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Today is GivingTuesday - what do I do tomorrow?

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, the day when the world comes together (yes, the WORLD) to demonstrate philanthropy and generosity. Today is a day for organizations to share compelling stories and calls to action - a day when former donors will step up again, and new donors will find a way to offer support.

Personally, GivingTuesday has always fascinated me.

GivingTuesday was initiated in 2012 by Henry Timms at the 92nd Street Y in New York. It was born as an idea and a hope to combat the commercialism of Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

Simply put—a day to give, not to get.

As your organization’s Chief Development Officer or development team staff (we wear lots of hats and have many titles), you should take a minute this morning to breathe… your planning is complete, your social media is posted, the links are all working, and you are watching donations come in from new friends and old.

But then…there is tomorrow. A day that is best started with a LARGE (Venti depending on your brand choice!) cup of coffee as you have officially entered the Year-End Giving Season!!!

TOP Priority - Say Thank you.

  • If you had businesses that partnered with you, THANK them publicly through your social media channels.

  • Say Thank you to all who donated through social, email blasts, etc. Use these communications to continue the conversation about your mission and the impact their donations will have on your organization’s work (videos are a fun tool and get way more interaction)

  • Say thank you personally to those who gave larger gifts, who you know, and who shared the “ask” with their friends. Send a personal note or call them. If you get a voicemail- leave a personalized thank you message, not just thanks for the donation.

  • Engage your team, your organization leadership, the Board, and volunteers - saying thank you is so much easier than asking…Here’s an opportunity for everyone to participate in development!

Memorialize your efforts

There are some excellent reasons to do this…

  1. If your plan worked, you can do something similar next year without starting from scratch.

    1. This will include those who supported your efforts—your Board, Volunteers, and staff and how they helped out. For example, each Board member made ten calls, each volunteer stuffed 25 envelopes, etc.

    2. What social posts got the most shares, likes etc.

    3. Timing

      1. When you started communicating about Giving Tuesday

      2. What hours of the day did you see the most donations?

And don’t forget to add every new donor to your database (or donor spreadsheet/ CRM)

Now, it is time to refill your beverage of choice, maybe even grab a snack, and get your year-end Giving plan into high gear.

If you still need to start to plan to secure year-end donors-

STOP EVERYTHING ELSE you are doing and make a plan.


30% of annual giving occurs in December.

10% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year.

First, Assess your previous year-end campaign and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did we reach our campaign goal?

  • Was the fundraising total more or less than what we expected?

  • Who were our biggest contributors?

  • Which marketing platforms received the most engagement?

  • What was our average donation size?

  • What were the demographics of our year-end donors?

  • What aspects of the campaign can we improve this year?

THEN…Determine this year’s goals based on past efforts. For instance, set a fundraising goal that’s slightly higher than in previous years.

And…develop a plan to tackle other aspects of your year-end fundraising campaign that didn’t reach their full potential.

Then- QUICKLY craft a case for support.

A case for support tells donors why you need their help and what their donations will achieve. It forms the basis of your year-end giving letter.

Build your case for support around individual stories and compelling examples of how your nonprofit is making an impact. This helps put a face to your appeal and generate empathy and enthusiasm for your cause.

And, don’t forget to include a call to action and several links to donate NOW!

And remember: your year-end giving campaign and marketing efforts should be held together by a unified brand. Ensure all of your marketing materials reflect your organization’s brand by incorporating your logo, fonts, colors, and tone of voice. This includes your digital and social media messaging.

Now it is time to set up a calendar for the deployment of your digital messaging (if you have not yet put together a mailer, I am afraid the window has probably closed- this is the most popular method, so you may want to look at starting earlier next year)


Most Nonprofits generate at least two "touches" with supporters during the

Year-end fundraising season using a variety of marketing platforms.

In January- EXHALE…then—

Say Thank you (see above)

Review how it went and memorialize lessons learned

And celebrate your good work!!!

Feeling overwhelmed…Team Kat & Mouse can help!

We can help you set up a last-minute plan for year-end success…Reach Out TODAY!!!


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