Launch this year’s day of giving with one of these inspirational Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas.

Your Giving Tuesday campaign should be innovative and built to inspire giving. Sometimes coming up with a good one-day fundraiser is tough. To make it easier, brainstorm with your team and decide how you want to approach Giving Tuesday this year well in advance. If you need help planning, we’ve created a comprehensive Giving Tuesday Workbook to help you out.

A good Giving Tuesday Campaign idea is one that can be easily shared on social media, create a sense of urgency, and compel donors to want to get involved. Here are five ideas to get you started.

Go Live All Day With a Give-a-Thon

A popular giving drive for TV and radio stations is an on-air donation marathon. This works great on social media because now you can use Periscope on Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or YouTube Live in order to broadcast your Give-a-Thon event for Giving Tuesday.

To conduct this kind of Giving Tuesday campaign, you will need to make sure you have plenty of material to talk about while you’re live on the air for approximately twenty-four hours. Gather up cause stories, ask social media influencers to participate, and schedule interviews with key donors or people who have benefited from your cause.

Phoenix children's Giveathon
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Give-a-thon.

Let your social media and donor base know about the marathon beforehand through email blasts and social media posts. Creating a Facebook Event Page will also give people a place to keep track of your event information and let their friends know they ’re interested.

Facebook event pages are wonderful tools to get more organic reach out of your social media posts. Events are distributed more widely when people who know each other mark themselves as “Interested” or “Going.” When you post them, followers of your page are also notified through their notifications settings, so you’re guaranteed to catch the attention of more people.

To broadcast your live event on social media, we recommend using BeLive to go live on Facebook. But, you can always use the native video streaming tools on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube as well. If you choose to use YouTube, there is also a way to embed the live broadcast from YouTube on your WordPress website, described on the WordPress support page.

To conduct a Give-a-thon, complete the following steps:

  1. Set up your Giving Tuesday donation landing page with a goal bar or countdown.
  2. Create a Facebook Event Page.
  3. Send a “Save the Date” email blast.
  4. Schedule social media posts leading up to the event.
  5. Ask influencers, donors, and people who have benefitted from your cause to participate.
  6. Plan discussion topics.
  7. Go live on time.
  8. Engage with comments and interactions during your broadcast.
  9. Stop broadcasting when you reach your goal or the day is over.
  10. Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  11. Write up a recap of how the day went and post to social media.

Complete a Challenge With Every Accomplished Goal

A Giving Tuesday donation campaign is nothing without a little incentive for donors to give. The easiest incentive is to make yourself look like a fool.

The ice bucket challenge made this kind of campaign particularly appealing. While the ice bucket challenge wasn’t structured in this format, it still brought the concept of posting ridiculous media content as a nonprofit organization to the internet. It also raised a lot of money in the process.

For this Giving Tuesday campaign, choose a series of benchmarks between your first donation and your goal. These are going to become the three to five points throughout the day when you, someone in your organization, or a local celebrity will complete a predetermined challenge.

We recommend increasing the intensity of your challenge with every goal reached. For example, at your first $100 complete something easy, like a pie to the face. When you reach $500, increase the difficulty level of your challenge. Shave someone’s head or make a volunteer go running through a crowded area announcing your success. Post the videos to social media.

Teacher shaving Head Challenge
Everyone remembers when their teacher or principle got a pie to the face or had to shave their head because the students met some sort of goal. Take this same concept and do it through social media and your website.

You can also include these challenges in a live broadcast if you choose to do a give-a-thon. Get creative.

To conduct a challenge-based donation campaign, complete these steps:

  1. Outline your goal benchmarks and challenges to be completed.
  2. Set up a donation form with a goal bar set at your minimum goal.
  3. Create a Facebook Event Page.
  4. Send a “Save the Date” email blast.
  5. Schedule social media posts leading up to the event.
  6. Post and engage in real time on social media during Giving Tuesday.
  7. Post your challenge video or photo when your first goal is reached.
  8. Update your goal for the Giving Tuesday donation form for your next challenge benchmark.
  9. Continue this process until you have reached your final goal or the day is over.
  10. Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  11. Write up a recap of how the day went and post to social media.

Hold a Voting Contest

Another option to drive donations is to give your donors options and ask them to vote. This kind of Giving Tuesday campaign is ideal if your cause has multiple locations or people can give to different funds for your cause.

To create a voting-based Giving Tuesday campaign you would need multiple donation forms set up on a single page in a form grid. Then ask donors to vote with their dollars. You can choose to have the winning form get all the money for the Giving Tuesday campaign or give each what they earn.

