Insights to Power Social Good

Turnkey Strategy to Immediately Kickstart #GivingTuesday

Posted by S. Townshend on Nov 2, 2016 11:15:52 AM




A 2016 Guide to Gear Up Your 2017

#GivingTuesday has been growing steadily since its inception in 2012 and there is an opportunity for your nonprofit to leverage this movement to slingshot you into a growth phase. Let’s close out the year strong while adding tremendous momentum to your organization next year.

NOV 29th is Right Around the Corner!

Nonprofit Quarterly noted last year that on these online collaborative giving days, you’ll see new donors who have never given to your organization before, and that’s often a result of social giving, where your existing supporters are acting as fundraisers and introducing their family and friends to your cause.

There’s also this collective social focus that turns to a more compassionate sense of giving back as we’re mindful and thankful for the feast that Thanksgiving brings and cherish the time spent with loved ones in December.

As we approach the 5th year of this day focused on giving, we’ve mashed some pertaters of resources to help butter up your organization, optimize donations collected the day of, and leverage the new connections made to add new members to your community of supporters.

Ahh ain’t we just as sweet as pumpkin pie?! (BTW… Here’s a good recipe we found for some #PPie. #Yum)


#GivingTuesday is an event that can be leveraged to integrate social media, end-of-year giving, earned media, and donor engagement.

  • mGive saw a 54% increase in text donations on #GivingTuesday from 2014 to 2015.

  • Blackbaud processed more than $39.7 million in online donations - a 33% increase over 2014.

  • #GivingTuesday generated 1.3 million social media mentions and 114 billion impressions on Twitter.

Preparation is key for a successful #GivingTuesday, and you can use the new connections made on that day to begin building relationships with your community of supporters to convert them to recurring donors and advocates for your organization.


If you haven’t preheated the oven of groundwork for #GivingTuesday, now is the time. Text and giving go together like football and Thanksgiving. Football coach Tom Landry hit the nail on the head when he said, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.


Thanks to ESPN for the photo

People aren’t going to give to your organization simply because it’s #GivingTuesday. There are thousands of nonprofits that will be competing for donations, so it’s important to connect with supporters and give people a reason to give to your organization.

“Give people a reason to give…”

Social media is increasingly driving awareness of text giving campaigns. It’s the second most likely way text donors learn of campaigns, according to our 2015 mGive Text Donation Study. Give your current followers and supporters something that they can and want to share with their family and friends to branch out and make connections with new donors.

  • Use compelling images on social media that include your mobile Call to Action (with the required compliance language).

  • Use hashtags thoughtfully and wisely. Consider #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie. You can also use which is a great, free resource for finding relevant hashtags to reach your target audience. Repeat your calls to action and ask others to retweet.

  • Use Facebook and Instagram to tell your story visually. Include links to your website or other company social media pages.

The #GivingTuesday toolkit recommends sending 2-3 social media messages per week during this time to start building the buzz. Align these social messages with text messages out to your mobile community. Since nearly 100% of your mobile messages will be read, we recommend sending one outbound text per week.

Make sure your website, donation page, and marketing communications are optimized for mobile viewing. The Dunham and Company Online Fundraising Scorecard from 2014 noted that over 50% of emails are now read on a mobile device and website views on desktops are in decline. #PowerOfMobile

Contact your local press and city governments to find out what promotions or programs are planned that your organization can participate in. The #GivingTuesday Messaging Toolkit [Resource] includes a mobile messaging template that you can work from, if needed.

Consider holding an event on #GivingTuesday where you can promote your keyword. Live calls to action are some of the most effective, and anytime you can get in front of people to present your organization’s mission and directly ask for donations is a great opportunity to raise funds. It’s important to determine a strategy for mobile messaging that will engage your supporters and encourage them to share.


Mobile is a very powerful tool to use on collaborative giving days, because text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate (Mobile Marketing Watch). Your supporters may come across one of your posts, and they have about a 20% chance of opening your email. In this situation where time is of the essence, you absolutely want to take advantage of the higher open rate of mobile.

Mobile... 98% open rate, email has only a 20% open rate

Mobile with 98% open rates. Email with 20% open rates.

You can send out polls asking for feedback, or send links to Facebook or Twitter posts that your supporters can easily share. Also determine your evaluation strategy and how you will gauge your success. mGive’s reports can help track responsiveness to text messaging by tracking metrics such as number of short URL clicks and click-through rates, donation data per hour, and new subscribers to your mobile community with Text to Give.



