As Giving Tuesday approaches, nonprofits around the world are gearing up for a day of unprecedented generosity. Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a global movement that encourages people to give back and support causes they care about. It's a day when nonprofits can rally their supporters and make a significant impact. One key strategy to maximize Giving Tuesday's potential is to leverage matching gifts - a powerful tool to amplify donations. In this guide, we'll explore what Giving Tuesday and matching gifts are, and delve into the keys to success for nonprofits looking to make the most of this opportunity.

What Is Giving Tuesday and What Are Matching Gifts?

Giving Tuesday is a global day of charitable giving that takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It's a day when individuals, communities, and organizations come together to support and celebrate nonprofits and the essential work they do.

Matching gifts, on the other hand, is a fundraising strategy where a corporation or individual pledges to match donations made to a nonprofit. This means that if a supporter donates a certain amount, the matching gift donor will contribute an equal or predetermined amount, effectively doubling the donation's impact.

Keys to Success

By focusing on these key strategies, nonprofits can prepare themselves for success on Giving Tuesday. Tailoring your approach to the unique nature of this day of giving, coupled with a compelling narrative and strong engagement tactics, can significantly boost your campaign's effectiveness. Remember, it's not just about fundraising but also about building lasting relationships with donors who are passionate about your cause.

Highlighting the Nonprofit's Mission

At the heart of a compelling Giving Tuesday campaign is the nonprofit's mission. Start by clearly articulating why your organization exists and the impact it aims to make. Craft a message that resonates with potential donors' values and desires to make a difference. Use storytelling techniques to vividly illustrate the challenges your nonprofit addresses and the positive change it brings about. By aligning your mission with donors' aspirations, you can effectively connect and inspire people to support your cause.

Having Specific Goals

Goals provide focus and direction for your Giving Tuesday campaign. Define clear and measurable objectives, such as the funds you aim to raise or the number of new supporters you want to acquire. Explain how these funds will be utilized to advance your mission. When donors know exactly how their contributions will make a difference, they are more likely to engage. Consider breaking down your goals into smaller, achievable milestones that can create a sense of progress and accomplishment throughout the day.

Highlighting Impact Stories

Impact stories are powerful tools for illustrating the meaningful work your nonprofit does. Share stories that showcase the tangible effects of your organization's efforts. Highlight individuals or communities positively impacted by your work. By showing potential donors how their contributions will be used to continue helping others, you create a compelling narrative that drives support. Visual content like videos, images, and testimonials can further enhance the impact of your stories.

Crafting a Fundraising Strategy

A well-defined fundraising strategy is the backbone of a successful Giving Tuesday campaign. Develop a detailed plan that outlines your approach to engaging donors, reaching your goals, and addressing challenges. Consider the channels you'll use, the timing of your appeals, and the resources required. Be prepared to adapt your strategy in real time as you gauge donor response and engagement levels.

Preparing Early

The early bird catches the worm when it comes to Giving Tuesday. To ensure your campaign's success, start your preparations well in advance. This includes organizing your team, planning your messaging and content, and setting up the necessary technology infrastructure. By starting early, you can troubleshoot potential issues and be fully ready to confidently launch your campaign.

Engaging Supporters

Your existing supporters can be your biggest allies on Giving Tuesday. Engage with them early to involve them in your campaign planning. Encourage them to become advocates for your cause, sharing your mission and campaign details with their social networks. Leverage the power of peer-to-peer fundraising, where supporters can create their fundraising pages on your behalf. Provide them with the necessary tools and resources to amplify your campaign's reach.

Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the most effective ways to drive action on Giving Tuesday is by creating a sense of urgency. Clearly communicate that this is a limited-time opportunity for donors to make a significant impact. Encourage potential donors to act quickly, reminding them that their contributions will have a multiplier effect through matching gifts or other incentives.

Send Updates

Throughout Giving Tuesday, maintain donor engagement by sending regular updates via email and social media. Keep your supporters informed about the campaign's progress, including fundraising milestones, donations received, and the impact of their contributions. Create a real-time connection with your donors, making them feel like they are part of something bigger.

Use Technology

Technology continues to be an integral part of nonprofit success, and Giving Tuesday is no different. You can create crowdfunding platforms and donation pages to help donors engage with your organization. You can also run email campaigns to boost outreach and increase donor/volunteer recruitment. 

Most importantly, you want to optimize your website for easy access and user engagement. Using technology to its full potential can really make or break your Giving Tuesday initiatives.

Be Transparent

Transparency is essential in fostering trust and confidence in your organization. Clearly communicate how the funds raised will be used and provide donors with a detailed breakdown of your organization's financial stewardship. When donors know that their contributions are handled responsibly, they are more likely to contribute and become long-term supporters. Share information about your organization's overhead costs, ensuring that donors understand how their money is put to good use.


The work doesn't end when Giving Tuesday is over. Here's what nonprofits should do afterward:

  • Thank Supporters: Express your gratitude to all supporters, whether they contributed financially or through other means. Thank-you emails, social media shoutouts, or handwritten notes can go a long way.
  • Report on Results: Provide your supporters with a comprehensive report on the results of your Giving Tuesday campaign. Show them how their contributions have made a tangible impact on your cause.
  • Impact Stories: Continue sharing stories of how the funds raised on Giving Tuesday are making a difference. Let your donors see the ongoing impact of their generosity.

In conclusion, Giving Tuesday is an incredible opportunity for nonprofits to raise funds, engage supporters, and create awareness for their causes. By following the keys to success outlined in this guide and leveraging the power of matching gifts, nonprofits can set themselves up for Giving Tuesday success. Maximize your impact, build lasting relationships with supporters, and keep the spirit of giving alive all year round.

If you want more advice on volunteer management, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

About the Author:
Geng Wang

As CEO of Civic Champs, I lead our team of passionate change leaders to create technology solutions to create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations.