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Last Minute Dos and Don'ts for #GivingTuesday

The largest global giving day of the year is just around the corner! Did you know that 2.5 million gifts were made on #GivingTuesday 2017, raising more than $300 million for nonprofits around the world? If you don’t have a plan in place for the “Global Giving Movement” you’re missing out on an opportunity to raise more money this year by attracting new donors and engaging the ones you already have. But if you are capitalizing on this opportunity and are working tirelessly to finalize all those details and communications, let’s talk about some last minute tips and tricks to help you survive and thrive on the big day!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I do my own #GivingTuesday secret shopper experiment each year by donating to a number of nonprofits and documenting my experiences. Check out my #GivingTuesday post from 2017. I’ll be honest in saying that many of my experiences have left a lot to be desired. But there’s hope!


  • Create an experience for your online donors - it should be clean, simple, and make them feel good.

  • Develop a strategy for these donors - these aren’t your average donors and you shouldn’t treat them as such. Some nonprofits do a separate campaign just for #GivingTuesday. Decide how you’ll communicate with these donors and how you’ll engage them when all the glitter and excitement from #GivingTuesday wears off.

  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. This is a given, but just in case your giving site is still living in 2010, now is the time to make sure it’s responsive and easy to use on any mobile device.

  • Pay attention to details - Click through your giving page. Better yet, make a gift to your organization online or ask someone who isn’t familiar with your website to do it for you and share their experience. What was it like? Was it easy to navigate? Was the form simple to understand and complete - even on a mobile device? Check for typos, broken links, and error messages.

  • Create a giving button that inspires! Something like this is so much better than “Make a gift” or “Submit”.

  • Provide donors with a way to share their support on social media and make sure the share button is properly configured.

  • Engage with your donors on social media - Make it personal and please make sure to spell his/her name correctly in your response. Details matter!

  • Design a confirmation page that leaves your donors smiling and feeling great. Use an uplifting image, thank them, and let them know how much you appreciate their gift.

  • Create a fabulous thank you email. No, a gift receipt doesn’t count. Make it personal and make the donor the hero - because they are! Bonus points if you include a video! (I always recommend Thankview for personalized thank you videos).

  • Use beautiful images. Draw the donor in with a compelling image that resonates with them and speaks to the mission of your organization.

  • Provide giving amounts that make sense, or better yet, use mission-based ask amounts. Are there specific dollar amounts that can really make an impact at your organization? Show your donors what their gifts can do up front.

  • Give donors an option to sign up as monthly supporters. A pop up window is a great way to remind them that they can make an even bigger impact.


  • Provide a minimum gift amount. I once tried to make a gift to an organization that wouldn’t accept anything less than $20. PASS.

  • Ask for another gift the same day - seriously? I can’t even believe I have to say this but it has happened more than once.

  • Send a receipt as a thank you email. Please be more creative than this.

  • THASK - Do not ever combine a thank you and an ask. Nothing feels more insincere than, “Thank you for your $50 donation, but can we have some more?” This shouldn’t happen on #GivingTuesday or any other day. Stop it. #nothasking

  • Mail the thank you or tax receipt - unless it’s a handwritten thank you card, then you can mail that! Online gifts = digital communications. Your donors are telling you how they want to be engaged by the way they are engaging with you. Listen and respond appropriately.

  • Make your suggested gift amounts outrageously high. You can choose what’s best for your organization, but always be sure include a reasonable amount ($10, $25, etc.) and an “other” option. Don’t be this organization.

  • Ask your donors to pay your bank fees - this is the cost of doing business!

  • Forget the most important thing to do is to THANK YOUR DONORS. Once, twice, preferably seven times before you ask them for another gift.

Hopefully you can avoid some of these pitfalls this year and truly make your #GivingTuesday stand out and shine! November and December are the single biggest giving months of the year – just because you have an influx of donors and workloads become heavier, don’t let your donors, especially #GivingTuesday donors, fall into the black hole and lose their importance and stature. Make sure and develop specialized ways to steward and communicate with these donors past January 1st – your dedication to THEM will translate to their loyalty to YOU.

Share your #GivingTuesday successes with us below! Happy Thanksgiving and have a joyful #GivingTuesday!



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