‘Tis the season: A Giving Tuesday communications primer for nonprofits

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay

By Mark G. Auerbach

We’re all ramping up for our holiday marketing, and many nonprofits are planning their Giving Tuesday campaigns. Giving Tuesday is an annual online fundraiser, held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year the day-long event will be held on November 30. Nonprofits solicit for general support or project-specific funds through e-blasts, and social media posts, linking people to their web page and a “donate now” button.

As you plan your campaign this year, here are ideas to help you make the most of this fund-raising opportunity:

Target your email blasts. Your mailing list should be segmented, so you can send the right message to the right group. If media is part of the mailing list, don’t eblast them, unless you’re announcing the campaign or announcing your final returns. Also, treat your current customers or donors differently than your lapsed customers or donors.

Target your social media. Facebook has the biggest audience. Twitter limits the number of characters you can use. TikTok is for video messaging only. LinkedIn is for professional posts, and Instagram is for good photos. Make sure you make the best use of each platform.

Streamline your social media posts. You can use Facebook’s Business Suite to post simultaneously to Facebook and Twitter. Other programs like Hoot Suite help you post to multiple platforms.

Each post should have an eye-catching graphic, and mix them up. No post should be repetitive. Change the messaging and change the graphic to keep people’s attention.

Watch your scheduling. One or two eblasts over 24 hours is fine, more is less so since your audience may get annoyed by having their in-boxes filled with too many messages from one organization. Four different social media posts, well spaced apart time-wise, is probably the maximum you can do before you’re becoming intrusive.

Use good video when you can. Keep the videos short. A 1-2 minute piece is more effective. Five minutes is the equivalent of Gone With The Wind. Make sure your video has a good sound, too.

Watch your formatting. Will your website, eblast, or social media post look equally good on a desktop, laptop, tablet, other device or phone?

And, here’s something important many organizations forget. Thank your donors, participants, and those in your base and network for their support. Feeling valued makes people stay connected with your organization.

Giving Tuesday’s website has great resources, along with logos you can use to connect your campaign to Giving Tuesday. For details visit: https://www.givingtuesday.org/.


Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn. Mark also produces ArtsBeat in print in The Westfield News, on radio for Pioneer Valley Radio and on TV and radio on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. He also produces the TV and radio series On The Mark and Athenaeum Spotlight with Guy McLain.

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