A majority of nonprofit organizations (if not all) struggled during 2020 to carry out their work, recruit volunteers and appeal to donors. But as the year came to a close, Giving Tuesday 2020 saw a 34% increase in donations from the previous year. There was a strong desire to give by many.
What’s more, the NonProfit Times projects charitable donations are only set to increase in 2021, and 2022. Despite the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic, many people are eager to give and show their support for a number of causes. That’s great news!
With a month left, there’s still time to appeal to donors in order to leverage the giving spirit of Giving Tuesday. This post shares Giving Tuesday campaign examples from actual organizations (including a few that just kicked off for 2021) that you can use for inspiration, your own creative planning, and motivation for your team.
We also have a free social media campaign toolkit that you can download. Whether it’s a Giving Tuesday campaign, or a future social media campaign, this free downloadable is an excellent social media design resource.
What you get in this nonprofit campaign toolkit:
- A simple, five-step guide on planning a strategic campaign
- How to set SMART goals for a successful nonprofit campaign
- Templates to visually communicate your plan to your team (includes roadmaps, mind maps and timelines)
- 50+ social media templates that you can brand as your own for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Templates include customizable infographics, statistic posts, announcement posts, thank-you posts, newsletters and more.
Now let’s take a look at some of the best Giving Tuesday campaign examples you’ll come across. These campaigns are sure to inspire you and your team.
The Best Giving Tuesday Campaign Examples
Click the links below to jump ahead, or just read on.
- Treehouse for Kids
- Canadian Feed the Children
- American Heart Association
- World Vision
- Planned Parenthood
- Giving Tuesday
- Nomadic Critters
- Goodwill Industries NEPA
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Treehouse for Kids Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
Treehouse for Kids is a really great example of a nonprofit organization that excels at social media marketing and engagement campaigns. They have a strong visual brand, their designs are eye-catching but simple, they have a creative approach to audience engagement and are very strategic. They’re also not a giant nonprofit organization. If you’re looking for inspiration, they’re definitely a great place to start.
Treehouse for kids is Washington State’s leading foster care nonprofit, has participated in Giving Tuesday campaigns for years, and taken a more active approach starting in 2018. They’ve found each year to be more impactful.
In 2019, research from the Nonprofit Innovation and Optimization Summit (NIO)Tree in September 2019, they were able to adjust donor-target methods which resulted in an outstanding 113% increase in funds raised from the previous year.
Lindsay Hastings, their Annual Giving Manager, shared Treehouse’s approach:
Insights from the previous year’s NIO Summit helped Treehouse for Kids better understand and target the right audience with their campaign. Their insights determined the language they used and how their messaging varied as they promoted their campaign.
2020 was no exception. They took a measured approach to Giving Tuesday, preparing their audience. They gave a week’s notice, a reminder the day before, and then a kick-off announcement on the day of.
During Giving Tuesday, Treehouse for Kids varied their messaging to appeal to their audience. First, there’s Treehouse Bingo – a pretty creative, ongoing engagement campaign for their social media audience. It’s essentially bingo where the bingo items are activities that support their cause. As you carry out different actions, you can check it off on the bingo card until you get bingo! It’s a clever way of getting people involved, rewarding them and really expanding on the notion of “giving”.
Giving on Giving Tuesday was one of the bingo items, and they reminded their audience of that. It’s a great way to plant the seed early.
Throughout the day, Treehouse for Kids continued to share engaging visuals. They mention their partners who are helping youth during the holiday season.
They shared testimonials from young people who have benefited from the support of Treehouse for Kids. They also created clear, concise visuals to inspire support as well.
A popular strategy for nonprofit organizations participating in Giving Tuesday (which you’ll see in the other examples too), is securing a partner who is willing to double (or triple) donation dollars up to a certain amount. When a donation can have more of an impact on Giving Tuesday, than any other day, it’s a driving force for donors.
Also, a clearer picture of who your donors are, what they care about, and how to appeal to them, helps you reach the right people effectively. Even if you don’t have major partnerships to leverage, knowing how to refine your messaging to engage existing donors or appeal to new ones, like Treehouse for Kids, drives a greater impact.
You can create persona guides to help you and your team better understand your target donor.
Canadian Feed the Children Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
Canadian Feed the Children had a pretty successful Giving Tuesday 2020, raising a collective $175K! They had the right partnerships in place. Their visuals for Giving Tuesday were thoughtful and inspiring. The social post below features a child enjoying a wholesome meal, which communicates exactly the impact donors can expect to have.
Plus, the added incentive of triple the impact for donations that day provides major encouragement.
Many organizations, as busy as they are, can forget to thank their donors and supporters. But it’s important to acknowledge the people who have helped you. Recognition goes a long way and seeing that their own effort played a part in a larger goal can encourage folks to remain involved. Canadian Feed the Children didn’t forget to do that.
