How Canadian Cancer Society Increased Donations by 78% During #GivingTuesday | npENGAGE

How Canadian Cancer Society Increased Donations by 78% During #GivingTuesday

By on Dec 18, 2014


Increase Donations

Over the past couple weeks we’ve heard about the continued growth and success of the #GivingTuesday movement. Over 15,000 nonprofits across 68 countries participated this year, with an estimated $45.68 million raised, a 63% increase in total donations over 2013 according to the Case Foundation.

This day of giving is truly becoming an international movement and tradition gaining momentum each year since its founding in 2012.

Are you tapping in to the increased posture of philanthropy on this day?

One organization that’s really tapping in to the potential of #GivingTuesday to advance their mission is the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) who saw a 78% increase in donations during the week of #GivingTuesday this year, and an 85% increase in the number of donations they received!

canadian cancer society
I recently spoke with Mike Kirkpatrick, Director of Marketing at Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario who shared their story with me, and here are four factors I believe led to their success that you can use in 2015.

Start your campaign early

CCS began emailing constituents a week out from #GivingTuesday. They didn’t wait until Tuesday morning to send their first message; they got on their constituents radar early and gave them ample time to make plans to give. Cancer research funding is very competitive right now, but because of their strategic approach, CCS was top of mind by the time #GivingTuesday rolled around.

Additionally, CCS didn’t just use one channel to market their #GivingTuesday campaign, they shared a consistent and targeted message across their social pages, email lists, and website banners.

canadian cancer society giving tuesday

Build upon the Buzz

CCS focused on the tangibility of what they were trying to fund instead of on just a general day of giving. CCS is well known as being an innovator in cancer research, and they solidified that message on #GivingTuesday, setting out to fund an entire project called the Great Canadian Innovation Grant.

CCS successfully reached their goal of funding this project by tapping in to the potential of #GivingTuesday all while spreading their mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Focus on the Follow-Up

Unlike a Black Friday coupon or Cyber Monday email, your cause is one that deserves attention 365 days of the year, not one that expires at Midnight. CCS kept the conversation going with donors beyond #GivingTuesday by sending out an immediate “Thank You” follow-up and setting expectations for updates on the Great Canadian Innovation Grant supporters would receive in the New Year.

In being deliberate in their entire strategy, from announcement, to ask, to follow-up, CCS is delighting these one-day donors in to recurring supporters of their cause.

Rally the Troops

One of the great things about #GivingTuesday is it makes you realize you are a part of something bigger as a donor, as a charity, and as a nonprofit professional.

 It was great to be a part of such an initiative this year, for the first time we had an initiative that was deployed simultaneously across Canada and we were all in sync as to how it will be done, but most importantly why we were doing it, to save more lives. And the results and response from all our supporters/donors was amazing. – Samuel Gomez Recuero, Online Technical Support Officer, Canadian Cancer Society Quebec division

When it comes to a growing annual event like #GivingTuesday It’s important to start early, build on the buzz, focus on the follow-up, and get your colleagues on board. Don’t think about receiving a gift on #GivingTuesday then moving on (think bigger than that), think about how you will retain that donor and delight them in to an advocate for your cause throughout the year!

We’d love to hear your takeaways from #GivingTuesday this year. Share in the comments below.


Michael Beahm is Customer Advocate Marketing Manager at Blackbaud and manages the Blackbaud Champions program. In his spare time, Michael is husband, father of two boys, runner, and a coffee-holic. Connect with him on twitter @mabeahm.

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