Your Quick and Dirty Last-Minute Giving Tuesday Checklist

The holiday commercials have already started, radio stations are playing Christmas music, and stores have busted out the seasonal décor. It’s that time of year again…and that means #GivingTuesday, the sixth annual international 24-hour giving challenge originally created by the 92 Street Y and the UN Foundation, is only a few weeks away.

Ideally, you started planning weeks ago (months?), and all your web pages and blog posts and Tweets are happily resting in a queue, waiting for you to hit that “Send” button.

Here’s a quick-and-dirty checklist to help your nonprofit put the final touches for the big day.

1. Develop Your #GivingTuesday Campaign Concept & Goals

The first step is figuring out what you want the campaign to be about, and how much money you need to raise. If you already have a holiday or end-of-year fundraising or marketing campaign in place, consider tying #GivingTuesday into it to save time and resources. Try to focus on a specific campaign goal, i.e. raising $10,000 to fund a school, or finding homes for 20 shelter dogs.

To Dos & Tips

  • Create a campaign concept that is item-specific, dollar-specific, or time-specific.
  • Use the SMART framework to solidify your goals
  • Determine now if you will set donation tiers and offer incentives or rewards
  • Review case studies of successful #GivingTuesday campaigns and get ideas at

2. Develop Your #GivingTuesday Communication & Stories

You may not have a lot of time, but you cannot forget to craft a message and story that resonates with your audience and inspires new and existing donors to give. You also want to make sure your content is shareable and not bogged down in technical jargon or a complex medium. Your message must have immediate impact on this busy day when thousands of nonprofits are competing for attention.

To Dos & Tips

  • Craft stories that show short and long-term impact. Donors want to know how and when their gift will make a difference.
  • Create opportunities for your community and partners to share your message across different mediums within their networks.
  • Less is more. Stunning, simple visuals or short, poignant blog posts work better than longreads and a 5-minute video.
  • Tease the beginning…and the end. Give your community the heads up with small sneak peeks, and hint at what a successful outcome looks like beyond #GivingTuesday.

3. Rally Your Community for #GivingTuesday

The best story and the most compelling fundraising appeal don’t matter if your audience isn’t primed and informed about your campaign. But you don’t want to crowd the editorial calendar and fatigue your community before December 2 either, so you’ll need to be smart about how, when, and where you prep potential donors.

To Dos & Tips

  • Give your community a heads up to “save the date.” Send a preview email a few days ahead, and prime them on social media.
  • Use your partners and peers. #GivingTuesday is an all-in movement – so make the most of potential collaborations to reach a wider audience.
  • Put your superactivists to work. If you use peer-to-peer fundraising, call on your team captains to go the extra mile. Ask bigger donors and folks who frequently engage with your org on social to be an ambassador for your campaign.
  • Make your audience a part of the campaign: solicit their stories, use their voices, and test their ideas.

Get more ideas and resources to help plan and execute your nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday campaign on CauseVox.

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John Haydon