10 Ways Hospital Foundations Can Use Giving Tuesday to Enhance End-of-Year Giving | npENGAGE

10 Ways Hospital Foundations Can Use Giving Tuesday to Enhance End-of-Year Giving

By on Sep 5, 2018


Giving Tuesday tips

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about #GivingTuesday. It is held the Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (and after the commercial Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and is a huge fundraising day for thousands of nonprofits and social good organizations. Is your hospital foundation one of them? 

Whether or not you’ve participated in the past, you’ve probably wondered, “How do I make the most of this day without detracting from my end-of-year activities?”  Fair question for sure.  While #GivingTuesday is a huge fundraising day, it doesn’t compare to the last day of the year.  

However, we may be focusing on the wrong outcome for #GivingTuesday.  Yes, of course, we hope to bring in dollars on #GivingTuesday but what if we had a secondary goal? When you think about it, #GivingTuesday is well positioned to tee-up your year-end fundraising campaign! It can be a day for lead generation, deeper engagement through calls to action, and acquiring first-time donors. It is well scheduled; set about four weeks away from the end of the year – just enough time to complete a welcome series and make your first ask or a subsequent ask.   

I thought about this and realized I haven’t seen many people talking about using #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to not only generate donations, but also to acquire, retain, and engage supporters for future giving. So, I’ve listed ten different #GivingTuesday activities you can execute that can bring in donors to enhance your year-end efforts. 

Lead Generation on #GivingTuesday 

#GivingTuesday is about 4 weeks away from the end of the year. This is plenty of time to welcome a new email supporter through a series of emails, get to know them a little better, and have them participate in a call-to-action. 

  1. Hold a 12 Days of Christmas or (other holiday milestone) email raffle: Raffle off prizes for each day in exchange for email entries. 
    -This is a great way to keep your new email leads on the edge of their seats! Each day announce a new raffle winner and prize. Tell your new supporters about yourself and encourage them to make a donation or take another call to action.  
  1. Have them sign a pledge: This is a GREAT time of year to ask your community to pledge to eat healthy this holiday season or to start out healthy in January. 
    -Ask for their email and in return, send emails with holiday health suggestions from different hospital departments. Then be sure to ask for your donation at the end of the year! 

Engage on #GivingTuesday 

Let’s be honest, many perceive hospital foundations to have a very niche/elite donor set. However, if you’re looking to debunk that image and gain more donor market share in your community, here are two ideas to build brand awareness and donations. 

  1. Around town fun for funds: Get local restaurants, entertainment venues (movie theaters, kids playhouses), and stores, to donate a % of their profits to the foundation this #GivingTueseday. 
    -Have signage at all locations educating patrons on the work the hospital does for the community. Include stories of patients helped and collect email addresses at each location so you can solitict for end of year! 
  1. Photobooths around town: Work with a photobooth rental company to put photobooths in random places around your town. The proceeds from the photos go to the foundation. 
    -Have each photobooth marked with your brand and have it share information about your foundation. You may even be able to find a company that can share the photos with you so can use them on social media. And don’t forget to collect emails to solicit for end of year! 
  1. Recruit grateful patient social ambassadors: Provide your grateful patients an easy way to encourage their friends and family to donate by leveraging a comprehensive peer-to-peer fundraising platform that integrates with social media.
    -Then cultivate those friends and family who are new to your list for your end of year campaign! 

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Retain on #GivingTuesday 

Providing calls to action for all your supporters, gives you a chance to reconnect with them prior to the end of the year. Supporters who take positive action during #GivingTuesday can be segmented off for end of year as a more highly engaged audience. 

  1. Email match campaign: Run a 24-hour match campaign with either one or multiple matching gifts per individual donation. 
    -Ask those supporters who participated in the #GivingTuesday match campaign to become monthly donors at the end of year. 
  1. Sustainer campaign: Ask your donors to up the ante this #GivingTuesday by becoming monthly donors. 
    -Then ask if they can add $1 more to their monthly gift at the end of the year. In between the two milestones, communicate the value of their gift and what one more dollar could accomplish. 

Delight on #GivingTuesday 

Entertaining or accommodating your supporters on #GivingTuesday sets you apart from the crowd of asks and gives you an opportunity to use what works again, during your end of year campaign. 

  1. Grateful patient story campaignHearing from patients who have benefited from your hospital and/or foundation can be incredibly impactful. Instead of asking for dollars on #GivingTuesday, ask for stories. Use a platform such as GatherVoices to collect your stories more easily. 
    -Then you can use some of the best performing stories in your fundraising for end of year! 
  1. Employee giving campaignMake it easy for hospital employees to give by launching an employee giving campaign on #GivingTuesday. 
    -Then for end of year, ask employees to commit another 1% for 2019 or to make a bonus year end donation. 
  1. Clinician dareWhat could be better than seeing your favorite doctor getting slimed? Whoever donates the largest gift or wins a donor raffle on #GivingTuesday gets to dare their favorite doctor to do something crazy! This could be great for children’s hospitals or tight-knit community hospitals.
    -Have the clinician up the ante for end of year and have them promise to do something even bigger if you reach your year-end goal. 

Hopefully these ideas got the creative juices flowing. Sit down with your team or board and brainstorm unique ways you can stand out this #GivingTuesday. And be sure to talk about your follow up and how you’re going to use #GivingTuesday to lead into your year-end campaign. They don’t have to compete with each other, they can support and enrich the experience for your donors!




Jamie Mueller consults and supports organizations on their digital marketing and fundraising strategies with a special emphasis on leveraging social media influencers for increased engagement and support. Jamie’s background is in nonprofit program management. She worked with local nonprofits, federal advocacy associations, and at United Way Worldwide. Jamie became interested in the innovative technology driving nonprofit advocacy and fundraising campaigning and started working in business development at Change.org. She worked with over 100 organizations on their online advocacy campaigns and then began helping nonprofits find their most powerful advocates while working at Attentive.ly. At Blackbaud, Jamie supported nonprofits pursuing online acquisition and engagement strategies through email, websites, and social media.

Jamie lives in Lovettsville, VA with her husband, twin girls, dog, and two cats.

Comments (12)

  • Lauren Fardella says:

    We are always looking for ways to revamp our Giving Tuesday efforts, we do not have a good response during the last 3 years of actively promoting it.

  • Lawrence Rush says:

    Great ideas!

  • Heather says:

    All good tips!

  • Angie Stumpo says:

    Good ideas for maybe switching things up for Giving Tuesday.

  • KaLeigh says:

    LOVE these ideas! Very excited!

  • Brett Chapman says:

    Interesting ideas

  • Veronica says:

    we have not done much with Giving Tuesday. We tried to launch something with other not for profits and it was not very successful. Our demographics are more elderly so it is harder to get them on board with tech savvy giving ideas.
    I hope in the future we will be able to incorporate Giving Tuesday better.

  • Sage says:

    #9 is a fantastic idea! I love the 1%!

  • MK says:

    We haven’t really participated in Giving Tuesday as MN and ND both have their own giving days but we could use some of these ideas for those. Thanks!

  • Linda says:

    Thank you for the ideas! We are going to have one of our physicians spearhead the campaign. Having a researcher explain why they do what they do for our community speaks volumes. We will tie in a patient story to complement the piece as well.

  • Mike says:

    Interesting Ideas

  • Kaleb Miller says:

    Love leveraging this day to get new first time donors in the pipeline. Great thoughts!

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