that you can tag for reuse on #GivingTuesday
  • Build up your social media strategy throughout the year so you have a ready audience on the big days like #GivingTuesday
  • Make sure you have the right technology in place that allows you to easily engage supporters, such as online donation capabilities.

Tips from Erica Burroughs of High Point University:

  • Use the existing brand of #GivingTuesday to carry your message further while emphasizing the importance of what #GivingTuesday is.
  • It is possible for multiple giving days throughout the year to build upon each other rather than creating donor fatigue.
  • Be aware of the amount of email traffic you are creating, but don’t be afraid to be on top of your constituents’ mailboxes on this one day out of the year.
  • Social media is a minimally intrusive way to reach many people who can choose to tune in and share your message.
  • Collaborating with internal teams can lead to fresh ideas and smooth execution for the day itself.

Tips from Andy Schroeder of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

  • Diversifying marketing channels can lead towards connecting with a completely new donor base.
  • Connect your donors with the story of the campaign so they can see who and/or what their gifts are directly benefiting.
  • Tailor suggested donation amounts to the ask itself. If you’re asking for money for chairs that cost $400 each, allow the donors the option to donate $400.
  • The biggest mistake for any organization is to treat #GivingTuesday like any other day. Approach it with intent and purpose.
  • Segment the donors who give primarily on #GivingTuesday with a special thanks and keep them in mind for next year.


To hear more tips, strategies, and success stories from these outstanding interviews, listen to the entire episode here: Episode 73: Tips for a Terrific #GivingTuesday



Joe has been with Blackbaud for over three years and supports the brand team as an Associate Marketing Communication Specialist. He is involved with managing content for the npENGAGE website and the sgENGAGE podcast and is thrilled to be in a position to share leading industry trends and ideas within the philanthropic sector. With a passion for animal welfare and the arts, he is a self-proclaimed patron of live music based in New York City who prior to Blackbaud spent more time working with dogs than humans.

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