Voting Campaign Screenshot
The PAWS of Coronado Mayoral Campaign is a successful voting fundraiser.

You could consider also involving a business, or a few businesses, with social responsibility built into their corporate culture. Ask them to match the donations on the winning form so that that particular form gets double the donations. Another option is to have one company sponsor each form, so they compete to get the most votes with each other.

To hold a Giving Tuesday voting campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Ask for corporate sponsorship from possible sponsors.
  2. Create Giving Tuesday specific forms for each voting option. Include goals if you want to cut off votes for each option at a certain point.
  3. Set up your Giving Tuesday landing page with a donation form grid and inform donors how they can vote as well as what their vote means.
  4. Send a “Save the Date” email blast.
  5. Ask social media influencers to get involved and spread the word about your campaign.
  6. Schedule social media posts leading up to the event.
  7. Post to social media in real time giving updates on how the vote is going during Giving Tuesday.
  8. Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  9. Write up a recap of how the day went and post to social media.

Sell a Holiday Goodie

Another one of our favorite Giving Tuesday campaign ideas is to have a limited time sale on your website. If you use WooCommerce for this, you can also include a donation upsell in the cart or checkout.

What you sell doesn’t need to require a large overhead budget, and you can certainly get back your initial investment plus raise money to go toward your cause. Some examples are cookie mix jars and holiday gift baskets.

Holiday Cookie Jar for Giving Tuesday Sale
Use something like this cookie jar recipe, which includes instructions and nutritional information to attach to each jar.

Set up your WooCommerce store with these items and put them on a Giving Tuesday landing page. Then take “orders” on Giving Tuesday and only create products for the number of orders you end up with. This way, you won’t spend extra money, waste time, or end up with unused jars or baskets.

This sounds like a lot of work, but that’s why you have volunteers! Get your team involved and have a fun day of putting together Giving Tuesday orders. Go live while your team works or post a video and/or photos to social media.

Steps to set up a holiday goodie sales Giving Tuesday Campaign:

  1. Decide what you will sell with your team and create a profit breakdown. Know how much each item will cost, what you will sell it for, and exactly how much will go toward your cause.
  2. Install and set up WooCommerce.
  3. Install and set up Donation Upsells for WooCommerce.
  4. Add your products. Include photos, a description, and the breakdown of how much will go toward the cause versus what is needed for the cost of the item.
  5. Set up a landing page with your Giving Tuesday specific WooCommerce products.
  6. Send a “Save the Date” email blast.
  7. Schedule social media posts leading up to and during the event.
  8. Post videos and photos of your team preparing Giving Tuesday orders.
  9. Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  10. Write up a recap of how the day went and post to social media with photos and video

Host a Pledge Drive

Giving Tuesday is a perfect time to get recurring donors to sign up. Instead of asking donors to give one time, ask them to give on a recurring basis.

Make them feel special and frame your pledge drive as a special Giving Tuesday donor drive, where all who sign up on that day receive a special gift. Your gift can be anything from a digital download to a free t-shirt. It’s your choice. Be creative and be sure to select an item that resonates with your donor base.

Even if this Giving Tuesday campaign results in less donation amounts on the day of Giving Tuesday, it will result in more donation success as donations accumulate. Recurring donors bring you consistent income over time.

Conduct a Giving Tuesday pledge drive by following these steps:

  1. Install the Recurring Donations add-on if you haven’t already.
  2. Create a Giving Tuesday specific form and enable recurring donations.
  3. Send a “Save the Date” email blast.
  4. Schedule social media posts leading up to and during the event.
  5. Welcome your new sustaining donors with a nice email and a gift.
  6. Follow up with social media posts and email blasts to donors.
  7. Write up a recap of how the day went and post to social media.

Wisconsin Public Radio posted this Pledge Drive video after their pledge campaign in 2013. You could do the same for Giving Tuesday this year.

Get Stared with Your Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas

These Giving Tuesday campaign ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are unlimited possibilities for a successful and creative Giving Tuesday Campaign.

If you need help coming up with your own, our Giving Tuesday Workbook has an entire meeting agenda dedicated to brainstorming with your team. The techniques used are meant to help you find the right campaign to fit your goals and your donor base.

Sign up to get the workbook right now in your inbox.

Taylor Waldon

Taylor is the Content Writer for GiveWP, a WordCamp Speaker, WordCamp San Diego Organizer, and Content Writing Course Creator. She's a writer at heart and a dog-mom to a German Shepherd (Legedu) and Mini Blue Heeler (Pepper).

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