Make sure your organization is visually active on #GivingTuesday.

People may be warmed up to give on that day, but if your organization doesn’t come up on their radar, you won’t have a chance of receiving a donation from them.

The cure for this is to be actively messaging all day. Be active on social media by sharing responses from your community and recognizing achievements as they are made. Send at least one outbound text on #GivingTuesday to remind your supporters to take action. Use our Social Share tool to craft messages for donors to share with their Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Encourage them to show their support and encourage their friends to get involved.

Encourage #UNselfies!

#UNselfies are the photos people post on social media of themselves holding a handwritten sign that they donated to a specific organization. #GivingTuesday has #UNselfie toolkit available on their website. The more supporters post #UNselfies, the more of their connections are going to see that your cause is one that a friend has found worthy. They are a great way to start building a personal connection with a stranger.


Encourage all of your organization’s staff, volunteers, and advocates to be ready to share information on how to donate. Make sure they have your donation keyword and shortcode memorized so they can share it at any time.

Pro tip: Collecting one-time micro-donations is not a successful long-term strategy. Always invite supporters to join your mobile community to continue to cultivate the relationships. Make sure that your call to action is audience-appropriate. Don’t be boring; your call to action must be emotional. Use visual and verbal calls to action to encourage participation, and don’t forget that repetition is key!



Julia Campbell at J Social marketing posted an excellent blog on how to follow up after #GivingTuesday, (see her post here). We loved her list, and added our own mobile twist for following up with #GivingTuesday (or any other fundraising push).

Send thank you notes immediately.


With mobile, you can create a thank you text messages to be sent to your donors as soon as they complete their donations. If those donors have also opted-in to your mobile community, then you can use their information to send them more targeted thank you messages.

Campbell puts it very nicely on her blog, “There is going to be another big thing tomorrow to capture their minds. You want to stay in the forefront of their minds and make sure they feel appreciated while you have their attention.

Continue the conversation by sending a personal and positive message after the event. Mobile best practices indicate that you should thank your supporters 3x more than you ask for monetary donations. You can try sending a Collect Data message to ask for feedback or suggestions.

Analyze how the call to action was executed and run the reports determined in your evaluation strategy. If appropriate, we can add a unique identifier to supporters in your mGive reporting so you know they were at the event. Please contact for details.

Thank your supporters 3x more than you ask for monetary donations.

Keep a separate list of the #GivingTuesday donors. It’s a common misconception that mobile donations are anonymous. In reality, it’s only anonymous if you let it be. Ask your supporters to opt-in to your mobile community and then ask them to share information about themselves and how they want to be contacted. You can use this information to segment them into a special #GivingTuesday group, or segment this list even further and send them information relevant to what they are interested in.

Celebrate your accomplishments!

“Update your supporters on how much your organization raised and whether or not you met your goal. If you met it, then celebrate! If you are close, explain what needs to be done to get to the goal in the next few days,” Campbell says.

Text is an easy way to communicate your goals and achievements with your mobile community. If they gave you their mobile number, then they want to hear from you - update them and let them know how they can help!

Demonstrate the impact that collected donations have had. #GivingTuesday is a great way to show how your organization is changing the world, but we know you don’t only help on one day. Ask your mobile community what they want to hear about and how they want to help, then send them information they are interested in.

Continue engaging your community throughout the year to strengthen relationships with your supporters, and give more reasons for them to give again and again and again...



So there you have it... a turkey filled, doozy of a post to ninja kick your #GivingTuesday into HIGH GEAR. We’d recommend you check out the messaging toolkit we put together for you, it’s got a template marketing send strategy you can copy/pasta or just iterate on to engage your audience this #GivingTuesday drive.

And don’t forget to remember why you’re doing this… and how to communicate it with you audience. You really are helping to #InspireChange.

So own it. Be bold.

Let’s go change the world together.

Thank you & be well,

S. Townshend


p.s. If mobile’s on your radar, be sure to reach out to chat with one of our advisors. They’ve worked with tons of nonprofits big and small and are experts in how you can add mobile giving to your quiver this end of year giving season.

p.p.s. beware… it takes a little time to get your keyword active with the mobile carriers so don’t wait on this… chat with one us today so you can get up and running with mobile! #PowerOfMobile

New Call-to-action

Topics: Marketing, Fundraising, #GivingTuesday

Receive Fundraising, Acquisition, and Cultivation Tips by Email

Resources to Mobilize Your Organization

2015 Text Donation Study

Follow Us

Most Popular Posts