Create a Compelling Communications Plan for Giving Tuesday

Beginner, Donor Communication, Fundraising

By Jeremy Reis

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 29th. For organizations that rely on donations to support their work, Giving Tuesday is an important day to solicit donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

However, with so many organizations competing for donors’ attention on Giving Tuesday, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In order to be successful on Giving Tuesday, your organization needs to have a compelling communications plan. Below are some tips for creating a communications plan that will help your organization make the most of this global day of giving.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that takes place every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on December 1st. On this day, people around the world come together to support the causes they care about. For nonprofits, Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to generate donations and engage new supporters.

Why Develop a Giving Tuesday Communications Plan?

1. It’s a Great Way to Engage New and lapsed Donors

Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to reach out to new and lapsed donors. Why? Because people are already in a giving mood! The holidays are a time when people are thinking about others and how they can make a difference in the world. As a result, they’re more likely to be receptive to your nonprofit’s mission and open to engaging with your organization.

2. It Raises Awareness for Your Nonprofit

Giving Tuesday is also an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for your nonprofit. If you do it right, your communications plan can help you reach new audiences and broaden your donor base. In fact, last year alone, #GivingTuesday generated 2.6 billion impressions on Twitter!

3. It Helps You Increase Donations

Of course, one of the primary goals of Giving Tuesday is to increase donations. And while there’s no guaranteed way to do this, research has shown that nonprofits who use social media see an average 14% increase in donations compared to those who don’t use social media. So if you’re not using social media to reach potential donors on Giving Tuesday, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

Why You Need a Communications Plan

A communications plan will help ensure that your nonprofit’s message is heard loud and clear. A well-executed communications plan will also help you to track your progress and measure your success. Without a communications plan, it will be difficult to determine whether or not your Giving Tuesday campaign was successful.

How to Create a Compelling Communications Plan

1. Define your audience.

The first step in creating any communications plan is understanding who your audience is—and that’s especially true for Giving Tuesday. After all, if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, it will be very difficult to craft a message that resonates. So take some time to segment your donor base and better understand their motivations for giving. This will help you create more targeted, effective messaging down the road.

Before you can craft a compelling message, you need to know who you’re trying to reach. Take some time to segment your donor base and create targeted messaging for each segment. For example, if you’re trying to reach first-time donors, your message will be different than if you’re trying to soliciting a donation from a long-time supporter. By tailoring your message to your audience, you’ll be more likely to capture their attention and persuade them to donate.

Tip #1: Know your existing donors.

The first step in defining your audience is to take a look at your existing donor base. Who are they? What do they care about? What motivates them to give? Answering these questions will give you a good starting point for understanding who you should be targeting with your Giving Tuesday campaign.

Tip #2: Do some research.

In addition to looking at your existing donor base, it’s also a good idea to do some research on Giving Tuesday itself. What sorts of campaigns have been successful in the past? Who tends to donate on Giving Tuesday? Knowing this will help you fine-tune your audience definition and come up with a campaign that resonates.

Tip #3: Be specific.

It’s important to be as specific as possible when defining your audience. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to craft a campaign that speaks directly to them. For example, if you’re trying to reach young professionals, focusing on the impact of their donation rather than the amount itself may be more effective.

Tip #4: Mid and Major Donors

Typically, we don’t include major or midlevel donors in a Giving Tuesday segmentation as we have an end of the year proposal with them during this time. We don’t want to cannibalize our year-end giving with high capacity donors with a smaller Giving Tuesday ask.

2. Identify your channels.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you need to identify the channels through which you’ll reach them. Will you be sending emails? Posting on social media? Reaching out by telephone? It’s important to use a mix of channels in order to reach as many people as possible. However, don’t try to do too much; focus on using a few channels well rather than spreading yourself thin by trying to use too many channels at once. Email appeals is one of the most effective ways to raise money on Giving Tuesday.

Tip #1: Define Your Objectives

Before you can choose the right channels for your campaign, you need to define your objectives. What are you hoping to achieve with your campaign? Are you looking to raise awareness for your organization? Drive traffic to your website? Increase donations? Once you have a clear sense of your objectives, you can start to identify which channels will be most effective in helping you achieve them.

Tip #2: Identify Your Target Audience

Who do you want to reach with your Giving Tuesday campaign? Knowing your target audience is essential in choosing the right channels for your campaign. For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials, you’ll want to make sure your campaign is on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat that are popular with this demographic. On the other hand, if you’re trying Tryon to reach older adults, you may want to focus on print or online ads in addition to social media.

Tip #3: Consider Your Budget

Your budget will also play a role in deciding which channels to use for your Giving Tuesday campaign. If you have a limited budget, you may want to focus on free or low-cost channels like social media or email marketing. If money is not as much of an issue, then you can explore other options like television or radio advertisements.

No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of options available to get your Giving Tuesday campaign off the ground.