American Heart Association Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
The American Heart Association took a counter-intuitive approach for Giving Tuesday 2020. It makes sense, however, when you consider how large of an organization it is, the size of its following, and how regularly it campaigns.
On their social media they announced the ability to match donations, doubling the donations received that day. However, they chose not to attribute it to Giving Tuesday from their main account.
Instead, they worked on press releases that encouraged their existing network of supporters and donors to promote Giving Tuesday giving to the American Heart Association.
In articles like these which you can find on their site, you’ll see pre-package social posts and images that anyone can share on their own account to spread the word. This is great because it improves the quality of everyone’s individual post, but also ensures clear messaging. The narrative the American Heart Association crafted is amplified by their own audience and consistent.
Even if you have a modest social media audience, leveraging them in this way means your message can reach a ton of new people.
World Vision Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
For the last few years, World Vision has run a matching gift campaign in partnership with Thirty-One Gifts for Giving Tuesday.
Thirty-One Gifts is a direct-sales company with a mission to empower women and families. The company hires female consultants who market and sell its products.
For every gift from a donor to World Vision, Thirty-One Gifts matches it with products of equal value. This means each donation’s impact is doubled, helping twice as many people get clothing and supplies by the end of the year.
An established brand, Thirty-One Gifts’ products are known for their quality. Thirty-One Gifts is also driven by an idealistic mission, and involved in numerous social causes. In that way, World Vision donors support multiple positive missions when they give on Giving Tuesday.
In 2019 World Vision shipped out 88,000 pallets of products to communities across 12 countries! That’s a tremendous outcome in just one day.
Planned Parenthood Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
Planned Parenthood’s Giving Tuesday Campaign had several calls to action. However, the spirit of their campaign was to highlight its broad mission, and demonstrate a sense of unity and solidarity through its supporters.
How did they do that? They encouraged volunteers and donors to share videos of themselves talking about why they support Planned Parenthood. Since Planned Parenthood’s mission of reproductive healthcare touches on a number of specific topics, it’s a great way for those who support the organization to highlight them, rather than Planned Parenthood itself.
Planned Parenthood also encouraged people to share #Unselfies, providing a worksheet to fill out. More importantly, for those who did not have social media accounts, they could submit content directly to Planned Parenthood who would post it on their behalf.
Giving Tuesday Help Afghanistan Campaign Example
This example from Giving Tuesday (the organization) tells us a lot about how to use visuals and clear language to inspire action.
The picturesque photo of Afghanistan is beautiful and grabs our attention. It suggests a place of beauty rather than unrest. This can be effective during a time where we become desensitized to certain types of issues, or tune out cases of civil and political unrest around the world.
The CTA is also strong and clear. Asking for help can feel vague and less actionable. Being told that this how someone can help, can make people more inclined to read on. With a call-to-action like that, you want to provide options on how to help. If not donating, can people get involved somehow, spread the word, sign a petition? This way someone who is not ready to donate still plays an active role in extending your Giving Tuesday campaign’s reach.
Nomadic Critters Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
This is a clever comic by Nomadic Critters, a small nonprofit organization that provides free veterinary care for pets of the homeless in Boise, Idaho. It’s funny, simple and memorable.
Rather than use guilt or sentiment, it uses humour to convey the importance of giving on Giving Tuesday. It also primes the audience to expect a Giving Tuesday campaign to be organized and to give at that time.
Not only is the comic funny, it was published a few days before Halloween, making it seasonally relevant and therefore giving it a high share factor. People who might appreciate it just for the humour and timeliness will still spread the message. This post had been published a few hours before I came across it and it was already getting shared by other organizations and social accounts.
Goodwill Industries NEPA Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
This is a great and simple way to kick off your Giving Tuesday campaign. Not only is it a save the date, it introduces the framework for giving and how to participate. Goodwill NEPA primes their audiences, provides instructions and gives them a clear target.
Also, they chose to use the official Giving Tuesday branded logos which elevates the look of their visuals. You’ll find a link to those resources at the bottom of the page.
FBLA Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is an organization that helps students prepare for the world of business. For Giving Tuesday, they used social media to build anticipation for the day of giving in the weeks leading up to it.
They didn’t do anything elaborate, but shared a singular message in creative ways in order to keep Giving Tuesday top of mind for their social media audience.
With a simple nonprofit social media template, you can create your own Giving Tuesday social media posts.
Urge your audience to lend their support with a clear goal with a template like this one:
Of course, your campaign can also encourage actions other than donating, too:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
I recently got in touch with Staley White, at Point PR, who had worked on the Giving Tuesday campaign with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The campaign initially started in Salt Lake City in 2017 with a single “giving machine”, raising around $550,000. Then in the years that followed, the campaign grew in scale with more giving machines throughout the country (and around the world).
