How to Prepare For Giving Tuesday

Preparing for Giving Tuesday


By Emily Garman,

It’s never too late to start planning your campaign. If you’re reading this and it’s October or November, don’t worry! Just adjust this timeline, be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have left, and get to work!


Decide whether you want to run a one-day campaign, just on Giving Tuesday, or if you want to run a year-end campaign that kicks off on #GivingTuesday

Set a goal: Don’t have any idea? Try this formula: average donation x number of donors = goal.

Also consider prior performance, external comparables (lots of orgs will be running campaigns too), and the cost of running your campaign (paid ads, printing, etc). Make sure your goal is achievable. Once you reach it, raise the goal. Repeat until the campaign ends.

Do as much ahead of time as you can. Write and schedule emails and posts, create graphics and videos. You’ll have plenty to do DURING the campaign with updating supporters, recognizing donors and answering questions.

Map out each piece of your campaign. How many emails will you send? When will you send them? How many posts will you make? On what platforms? Write them out and schedule them. Of course, you’ll write specific posts and updates during the campaign, but you can write a lot of your content ahead of time.

Assign roles for who is going to do what on your team for #GivingTuesday. Figure out all the pieces of your campaign: writing copy Creating graphics? Setting up donate button/page/form? Taking pictures? Creating video? Composing emails?

If you plan to collaborate with another organization or company, iron out those details as early as possible, and put them in writing (who’s doing what, how much they will give, in what way, when, etc.)

Activate your social media followers and ask them to share stories of why they support your organization in written, photographic and/or video form. Get permission to use these stories in your #GivingTuesday materials (You’ll need lots of content!).

Think about your evaluation strategy. How will you track and measure your campaign goal? Do you have a way to collect donor information? Make sure you have tracking turned on in your website and any other relevant software. If you plan to use Facebook’s donation tool be sure to get signed up ahead of time at signup. It may take a week or more to be approved.

Share your plan and goal via email, social media, and/or press release or launch party, and start spreading the word about your plans. See if your city or state is planning a community campaign for #GivingTuesday. If they are, reach out to that team to see how you can get involved or be included.


Send a save the date. Make sure your supporters have the date marked on their calendars, and that YOU are the charity they’ll support.

Start scheduling regular social media messages to get people thinking about your campaign.

Pitch your local press. There’s usually a LOT of coverage for #GivingTuesday, so don’t wait! Especially because our field has such a great opportunity for visuals (hello, cute animals!).

Send “One Month to Go” email and social media messages to make sure your board, staff, and community know that you are in the final countdown for #GivingTuesday. (Remember, you can write all of this stuff in advance!)

If you are planning an in-person event or celebration on Giving Tuesday, send out invitations!


Go big on social media! There’s less than a month to go — tweet, post, snap, share and do whatever you can to get your campaign out there.

Remember to update your community about your campaign throughout the day. Share your progress towards your goal and use the buzz and momentum from the day to build excitement for your campaign.

The Day After — Send out thank you messages in emails and on social media. Share any initial results.


Report results from your campaign. Collect data and have a staff meeting to talk about it. What went well? What didn’t go as expected? What was surprising? What could you change next year?

Say thank you to your staff, donors, volunteers, partners and community– publicly (social media) and mailed/ emailed individual thank-yous. Continue to use the momentum from #GivingTuesday to boost your end-of-year or holiday campaign.

Emily Garman has been a foster mom and animal welfare volunteer for 20 years and founded in 2008 to teach animal advocates how to use social media to raise money, recruit volunteers and save more lives. She presents on next-generation fundraising, social media and internet marketing all over North America.