Tip #4: Measure Your Results

After your Giving Tuesday campaign has come to an end, it’s important to take some time to measure the results. Which channels performed best? Which ones drove the most traffic or donations? An analysis of your results will help you fine-tune your strategy for next year and ensure that each year your Giving Tuesday campaigns are more successful than the last.

3. Develop key messages.

Now that you know who you’re trying to reach and how you’re going to reach them, it’s time to develop your key messages. What points do you want to communicate in order bring attention to your cause and persuade people to donate? Make sure your messages are clear, concise, and remember to focus on the benefits of donating rather than simply asking for money outright.

Tip #1: Keep it Simple

When it comes to key messages, less is more. Donors are bombarded with requests for their time and money every day, so it’s important to make sure that your message is clear and to the point. Keep your wording simple and easy to understand, and avoid using jargon or acronyms that might not be familiar to everyone.

Tip #2: Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

What makes your nonprofit unique? Why should someone support you over another organization working in the same space? This is where you need to think about your organization’s core values and what sets you apart from the competition. Once you know what makes you special, you can start developing messaging around it.

Tip #3: Focus on the Why

Your key message should be focused on why your cause is important, not just what you’re trying to achieve. Donors want to know that their contribution will make a difference, so be sure to communicate how their gift will impact the lives of those you serve.

Tip #4: Appeal to Emotion

Make sure your key message speaks to the heart as well as the head by appealing to emotion. Stories are a powerful tool that can help donors connect with your cause on a personal level and understand why their support is so important.

4. Create compelling content.

Your content is what will actually capture people’s attention and persuade them to donate. This is where you’ll need to get creative in order showcase why your organization is worth supporting and what difference a donation will make. consider using video, infographics, or even just powerful storytelling in order connect with potential donors on an emotional level and inspire them take action.

Tip #1: Tell a story

People are naturally drawn to stories, so try to incorporate personal stories into your Giving Tuesday content. Share a heartwarming story about how your nonprofit has helped someone in need, or tell the story of someone who has been positively affected by your work. Stories are a great way to connect with donors on an emotional level and get them invested in your cause.

Tip #2: Use images and videos

Images and videos can be very effective in getting your message across on Giving Tuesday. People are more likely to remember a story if they see it accompanied by visuals, so be sure to use high-quality images and videos that tell your nonprofit’s story in a compelling way.

Tip #3: Be clear about what you’re asking for

When you’re fundraising on Giving Tuesday, be clear about what you’re asking donors for. Don’t try to hide the ask behind vague language or indirect requests; let donors know exactly how their money will be used and what impact their donation will have. Being upfront about your fundraising goals will make it more likely that donors will actually give.

Tip #4: Make it easy to donate

On Giving Tuesday (and every other day), make it as easy as possible for people to donate to your nonprofit. Include clear donate buttons on all of your content, and make sure that your donation page is simple and straightforward. The easier it is for people to donate, the more likely they’ll be to give on this important day of giving back.

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity for nonprofits to engage with their donors and raise money for their causes. By creating compelling content that tells a story, uses visuals, and is clear about what you’re asking for, you can make Giving Tuesday a success for your nonprofit. And don’t forget to make it easy for people to donate!

5. Set measurable goals.

Last but not least, it’s important that you set measurable goals for your Giving Tuesday communications plan before you launch it. This will help you track your progress and determine whether or not your plan was successful in meeting its objectives. Some questions you might want consider include: How many donors did we acquire? How much money did we raise? How much web traffic did our site receive? By setting measurable goals upfront, you’ll be able obtain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your Giving Tuesday communications plan post-campaign and use those learnings going forward.

Tip #1: Know Your Baseline

The first step is to know your baseline. How much money did your organization raise on Giving Tuesday last year? What was your average online donation? Knowing your numbers from previous years will help you set a realistic goal for this year. If you’re new to Giving Tuesday or if your organization didn’t participate last year, take a look at similar nonprofits in your field to see how much they raised. You can also use online tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Facebook Ads Benchmarking to get industry-specific data.

Tip #2: Set an Overall Goal

Now that you know your baseline, it’s time to set an overall goal for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Be sure to involve your team in this process so that everyone is on the same page and invested in the success of the campaign. When setting your goal, think about what you want to achieve with your campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Convert more visitors into donors? Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve, set a monetary goal that aligns with that objective. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, your goal could be to reach 10,000 people through social media with your #GivingTuesday hashtag or post.

Tip #3: Outline Your Strategies

After you’ve set an overall goal, it’s time to start thinking about which strategies you will use to reach it. What kind of content will you create? Which platforms will you use? Who will be responsible for each task? Outlining these details ahead of time will help ensure that everything runs smoothly on Giving Tuesday itself.

Tip #4: Create Milestones along the Way

It can be helpful to create milestones along the way so that you can track your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. For example, if your goal is to raise $10,000 on Giving Tuesday, you could break that down into smaller milestones of $2,500 increments. That way, if you find yourself falling behind schedule, you can adapt accordingly and make up the difference later on in the day.


With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way towards developing a communications plan that will help your organization make the most of Giving Tuesday 2022!


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