In 2019, the campaign was its most successful and raised over $6M in donations.
So how did the campaign work?
A giving machine (bright, red vending machines) is placed in a city and people can purchase things from them, like from any vending machine. But rather than get something for yourself, you can choose to donate a specific gift to people in need. Among the gifts you could purchase for folks around the world, were chickens, glasses, meals, clothes, and shoes.
The cost of gifts ranged from $5 to $200. Once purchased, a postcard would be dispensed to you featuring the gift you donated and a brief description of it.
Each year, the campaign runs from Giving Tuesday until the year’s end (rather than just for one day).
ASPCA Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
The ASPCA also took a highly creative approach to raising funds on Giving Tuesday, with a Facebook Live-a-Thon. It was a virtual event streamed live, featuring a number of different segments that highlighted their mission, featured notable animal lovers, and even celebrity animals.
Partnered with Subaru America, they ran a matching gift campaign as they appealed for donations, with a matching goal of 25K. The event was a roaring success, as they reached their goal early afternoon, well before the day was done.
The event was promoted organically over social media, along with paid ad campaigns, and email newsletters to their subscribers.
You can use Giving Tuesday social media posts to promote live stream events with eye-catching designs like this:
They were also able to use the recording of the live event, to create new promotional content. They were able to market their mission and values effectively over the next few months for more press mentions and donor support.
UNICEF Giving Tuesday Campaign Example
For a previous Giving Tuesday campaign, UNICEF ran a matching gift campaign as well. But they were matching gifts as high as 3X! With the right partners in place, they ensured that every donation would be amplified.
For donors who wished to have a major impact, they knew their best bet was to donate on that particular day.
UNICEF actively promoted their campaign over social media. Their messaging was concise and the visuals were simple, but compelling.
These are some of the most popular and successful Giving Tuesday campaigns around the world. I hope these have given you some ideas on how to approach your own Giving Tuesday campaign.
Giving Tuesday: Things to keep in mind
Register for Giving Tuesday online
If you’re participating in Giving Tuesday, then be sure to register online. GivingTuesday helps to spread the word, and provides you with some insights and resources to get started. You can also download their logos to incorporate into your own social media visuals.
Choose a strategic Giving Tuesday goal
A broad Giving Tuesday goal, or just lining it up with your year-end push, may be overwhelming. Plus, it’s vague and less compelling for your donors for an ambitious one-day campaign.
That’s why a Giving Tuesday goal needs to be strategic.
For example, a call to raise $20,000 for your “Hot Soup” program which provides warm meals to the needy throughout December, can work really well. It’s realistic, there’s a sense of urgency, and the goal is tangible for your donors.
Consider partnerships for your campaign
Around this time of the year, many organizations want to give back. If you have contacts to leverage, or the time to reach out and secure partners, you can give your Giving Tuesday campaign a big lift.
Even if you’re not planning for Giving Tuesday, securing a few long-term partners will be a huge help for future fundraising efforts.
Set up a social media campaign for Giving Tuesday
Create all your visuals ahead of time, keep them consistent, and keep them informative.
Schedule your posts for weeks before Giving Tuesday, track their engagement and see what you should focus on as the day draws nearer.
Highlight different reasons to compel donors and supporters to get involved. Plant seeds in the minds of existing/prospective donors and build a sense of anticipation. Our social media campaign toolkit below will help you with all of that. For more tips around communications and sources of campaign ideas, take a look at Kindful’s Giving Tuesday Resources page.
Get started on your own Giving Tuesday campaign
The quality of your organization’s social media content is within your control. It’s something you should take complete advantage of. Armed with inspiration and our nonprofit social media campaign toolkit, you’re set to get started.
Here are three key takeaways based on the Giving Tuesday examples we looked at, that will help you get started on your campaign’s content.
- Keep your campaign messaging focused
None of the social media posts we saw were lengthy or super detailed. They were very straightforward, consistent and clear. When you’re crafting your content, start with your message in its simplest form. Then figure out the angle you want to take.
- Maintain a consistent look throughs all your visuals
Your social media collateral and other marketing materials should be consistent in their design style, color palette, and font choice. It helps to reinforce your message, distinguishes it from your typical posts, and makes it memorable.
- Make your design process as simple as possible
The social media post examples we saw weren’t complicated designs. But they look professional. You may not be a designer at heart, but you can tell when something looks eye-catching.
That’s enough to create your own engaging content. You just need the right tools and a process in place to make it easy.
Start creating great social media visuals with our free nonprofit social media campaign toolkit. The toolkit comes complete with a helpful campaign planning guide, and customizable templates to help you put together an impressive campaign.